Club Soda vs Seltzer vs Sparkling Water

Club soda, seltzer and sparkling water are often confused for one another.
Rightly so, says anyone who ever grabbed one while running through the market in a hurry and arrived home with something different than they intended. Although similar in appearance and sharing the same space on the grocers shelf, they also have some unique qualities.

Let’s explore both the similarities and differences of sparkling water, club soda and seltzer. Shown in the three glasses below, they actually still look nearly identical when poured.

club soda vs seltzer

Club Soda vs Seltzer vs Sparkling Water

The Similarities between Club soda, Seltzer and Sparkling water:

  • All of these waters are clear in color.

  • They all get their bubbles from the addition of carbon dioxide.

  • All three waters are suitable for drinking straight or mixing with another beverage.

  • All of them should be opened slowly, allowing the pressure from the carbonation to be gently released.

  • Once the gas is initially released it can’t be put back, but both pressure and low temperature make gas more soluble.
    As far as shelf life is concerned, this means that the colder you keep the leftovers… the more gas that will remain dissolved within the liquid. For this reason, once any of these beverages are opened the bottles should be stored in the back of the fridge where they will remain the coldest and thus trap the most gas. The more gas that is trapped, the more bubbles that can be released on successive pours.

  • The Differences between Club soda, Seltzer and Sparkling water:

    The chart below summarizes the differences between these three clear, carbonated drinks.
    The most unique product, as far as ingredients and thus also in taste, is the club soda. The addition of either Sodium Bicarbonate or Sodium Citrate is why club soda is often recommended for indigestion and to wipe a stain from clothing in a pinch. This addition appears to be effective in elevating blood pH [1], thus helping with indigestion. [2] But beware, as this seemingly harmless soda may cause interactions when taken with other medications, such as antacids. [3]

    Water Usage
    Seltzer Plain Water that has been carbonated (carbon dioxide added). For those who love carbonation, but nothing fancy.
    Club Soda Plain water that has been carbonated and either Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) or Sodium Citrate added. Often used for indigestion. Often mixed with Scotch (as in Scotch & Soda).
    Sparkling Water Natural water, from a natural spring or mountain stream that is then carbonated (carbon dioxide added). Often mixed with fruit extracts or flavors, this section of waters generally has the most variety.

    Club Soda vs Seltzer vs Sparkling Water

    Additional Information

    To find out how long water lasts, check our water page.

    To find out how long soda lasts, check our soda page.

    To find out how long liquor lasts, check our liquor page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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