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Seltzer vs Club Soda vs Hard Seltzer

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Seltzer vs Club Soda vs Hard Seltzer

Seltzer vs Club Soda vs Hard Seltzer

When walking around the aisles of a supermarket or relaxing with your friends at a local cafe, you might be looking for a new refreshing beverage to quench your thirst. You may also want your new refresher to be good for your health and give you the motivation to forgo sugar and extra carbs.
There’s so much buzz about carbonated water drinks and their benefits lately. But many of us are getting confused with the large variety of sparkling beverages available and the relevant terminology. Just a quick walk to your local grocery shop and you’ll come across:

  • Club sodas
  • Seltzers
  • Hard seltzers
  • Sparkling mineral water
  • Tonic water

So what’s the difference between all these carbonated beverages?
Below, we’ve prepared an insightful breakdown of the various sparkling beverages available on the market. You might have already tried some of them, but do you know what sets them apart?
Whatever their differences, carbonated water types and brands grow in popularity year by year, with industry experts expecting sales to reach up to $77 billion by 2028 (12.6% annual growth rate).

The Miraculous Sparkling Mineral Water 

Sparkling mineral water is a product that flows out naturally carbonated from springs or wells. It is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, sodium and other minerals. 
Minerals are essential for maintaining a healthy body. In particular, they help:
  • Build strong teeth and bones
  • Turn the food into energy
  • Control body fluids
  • Keep our muscles, heart and brain healthy
  • Make enzymes and hormones

Sparkling mineral water was first found, bottled and sold in a small village in Germany in 1728. The natural springs in the Niederselters became popular due to their highly bubbly water with low mineral content. Later on, immigrants from Europe brought the innovative beverage to the US, taking the generic name “carbonated water.”
Manufacturers source the sparkling mineral water from different springs and wells, so the taste and mineral content vary between brands. Hence, if you suffer from mineral shortage, look at the labels to find out which beverage can help you get the nutrients you need.
Nutrition information for sparkling mineral water
  • Calories: 0                        
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 0
  • Carbs: 0
  • Protein: 0
  • Magnesium: 9%
  • Sodium: 2%
  • Calcium: 9%


The Hydrating & Bubbly Seltzer 

Alternative names for seltzer: soda water, carbonated water, fizzy water, water with gas and sparkling water.
Unlike sparkling mineral water that flows carbonated from the springs, seltzer gets its carbonation at a later stage. It is flat water infused with carbon dioxide (CO2) and has no minerals or other additives. The lack of minerals gives seltzer a more authentic “natural spring water” taste than other carbonated beverages. 

Since seltzer does not include minerals that take over the taste of the water, producers infuse it with natural fruity flavours. Citrus, pomegranate, mint, mango, blueberries and raspberries are only some of the flavours that elevate seltzers to a beverage that can your taste buds sing!

Seltzer is an excellent source of hydration too. For people struggling to meet their daily water intake needs through mineral water, a seltzer can keep their body healthy and hydrated. What’s even better? Increased hydration is an excellent booster for weight loss as we feel full for longer and consume fewer calories throughout the day.

Even though seltzer is a healthy alternative to mineral water, some seltzer brands use artificial sweeteners and flavours. For your seltzer to be as nourishing and hydrating as still water, its nutrition label should reference only two main ingredients: natural flavour and carbonated water.
Another interesting fact about seltzers is that they help improve constipation and digestion issues, including stomach pain.

The Refreshing & Trendy Hard Seltzers, Perfect for a night (or day) out

Spike a seltzer with quality alcohol and you’ll get a refreshing, light and fizzy drink to enjoy with your friends on your night out or after work. 

Hard seltzer is the perfect alternative to beers and wines. It is also a drink suitable for more health-conscious drinkers as it usually comes with no sugar and the lowest possible calorie and carb levels. Alcohol by volume ranges from 4% to 7%, depending on the brand. The best part? It is vegan and gluten-free!

Hard seltzer is typically made with three ingredients: sparkling water, alcohol and flavourings. Many seltzer lovers add their favourite flavour of hard sparkling water to popular cocktail recipes to:

  • Impress their friends - if the cocktail is to be made at home
  • Impress the bartender
  • Impress the people around them at the bar or club
  • Enjoy a more pleasurable, bubbly alcoholic sensation

If you’re looking for quality hard seltzer with no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no carbs, Served Hard Seltzers might surprise you! 

Served Drinks uses the world’s finest plant-based ingredients, such as fresh wonky fruit, British spring water and the ultra-pure, four times distilled ServedPure™ gluten-free spirit to make the most delicious and healthy hard seltzer on the market.

The Popular Club Soda

Club soda is artificially infused with carbon and added minerals, such as sodium chloride and potassium sulfate. The reason manufacturers add minerals to club soda is to help intensify the bubbly texture and the flavour by making it saltier or sweeter. 

Club soda is one of the most common additions to cocktails. It also shares many health benefits with seltzers: it is hydrating, vegan, suitable for a balanced diet and may even help improve swallowing and constipation issues.
Nutrition information for club soda

  • Calories: 0                        
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 0
  • Carbs: 0
  • Protein: 0
  • Magnesium: 1%
  • Sodium: 3%
  • Calcium: 1%
  • Zinc: 3%
  • Copper: 2%


The Exciting (Yet, Least Healthy) Tonic Water

Tonic water is perhaps the tastiest alcoholic-free carbonated beverage - mainly because it contains sugar or fructose corn syrup. It also contains quinine, a bitter compound initially used to treat malaria in South America, the Caribbean islands and Africa. Tonic water found in supermarkets today includes a small amount of quinine, so it is safe to consume. 
Tonic water is a cocktail mixer that goes perfectly with liquor - like the popular and classic Gin and Tonic. 
Nutrition information for club soda
  • Calories: 121                    
  • Sugar: 31,4 g
  • Fat: 0
  • Carbs: 31,4 g
  • Protein: 0
  • Sodium: 2%
  • Zinc: 3%
  • Copper: 2%
  • Calcium: 0
  • Magnesium: 0


The Bottom Line

Sparkling mineral water, club soda, seltzer, hard seltzer and tonic water are different kinds of carbonated beverages. Even though the texture stays the same, these bubbly drinks vary in added compounds and the way they’re produced. 

The main difference of hard seltzers compared to the rest fizzy refreshers is that it contains alcohol.

To sum up, if you want a fruity flavour, then go for a super-hydrating seltzer. If you are a fan of saltier tastes, add some club soda to your favourite cocktail. If you do not care about carbs and calories, infuse your drink with tonic water.

Whatever sparkling beverage you choose, remember to stay hydrated at all times!