Tonic Water vs Soda Water vs Sparkling Water - what's the difference?

 Discover the difference between tonic, soda and sparkling water in this short guide

Discover the difference between tonic, soda and sparkling water in this short guide

A brief guide to the difference between tonic water, soda water and sparkling water

Walking down the water and soda aisle of the supermarket, have you often wondered the difference between tonic water, soda water and sparkling water? After all, they are ALL bubbly water right? Flavoured versions aside, surely you could just substitute one for the other? Well, read this first.

Sparkling mineral water

The carbonation in sparkling mineral water often occurs naturally in the springs from which the water is sourced. Like it's name, the waters will also contain small quantities of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium which can all add to the flavour of the water. However, some mineral waters can also have their effervescence added artificially.

Soda water

Soda water is at its core, artificially carbonated water with different types of salts added to it, e.g. sodium citrate and potassium bicarbonate. The process of carbonation comes from dissolving carbon dioxide in water, often through the use of force - think the Soda Stream. In America, you may see the term club soda used however, in Australia, soda water is primarily the term used to refer to this category. Seltzer is also a term often seen in America, which is used to refer to carbonated water but without any of the salts added to it.

Tonic water

Tonic water is in essence, carbonated water, sugar and quinine. A citrussy element is introduced often via the use of citric acid. The key difference is that tonic contains quinine, which introduces the bitter element in the drink and sugar. For more about tonic water, read our more comprehensive post here