Are you team Soda Water or team Club Soda?
Water - we all need plenty of it, right? But what kind of water do you opt for? We’re here to try and clear up a mixer mystery - what’s the difference between soda water and Club Soda, and does it matter?
The skinny on Club Soda
Club soda is straightforward water that’s been carbonated by injecting, or ‘bubbling’ it with CO2 (carbon dioxide gas). After they add carbonation, they then add minerals, are added to give the water a lightly salty or slightly sweet flavour, such as:
- Potassium bicarbonate
- Potassium sulphate
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Sodium citrate.
Club Soda has the same nutritional profile as ordinary water, so it doesn’t add any calories to your drink. One way to think about it is that it’s the artificial equivalent of natural mineral waters.
Club Soda history
Way back in 1767, Joseph Priestley accidentally invented carbonated water. Why accidentally?
It wasn’t what he was aiming for, he was focused on creating a fizzy water for medicinal purposes, because he thought it might cure scurvy (it doesn’t!). However, by 1783 a famous name in the mixer world - Johann Jacob Schweppe - had developed a commercial production method for carbonating water. The trademark ‘club soda’ was taken out in 1877 by Cantrell & Cochrane who called it ‘Super Carbonated Club Soda’ in reference to the Kildare Street Club, which commissioned them to produce it.
Types of Carbonated Club Soda
Today there are several varieties of Club soda, which have slightly different flavours and - of course - we have our own Double Dutch Club Soda. It is a healthy solo drink and well as being perfect for enticing cocktails like our Mojito or the sparkling Double Julep.
The soda water lowdown
Yes, it’s insanely confusing to have two such similar drinks with two such similar names, which might be why Americans still tend to call soda water Seltzer water or club soda seltzer. As to what it is, it’s the same artificially carbonated water as Club Soda, but without any additional minerals to give it flavour. As a result, it couldn’t be trademarked so soda water is a pretty generic term for any artificially bubbly water.
So which should I drink?
The quick answer - whichever one you like best. The slightly longer answer? Okay… let’s head down a seltzer sparkling water flavour rabbit hole.
In some ways, soda water and Club Soda are interchangeable because they are both carbonated and both are carbohydrate and calorie free.
In other ways though, there are differences:
- Carbonated drinks are especially good for nausea; so for pregnant women and those experiencing sea-sickness, carbonated water is great to sip. However, in both cases, soda water may be better than Club Soda, because the trace naturally occuring minerals in Club Soda. The ones that give each Club Soda its distinctive, delicious taste - might not be the best thing to experiment with if your stomach is unsettled as they can cause further nauseated responses.
- If you’re making a cocktail or a mocktail, then opt for Club Soda, because the trace minerals add a subtle but distinctive flavour to the drink you’re mixing. This means that your cocktail or mocktail will be richer and more complex, which makes for a more satisfying taste.
- For people with very high blood pressure, soda water may be a better option than Club Soda because there are trace sodium (Na) elements in Club Soda that will contribute to your daily overall salt intake.
- Both are great hydrators, but if you’re trying to cut down on more sugary fizzy soft drinks, then Club Soda is your friend. The extra flavour imparted by the mineral content can be a good substitute for your usual fizzy beverage and if you really need the extra motivation, Club Soda also gives you tiny amounts of vital minerals like calcium iron and zinc which might help motivate you to make the healthier choice.
In the end, the differences are slight, and both are pretty delicious, so we’re back to our short answer - Club Soda or soda water? Drink whichever one you like best!
Need a Hand Finding The Right Mixer?
Now we know the differences between club soda and soda water, you can view our collection of mixers on our shop page. If you’re interested in finding out more about mixers, view our article comparing soda water to tonic water here.