Club soda vs sparkling water

What do club soda and sparkling water have in common? If you guessed that they both contain carbonated water, then you would be correct. However, they also differ in several ways, in terms of composition, taste, cost, and health benefits. For example, while both drinks are refreshing, sparkling water tends to be milder, and has fewer calories.

In this article, we provide a full guide to these two fizzy drinks. We explore their flavor profiles, list the various types of sparkling water, explain what makes them sparkle, and answer an age-old question– namely, which of the two is healthier? 


What’s the difference between club soda and sparkling water?

Below is a breakdown of the differences between club soda and sparkling water:


One of the key differences between sparkling water and club soda lies in their processing. Sparkling water, in its purest form, is simply water with carbon dioxide. That being said, it can be enhanced through the addition of various flavors.

The making of club soda, on the other hand, is a longer process. The carbonation is merely the first step. Following this initial process, further ingredients are added to the carbonated liquid. Similarly, sparkling water is different from seltzer. Unlike the former, the bubbles that are found in the latter are artificially generated.


Unlike sparkling water, club soda undergoes further processing following carbonation. This involves the addition of ingredients such as potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, which give it a slight tinge of saltiness, thereby making it the preferred choice for bartenders. Furthermore, club soda contains citric acid and sodium benzoate, both preservatives, while sparkling water usually doesn't. Similarly, soda makers use baking soda, citric acid, phosphoric acid, corn syrup and flavoring agents to produce club soda.


One of the key differences between club soda and sparkling water is that, thanks to technology, you can easily make the latter at home. Home-made club soda, on the other hand, requires a little more effort. In addition to putting water through the carbonation process, you need to combine it with the correct proportions of salt and minerals.

How to make your own sparkling water at home


Do club soda and sparkling water taste the same?

The differences between the taste of club soda and sparkling water may be subtle, but they do exist. As mentioned earlier, club soda is slightly saltier than sparkling water at its purest. However, thanks to technology, you can create sparkling water in the comfort of your own home and boost it with the flavors of your choice.

Club soda is also cloudier than sparkling water. Furthermore, it has a slight tanginess and bitter taste, whereas sparkling water has no discernible flavor. In addition, club soda has a stronger kick than sparkling water. Because of this, it’s often mixed with alcohol in order to give drinks a little extra oomph. Sparkling water's lack of intense flavor allows you to manipulate it to suit your tastes. You can do this by adding natural flavors.

Here are some delicious natural flavor suggestions for sparkling water:


Are sparkling water cocktails better than club soda cocktails?

You can interchangeably use club soda and sparkling water while making cocktails. In spite of the chemical content of the former, the two have enough similarities to allow for their substitution. Here are some ideas for club soda and sparkling water cocktails:


Whiskey highball

A classic cocktail recipe, designed to make the intense flavors of whiskey palatable on hot summer days, this cocktail has traditionally involved the combination of whiskey and club soda. However, it is equally refreshing when the whiskey is combined with sparkling water.



Another classic summer drink, vodka-soda is a crowd favorite at backyard barbecues and terrace parties. What’s more, due to the neutral flavor of vodka, you can add a bit of spice to this drink by infusing it with flavored sparkling water.


Tequila soda

If you’re unable to palate the intensity of tequila and don’t want to resort to using it in a syrupy cocktail, you might want to consider the addition of club soda or sparkling water, with a dash of lime, to this potent liquor. 


Wine spritzer

Although frowned on by traditionalists and wine connoisseurs, this combination of wine and sparkling water or club soda can make for a refreshing drink. What’s more, it can compensate for the dehydrating effects of wine.


Classic mojito

There is no drink more quintessential to summer than the mojito. What better way to unwind at a patio party than by sipping this irresistible combination of white rum, lime, sugar, mint, and club soda? Of course, as with the other cocktails, you can use sparkling water instead of club soda. In fact, flavored sparkling water may even give it a bit of an edge.


Gin fizz

Tonic isn’t the only ingredient capable of creating a refreshing gin drink. In fact, sparkling water can be even more effective. What’s more, with the right carbonation technology, you can create the perfect bubbly companion for your gin at home. And that too, in a variety of flavors designed to give your refreshing gin cocktail a pleasurable edge.

However, while your choice of sparkling water or club soda for your cocktail may not influence your drink’s flavor, it will most certainly have an impact on its nutrition profile. Your choice of ingredients can go a long way towards making your cocktail less unhealthy. 

Delicious sparkling water recipes 


Which is healthier: club soda or sparkling water?

Sparkling water is healthier than club soda. At the end of the day, sparkling water is simply plain water which has been made fizzy. In its purest form, sparkling water is just bubbly water made from natural spring water, with no additives or harmful calories. Club soda on the other hand, is carbonated with potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, giving it an overall worse nutritional profile than sparkling water. 


Make your own sparkling water at home 

If you're tired of drinking boring tap water, you should definitely consider switching to sparkling water. At Spärkels, our goal is to make sparkling water as easy to access as possible so that people everywhere can enjoy the benefits of healthy, delicious bubbly beverages. To achieve this, we've designed a one-of-a-kind machine that eliminates the need for bottled gas tanks. Simply fill it with tap water, press start, and watch the magic happen.

Whether you enjoy the crispness of lemonade, the sweetness of strawberry, or the tanginess of grapefruit, we guarantee that you will find something that suits your palate. Not only does our system produce excellent tasting drinks, its products are also completely safe to consume. The production process does not involve any harmful chemicals, and all components are BPA-free.

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