What is club soda? What is seltzer water? What is soda water? So many choices!
If you've ever walked down the beverage aisle at your local grocery store, you'll know just how overwhelming all of these options can be. Some can be used in place of the other, but some cannot. Some are flavored; some are not.
To help alleviate the confusion, keep reading to learn all about club soda, what it’s made of, the calorie count, and more. You can also learn about the others in the pieces linked above.
What’s Club Soda?
Club soda is a form of artificially carbonated water with added mineral compounds, usually in the form of potassium or sodium.
Club soda was created to mimic natural mineral water. The minerals added give club soda a distinct taste, though this varies by brand. It is mainly used as a mixer for cocktails, including winter cocktails and fall cocktails. However, some people like to drink it on its own. You'll find club soda in various popular cocktail recipes and in many of the drinks every bartender should know. It can also complement other flavors and add-ons like bitters (see what are bitters?).
Since its creation, club soda has also become a go-to product for many household projects. The effervescent nature of club soda makes it ideal for cleaning jewelry, removing rust, protecting hair dye, or removing red wine stains.
Club Soda Calories
Club soda has 0 calories. That's because club soda is essentially just plain water that's been carbonated and infused with minerals. There is nothing caloric in the drink.
Choosing to use club soda instead of a carbonated soft drink will save as many calories as choosing just water.
Club Soda Carbs
There are no carbohydrates in club soda. As there is no sugar present in club soda, there are no carbs.
Club soda can be consumed regardless of dietary needs or restrictions. This differentiates it from some other carbonated waters which contain added sugar or fruit juice to sweeten the drink.
Club Soda Brands
If you head into any nearby market, you’re bound to find multiple options for club soda brands. We listed our favorites below, but there are quite a few brands that are so well known you can expect to find them nearly everywhere.
The five most famous club soda brands are:
- Canada Dry
- La Croix
Remember, popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to taste. Explore the options around you and give smaller brands a try. You might find one that works particularly well in some spring cocktails you’re working on.
Club Soda Cocktails
Club soda is used in the concocting of so many cocktails that it would be nearly impossible to list them all here. Instead, let’s take a look at the most popular cocktails that contain the mixer.
Here are the most popular club soda cocktails:
- Tom Collins
- Vodka Soda
- Gin Rickey
- Whiskey Highball
- Gin Fizz
- Tequila Soda
- White Wine Spritzer
- Southside Fizz
- Aperol Spritz
Club Soda Substitute
Seltzer water can be used interchangeably with club soda for most purposes.
Club soda and seltzer water are nearly identical. Some people do report that they find club soda to taste too salty. Seltzer water has no taste, so it may be a good choice for anyone who dislikes the taste of club soda.
Seltzer water can also be used for most household tasks that you would use club soda for. It is the carbonation in both drinks that makes them so useful.
Club Soda Ingredients
Club soda is composed of plain water and minerals that may include potassium sulfate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, or sodium citrate. These compounds are added during the carbonation process. This is done to replicate the natural elements found in mineral water.
These minerals are also the cause of any flavor you may find when drinking club soda. Along with the carbonation, the mineral flavors are what make club soda a great ingredient to have on hand when making summer cocktails.
Does Club Soda Have Sugar?
No, club soda does not contain any sugar. The only contents of club soda are water, a form of sodium or potassium, and carbon dioxide used in carbonation.
Best Club Soda Brands
There are many great brands of club soda, but we've listed our top 5 below:
- Fever-Tree Premium. Made from natural spring water, Fever-Tree offers one of the purest club sodas with a great taste.
- Q Mixers Club Soda. Designed specifically for use in cocktails, Q Mixers is more carbonated than its competitors and has a dash of Himalayan salt for added flavor.
- Canada Dry. A grocery store staple, Canada Dry offers a serviceable club soda for a great price.
- Schweppes. Another popular brand, Schweppes club soda is affordable and has a good taste.
- Seagrams. With strong carbonation and salty aftertaste, Seagram's club soda is a great choice if you like a little saltiness.
Water, Water, Everywhere
Club soda is a classic drink mixer. From traditional drinks to fancy aphrodisiac drinks, it can do almost anything.
Club soda can usually be substituted for one another, but make sure not to add a flavored seltzer unless that's what you intend. Different flavors pair better with different types of alcohol, so test them out and see what works best or check out some of the best bartending books for more inspiration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between club soda and seltzer water?
Club soda has the addition of potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, while seltzer water does not. Both are carbonated with carbon dioxide.
Are club soda and sparkling water the same?
Club soda and sparkling water are similar because they both contain minerals. However, the main difference between the two is that manufacturers add carbonation and minerals to club soda, while they occur naturally in sparkling water.
Why is it called club soda?
The original trademarked club soda was produced by Cantrell & Cochrane of Dublin, Ireland in 1877. The 'club' refers to the Kildare Street Club in Dublin, which commissioned them to produce it.
For more information, check out the following articles from our blog:
What Is Soda Water? What's in Soda Water?
What Is Sparkling Water? Sparkling Water Brands
What Is Tonic Water? Tonic Water Quinine
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