Tonic water, seltzer, club soda, sparkling, and mineral: There are so many different fizzy waters out there, but are they all the same thing?
Carbonated water: water into which carbon dioxide has been dissolved — is a broad term that encompasses all fizzy waters. It's used interchangeably with sparkling water and soda water (a prewar term for the same thing). Within this category, there are several distinctions: seltzer, club soda, tonic, and mineral water.
Seltzer water: artificially produced by passing pressurized carbon dioxide through water. Seltzer contains no added ingredients or flavorings.
Club soda: like seltzer, is artificially produced by passing pressurized carbon dioxide through water, but contains additives such as table salt, sodium bicarbonate, or potassium bicarbonate to add a slightly salty flavor.
Tonic water: again, artificially produced by passing pressurized carbon dioxide through water, but with the addition of quinine (originally used in the 19th century to prevent malaria) that produces a slightly bitter taste. Now, most tonic water also has citric acid and added sweeteners.
Mineral water: like Perrier or San Pellegrino, contains naturally occurring carbonation and minerals. Since it's bottled directly from a natural source, it tends to be pricier and has a more delicate effervescence than other carbonated waters. For these reasons, it's typically enjoyed alone, rather than used as a drink mixer.
What's your sparkling water of choice?