What Is Soda Water?

What is soda water? Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water, and seltzer, is plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved, and is the major and defining component of most “soft drinks”. The process of dissolving carbon dioxide gas is called carbonation. It results in the formation of carbonic acid (which has the chemical formula H2CO3).

In the past, soda water, also known as club soda, was produced in the home by “charging” a refillable seltzer bottle by filling it with water and then adding carbon dioxide. Club soda may be identical to plain carbonated wateror it may contain a small amount of table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate, depending on the bottler. These additives are included to emulate the slightly salty taste of homemade soda water. The process can also occur naturally to produce carbonated mineral water, such as in Mihalkovo in the Bulgarian Rhodopes.

Sparkling mineral water is a negligible cause of dental erosion. While the dissolution potential of sparkling water is greater than still water, levels remain low: by comparison, soft drinks cause tooth decay at a rate of several hundred times that of regular sparkling water. De-gassing of a fizzy mineral water reduces its dissolution potential, however the total levels are comparitlivly low , suggesting that carbonation of drinks may not be the only factor per se in causing dental erosion.

Intake of carbonated beverages has not been associated with increased bone fracture risk in observational studies, and the net effect of carbonated beverage constituents on the amount of calcium in the body is negligible, leaving carbonated water as harmless as regular water

Club soda has a higher sodium content. Virtually same thing.
Water that comes from the ground – usually from artesian wells – and passes through layers of minerals containing some form of carbonates may absorb the carbon dioxide gas released by the carbonates. This water is known as natural sparkling water. If the wate takes up sufficient quantities of different minerals to impart a flavor to the water then it turns into quality which is called sparkling mineral water.

Carbonation can be naturally induced into beverages by fermentation. Fermentation occurs when yeast, either wild or cultivated, is introduced into a liquid containing almost any form of sugar. The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. When the gas is absorbed by the liquid as a result carbonated alcoholic drink is produced. If the fermentation is done in an airtight container, the carbon dioxide gas will saturate the beverage and it will be carbonated. Many carbonated beverages were originally made through this type of naturally induced carbonation including beer, wine and early types of soda.

Today the exclusive method of making soda and several commercial beers is by the introduction of carbon dioxide gas under pressure. The first uses of artificially induced carbonation date back over 250 years and were done to improve the drinking quality and preservation of water.

In the United States we have many references to carbonated beverages. Oftentimes people request a specific product name, like Pepsi, Coke or 7-UP. Sometimes it is more general, like ginger ale or root beer. Then there are regional nicknames which include soda, pop, soft drink, tonic, seltzer, sweetwater, carbonated beverage, sparkling water and fizzwater.

One thing to remember about adding any carbonated liquids to cocktails: generally they are added last. The only exception is if the drink is topped with a float of spirit. Do not shake a mixture with soda; this will cause the beverage to go flat and lose most of its effervescence. If the drink calls for blending you may chose to shake the other ingredients with ice first then combine in serving glass with seltzer and gently stir.

Basically, it’s water and carbon dioxide. Sparkling mineral water is a naturally-occurring carbonation, as described above. Thomas Henry produced the first forced carbonated water using an apparatus that utilized a pump to impregnate water with fixed air. A jeweler in Geneva formed a similar device for the production of a highly carbonated artificial mineral water, in the year 1976. His name was Jacob Schweppe.

Cocktail conducted a side-by-side tasting of several carbonated beverages. Among the reviewing criteria were: crispness, flavor, clarity and fizz release. We found that Perrier, a sparkling natural mineral water, maintained its fizz the longest, especially its lemon and lime flavored varieties. Canada Dry and Schweppes Seltzers came in a close second.

For those who find seltzer to be a bit harsh, club soda is a kinder, gentler fizz water. As part of our tasting we found club soda to be much milder and slightly sweeter tasting than standard carbonated water. The main difference is the introduction of potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, which dulls the sharp burn of effervescence.

Sparkling mineral water, club soda, seltzer and carbonated water contains no calories, that makes them a dieters alternative for Mellow Yellow, 7-UP, Mountain Dew and tonic water.  A large assortment of calorie free flavors to flavor sparkling water to great taste is sold at http://allfreightfree.com.

Tonic water is a carbonated drink containing water, sugar, carbon dioxide and quinine. Quinine was mixed into the tonic water inorder to help cure or prevent the disesase malaria. It comes from the bark of the Cinchona tree that grows in the rain forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes. To make tonic water more palatable, it was commonly mixed with gin and lemon or lime.

If you run out of tonic water but still have seltzer, 1/4 lemon, 1/4 lime and 2 tbs. sugar you can make a passable substitute.


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