Different Types of Carbonated Water

Fizzy, bubbly, and effervescent. Carbonated water can be described in many ways – and it comes in a few subtly different forms. While the names for carbonated water may seem interchangeable, sparkling water, club soda, tonic water and seltzer are respective of each other, each with its own distinct traits. If you’ve ever wondered what these differences are, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for with the quick guide below.

Carbonated Soda – The Common Link

Sparkling water, club soda, tonic water and seltzer have an important shared ingredient – carbonated water. If you’re ever unsure of exactly what fizzy water you’ve been sipping, call it “carbonated water” and you’ll be correct. Virtually all manufacturers now force the process of carbonation in cold water by dissolving carbon dioxide gas into it. The manufacturer of J.J. Shweppe – of the famous Shweppe’s brand – crafted this process to artificially make water bubble. When he did so in 1783, the only source of carbonated water was tapping a naturally occurring spring. Today, we refer to water that’s tapped from the ground as mineral water. While natural springs of bubbly water are mystifying in concept, relying solely on their limited availability would greatly reduce the carbonated water available for consumers today (and probably dramatically increase its price). Therefore, we owe our favorite varieties – including sparkling CBD water – to the innovative genius of J.J. Shweppe.

Club Soda

Club soda is carbonated water which has been infused with added minerals, differentiating it from other carbonated water varieties. It is typically infused with several common minerals, including potassium sulfate, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate. Like the other varieties, its contains a base of carbonated water, which contains carbonation from the injection of CO2. The presence of minerals in club soda give it a slightly salty taste, and fans agree that this helps to increase its flavor. In fact, club soda’s mineral content makes it taste similar to the original variety, bottled straight from mother Earth. While we’ll always prefer the sweet and natural appeal our sparkling sodas with phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract, club soda is admittedly hard to beat.


As we’ve mentioned in the past, Seltzer originated in the town of Neiderselters, Germany. Seltzer is similar enough to club soda that its frequently used as a substitute in many cocktails. Unlike club soda, however, seltzer tastes more like plain old H2O, due to a lack of added minerals. The simplicity of seltzer makes it a perfect cocktail mixer – allowing flavorful additions like citrus to be added without adulterating their taste with a hint of salty flavor, as is often the case with club soda.Bob Kenworthy is the host of The Science History Institute’s podcast on Distillations. In one episode by the name of “Fizzy Water,” he explains that “seltzer, as we know it today, is pretty much water artificially impregnated with CO2.”

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is almost indistinguishable from seltzer: mere carbonated water with a hint of extra flavoring. Unlike mineral water, it isn’t necessary sprung from the ground. Sparkling water can contain sodium, just like seltzers. In fact, seltzers and soda waters often have similar flavor profiles and identical lists of ingredients. They’re considered a healthy, mineral-rich source of hydration. Because of the high level of overlap between the categories of seltzer and sparkling water, its up to each individual brand to decide how they prefer to be classified. Since seltzer carries more historical connotations, many older brands opt for “seltzer” in their monikers, while “sparkling water” (or “sparkling CBD water” for a few contemporary sellers) is adopted by new brands on the rise. Shweppe’s, despite their founder’s status as the original creator of seltzer and the carbonation process, has recently switched labels and rebranded their products as “sparkling water.” This change in tune – but not in process – just exemplifies how interchangeably the labels may be used.

Sparkling Mineral Water

Unlike the other carbonated water varieties, sparkling mineral water contains natural carbonation, from a well or spring with inherent carbonation in the water that arises from it. Sparkling mineral water is naturally stocked with a multitude of minerals, including sodium, magnesium and calcium. The mineral quantities vary by type of spring water, depending on the location from which it was bottled. The mineral content of water impacts its taste to a surprising degree . The Food and Drug Administration dictates that sparkling mineral water must include 250 parts per million (or more) of dissolved minerals and trace elements to meet the criteria of this category.

Tonic water differs from the rest in its noticeably different taste. Tonic water, like club soda, contains minerals. Unlike the others we’ve mentioned, tonic water also contains quinine, giving it a uniquely bitter aftertaste. Quinine is dervived from the bark of cinchona trees. Historically, tonic water was used to prevent the spread of malaria, in tropical locations where the disease tended to spread rampantly. In those days, the level of quinine was much higher, helping to differentiate it from potentially risky, unclean water and keep the disease at bay. While the other categories of carbonated water are considered to be healthy, tonic water generally isn’t, as its often sweetened with lots of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and/or other chemical additives to improve its bitter taste. Tonic is a well-known mixer for lots of popular, simple cocktails.

The hemp extract and CBD beverage industries are booming at long last, and we couldn’t be happier to represent the rising movement. Our products all contain phytocannabinoid-rich, broad spectrum hemp extract and can be delivered right to your doorstep. All five of our sparkling CBD soda flavors are delicious and refreshing. Better yet, each sparkling CBD soda flavor is vegan, non-GMO, and free of gluten, sodium, and preservatives. PCR hemp extract is one of just five ingredients in every sparkling CBD soda can, and you’ll taste that sweet simplicity with every sip.

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