Club Soda vs Soda Water: They’re Actually Quite Different!

Many confuse club soda with soda water. In fact, these two terms are often used interchangeably. However, club soda and soda water contain one major difference.

The difference between club soda and soda water is the additives within the two. Club soda always has artificial additions including carbon and mineral salt. On the contrary, soda water is natural. The only ingredients within soda water are water and carbon dioxide.

Though club soda and soda water look and taste very similar, how each is manufactured is unique.

Difference in soda water and carbonated water

Although soda water and club soda are not the same, soda water and club soda are both types of carbonated water.

Carbonated water can occur either naturally or unnaturally. Soda water is a type of carbonated water and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, just because many use these terms interchangeably, it does not mean that they are the same. In addition, using the terms interchangeably often confuses consumers.

This confuses the consumer as they assume that if carbonated water is the same as soda water, and carbonated water is the same as club soda, then it only makes sense that soda water and club soda are the same as well.

Carbonated water is a term that can be used to describe all waters that are carbonated, just as the name suggests. For example, club soda is a type of carbonated water. In addition, soda water is a type of carbonated water.

The difference between club soda and soda water is that club soda is not natural while soda water is.

How soda water is different

Surprisingly, naturally carbonated water does exist! Soda water comes from natural mineral springs. Within the production of soda water, the carbon dioxide and the water itself is separated. After the water is purified, since the carbon dioxide and water are separated, the carbon dioxide is then added back in.

Not all carbonated beverages need artificial carbonation added to them. One location where soda water comes from is natural springs located within the state of Idaho, at Hooper Springs Park. These natural springs within Idaho are a popular attraction and have been for over one hundred and sixty years! When traveling through Idaho, it is essential to stop at Hooper Springs Park. Here you can receive both free and natural soda water.

How club soda is different

Carbonation and mineral salts are artificially added to club soda, which differentiates it from soda water. There can be various mineral salts that are added to club soda. Such minerals include sodium bicarbonate, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, and sodium chloride.

Mineral salts are added as they provide more flavor to the drink. In addition, carbon dioxide is added to club soda, making the soft drink more bubbly, which is intriguing to the consumer. The amount of additives within club soda depends on each producer, giving it its own unique taste.

Difference in origins

Carbonated water originated in 1767 by Joseph Priestley. Priestley was fascinated by science however he discovered carbonated water by accident.

He lived in England next to a brewery, and one time, he left a suspended bowl of water over a beer vat. Priestley was fascinated by the reaction the water and beer had, and rightfully so. Priestley then used a gas mixture and collected it within a pig’s bladder. He then discovered a way to make this into carbonated water.

However, some were not approving of the gas being contained in a pig’s bladder, so glass containers began to be used instead. Joseph Priestley’s accidental creation contributed greatly to soft drinks.

Club soda on the other hand is a classic Irish drink as it originated from Dublin, Ireland. Club soda was founded in 1877 and was commercialized to improve a consumer’s health. It was told to consumers that it could neutralize lactic acid within their blood.

Club soda gets its well-known name from Kildare Street Club. Kildare Street Club gave authorization to Cantrell and Cochrane to produce club soda.

Differences of carbonated waters

Club soda and soda water have been mentioned, but are there any more? Carbonated water comes in a variety of forms. For example, the most common are club soda, soda water, seltzer water, mineral water, and tonic water.

Seltzer water is similar to soda water a there are no added, unnatural ingredients to it. The only ingredients are water and carbon dioxide. However seltzer water is artificially carbonated, and soda water is not.

Mineral water is water that comes from a spring, as does soda water. However, mineral water can be either flat or carbonated, while soda water is always carbonated.

Tonic water and club soda are very similar as they both contain added ingredients. The difference in tonic water is that it contains calories. Tonic water contains quinine (used as an antimalarial drug) which provides much of this water’s bitter flavor. Because many do not enjoy such a bitter taste, tonic water is often combined with added sugars to improve the unpleasant taste.

Differences in taste

Soda water and club soda have at least one thing in common: they are both carbonated. However, soda water is carbonated naturally while club soda is not. The carbonation of both soda water and club soda heightens the taste of the two drinks.

As said before, the amount of additives within club soda differentiates among every producer. Because of this, the taste differentiates among every producer as well. Table salt is purposely added which is why some have reported that this bubbly drink tastes salty, while others refute this claim and say it tastes more bitter.

It is not a surprise that club soda is frequently described as having a salty taste. This can be blamed on the sodium that is added to the drink.

Soda water can taste sour. This is due to the carbon dioxide combining with the water. The carbonic acid of these two ingredients creates a tart, sometimes unpleasant, flavor.

Differences in nutrition

Soda water is healthier than club soda. Because soda water is natural and does not contain the addition of minerals, soda water is as healthy as regular water. The only time soda waster is not as healthy as non-carbonated water is if the consumer has gastrointestinal issues.

Anna Silver

Anna Silver is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to new go-to original recipes. Inspired by her grandmother’s love of cooking, Anna has a passion for treating the people in her life to delicious homemade food and loves to share her family recipes with the rest of the world.

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