Soda water, or carbonated water, is plain water to which carbon dioxide gas has been added; it is also called sparkling water by many people. It is the primary component of most “soft drinks.”. This process — carbonation — produces carbonic acid, better known as soda pop.
By using a seltzer bottle filled with water and then “charged” with carbon dioxide, soda water (also called club soda) was produced in the past in the home. Although it is possible for small amounts of table salts and sodium trace minerals to be present, club soda can be the same as plain carbonated water. Such additives sometimes make the taste of home made soda water somewhat salty. This process also occurs naturally in some areas, and produces carbonated mineral water.
In some cases, a little dental decay might be caused by sparkling mineral water. The potential problem with sparkling water is greater than “still” water, but the problem is only slight. A much higher rate of tooth decay is caused by regular soft drinks than by sparkling water. The rate is so low it suggests that carbonation may not be a factor in causing dental decay.
Artesian wells are often the source for water that filters among layers of minerals containing forms of carbonates, absorbing the carbon dioxide gas released by those carbonates. This kind of water is known as natural sparkling water. If, during filtration, the water picks up enough different minerals to add a flavor to the water, it becomes sparkling mineral water.
At its root, soda water is just water and carbon dioxide. Sparkling mineral water is a naturally-occuring product of carbonation. A device to produce an artificial carbonated mineral water was made by a jeweler in 1794.
In a taste test of several carbonated drinks, it was determined that Perrier, a sparkling natural mineral water, kept its fizz the longest.
For consumers who believe seltzer to be a bit harsh, club soda has a gentle fizz. In one part of the taste test, club soda seemed to be milder and a little sweeter tasting than standard carbonated water.
With zero calories, club soda, sparkling mineral water, seltzer, and carbonated water are usually preferred by dieters over soda pop and tonic water.
A type of carbonated drink that contains water, sugar, carbon dioxide and quinine is called tonic water. Originally, to help cure or prevent malaria, quinine was added to tonic water. Today it is often used in combination with gin and lemon or lime to make an alcoholic drink.
So, soda water is not so hard to understand, as these simple facts reveal.