Is there a difference between Club Soda and Seltzer Water?

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Is there a difference between Club Soda and Seltzer Water?

PostPosted by verdilak » Sat May 29, 2010 8:38 pm

My wife just asked this and since I didn't know and found out the answer, i thought I might post it since if we didn't know, someone else might not know as well.

Cocktail.com wrote:Club soda has a higher sodium content. Virtually same thing.

There are very subtle differences between carbonated water, seltzer and club soda products. Tonic, however, has a very distinct flavor.

Classifications

Naturally occurring carbonation. Water that comes from the ground - usually from artesian wells - and passes through layers of minerals containing some form of carbonates may absorb the carbon dioxide gas released by the carbonates. This water is known as natural sparkling water. If the water also picks up sufficient quantities of various minerals to impart a flavor to the water it becomes sparkling mineral water.

Naturally induced carbonation. Carbonation can be naturally induced into beverages by fermentation. Fermentation occurs when yeast, either wild or cultivated, is introduced into a liquid containing almost any form of sugar. The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. When the gas is then absorbed by the liquid a carbonated alcoholic beverage is the result. If the fermentation is done in an airtight container, the carbon dioxide gas will saturate the beverage and it will be carbonated. Many carbonated beverages were originally made through this type of naturally induced carbonation including beer, wine and early types of soda.

Artificially induced carbonation. Today the exclusive method of making soda and several commercial beers is by the introduction of carbon dioxide gas under pressure. The first uses of artificially induced carbonation date back over 250 years and were done to improve the drinking quality and preservation of water.

What's in a Name?

In the United States we have many references to carbonated beverages. Oftentimes people request a specific product name, like Pepsi, Coke or 7-UP. Sometimes it is more general, like ginger ale or root beer. Then there are regional nicknames which include soda, pop, soft drink, tonic, seltzer, sweetwater, carbonated beverage, sparkling water and fizzwater.

One thing to remember about adding any carbonated liquids to cocktails: generally they are added last. The only exception is if the drink is topped with a float of spirit. Do not shake a mixture with soda; this will cause the beverage to go flat and lose most of its effervescence. If the drink calls for blending you may chose to shake the other ingredients with ice first then combine in serving glass with seltzer and gently stir.

Sparkling mineral water, carbonated water and seltzer. Basically, it's water and carbon dioxide. Sparkling mineral water is a naturally-occurring carbonation, as described above. Thomas Henry produced the first forced carbonated water using an apparatus that utilized a pump to impregnate water with fixed air. In 1794, a jeweler in Geneva made a similar device to produce a highly carbonated artificial mineral water. His name was Jacob Schweppe.

Cocktail conducted a side-by-side tasting of several carbonated beverages. Among the reviewing criteria were: crispness, flavor, clarity and fizz release. We found that Perrier, a sparkling natural mineral water, maintained its fizz the longest, especially its lemon and lime flavored varieties. Canada Dry and Schweppes Seltzers came in a close second.

Club Soda. For those who find seltzer to be a bit harsh, club soda is a kinder, gentler fizz water. As part of our tasting we found club soda to be much milder and slightly sweeter tasting than standard carbonated water. The main difference is the introduction of potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, which dulls the sharp burn of effervescence.

Club soda, sparkling mineral water, seltzer and carbonated water have no calories, which make them a dieters alternative for 7-UP, Mellow Yellow, Mountain Dew and tonic water.

Tonic water or quinine water. Tonic water is a carbonated drink containing water, sugar, carbon dioxide and quinine. Quinine was added to the tonic water to help cure or prevent malaria. It comes from the bark of the Cinchona tree that grows in the rain forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes. To make tonic water more palatable, it was commonly mixed with gin and lemon or lime.

If you run out of tonic water but still have seltzer, 1/4 lemon, 1/4 lime and 2 tbs. sugar you can make a passable substitute.
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