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What Is Soda Water? | What's in Soda Water?

By
Joshua Weatherwax
Table of Contents

Soda water. Is it soda? Is it water? 

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It’s one of those weird terms that everyone’s heard, but nobody can quite define. Even worse, the real definition of soda water adds little to the picture. You’ll probably end up asking yourself what is club soda and how it is different from soda water, tonic water, and seltzer.

To help clear things up, keep reading to learn what soda water is, some of the most popular soda water brands, and the caloric and carb content.

What Is Soda Water?

Soda water is a generic term for carbonated water. Asking for a soda water can get you either a club soda or a seltzer water depending on how your server interprets it. If a recipe or mixed drink calls for soda water, either club soda or seltzer would work. The carbonation is what is desired in these circumstances.

Soda Water Calories

Soda water has 0 calories. Since the term soda water covers club soda and seltzer, it’s essentially just plain water that's been carbonated and infused with minerals. There is nothing caloric in the drink. Choosing to use club soda or seltzer instead of a carbonated soft drink will save as many calories as choosing just water.

Soda Water Brands

Shopping for soda water has never been easier. Both longstanding club soda staples and a slew of new seltzer brands can be found in nearly every grocery store. We’ve listed our favorites below, but there are quite a few brands that are so well known you can expect to find them nearly everywhere.

Here are the ten most popular soda water brands:

  1. Perrier Mineral Sparkling Water
  2. Schweppes Sparkling Water
  3. Bubly Sparkling Water
  4. Polar 100% Natural Seltzer
  5. Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water
  6. Spindrift Sparkling Water
  7. La Croix Sparkling Water
  8. San Pellegrino Natural Sparkling Water
  9. Poland Spring Sparkling Water
  10.  Seagram’s Seltzer Water

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.

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Soda Water Carbs

There are no carbohydrates in soda water. As there is no sugar present in club soda or seltzer, there are no carbs. This makes soda water a great ingredient for all purposes because it can be consumed regardless of dietary needs or restrictions. This differentiates it from some other types of carbonated water which contain added sugar or fruit juice to sweeten the drink.

Soda Water Nutrition

The nutritional value of soda water is a bit complicated. There are no drawbacks to drinking it, but the nutritional gains are fairly minimal. Soda water contains a number of minerals, which contribute to the flavor, but there generally isn't enough to see health benefits. 

With that in mind, here are the general nutritional facts of soda water:

  • Calories- 0 grams
  • Cholesterol- 0 grams
  • Sodium - 75 milligrams
  • Potassium- 7 milligrams
  • Carbs- 0 grams
  • Protein - 0 grams

It’s a great choice to be added to gluten free gift baskets along with some other mixers if you’re giving them to someone with a wine allergy. Beyond nutrition, there are still a number of benefits related to drinking soda water.

Soda Water Benefits

There are many benefits to soda water whether you're drinking it straight or using it to add flair to mixed drinks and cocktails. There are even non-consumption benefits. Here are the top three.

First, it's a healthy alternative to soda and other sugary beverages. Since there are no carbs or calories in soda water, it is often used to replace less-healthy drinks. It will keep you hydrated and help you focus without any negative side effects. If regular water doesn't do it for you, soda water is a good replacement. It's important to note that tonic water is not the same as soda water and, in fact, does contain a high amount of sugar. This is also good for people looking for low-calorie alcoholic beverages because there are a lot of calories in wine. This is true of the calories in red wine, calories in white wine, and the calories in rose wine. So, it’s good for all wine drinkers to consider.

Second, soda water can be very helpful for nausea. The carbonation in the water has been shown to help settle people's stomachs and is often served on cruise ships just for that reason. It also helps give the feeling of fullness, so nausea arising from hunger is also satiated. We recommend keeping some soda water on hand if nausea is a common issue you encounter.

Third, soda water can actually be used as a fairly effective cleaning agent. The effervescent nature of club soda and seltzer makes them ideal for cleaning jewelry, removing rust, cleaning a decanter, or to remove red wine stains. They're also not as damaging as other cleaning agents since it's really just the carbonation that does the work. However, there is a limit to soda water's effectiveness, so it's definitely worth investing in one of the best wine stain removers.

Soda Water Cocktails

You'll find soda water in many of the drinks every bartender should know. These drinks tend to be lighter in flavor. Along with the carbonation, the mineral flavors are what make soda water a great ingredient to have on hand when making summer cocktails.

With that in mind, here are a few popular cocktails that contain soda water:

  • Tom Collins
  • Tequila Soda
  • White Wine Spritzer
  • Southside Fizz
  • Aperol Spritz
  • Mojito
  • Vodka Soda
  • Gin Rickey
  • Whiskey Highball
  • Gin Fizz
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Water You Talking About?

Soda water is a term that covers many different mixers, so it can be confusing when looking at a standardized recipe that isn’t more specific. However, you can generally use either club soda or seltzer water whenever soda water is listed.

Whether you're making classic drinks or fancy aphrodisiac drinks, soda water can be used for nearly anything. However, make sure not to add a flavored seltzer unless you're intentionally trying to add a new flavor profile to a cocktail. 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.


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