Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water, and seltzer, is plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved, and is the major and defining component of most “soft drinks”. Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide gas into water. It results in the formation of carbonic acid (which has the chemical formula H2CO3).
Earlier, soda water, which was also known as club soda, was made in home by “charging” a refillable seltzer bottle which allowed filling it the water and then mixing carbon dioxide. Club soda may be identical to plain carbonated water or it may contain a small amount of table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate, depending on the bottler. These additives are included to emulate the slightly salty taste of homemade soda water. The process can also occur naturally to produce carbonated mineral water, such as in Mihalkovo in the Bulgarian Rhodopes.
Sparkling mineral water is a negligible cause of dental erosion. While the dissolution potential of sparkling water is greater than still water, levels remain low: by comparison, soft drinks cause tooth decay at a rate of several hundred times that of regular sparkling water. De-gassing of a sparkling mineral water reduces its dissolution potential, but the total levels are still relatively low, suggesting that carbonation of drinks may not be an important factor per se in causing dental erosion.
Intake of carbonated beverages has not been associated with increased bone fracture risk in observational studies, and the net effect of carbonated beverage constituents on the amount of calcium in the body is negligible, leaving carbonated water as harmless as regular water
Club soda has a higher sodium content. Virtually same thing.
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.
Carbonation can be induced naturally into the 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.
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.
In the United States we have many references to carbonated beverages. Generally people request for a specific product name such as coke, pepsi 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.
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.
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 consists of sugar, carbon dioxide, water 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 the tonic water more tasty, it was normally mixed with gin and lime or lemon.
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.