Difference between seltzer and sparkling water

Written by emily maggrett | 13/05/2017
Difference between seltzer and sparkling water
Seltzer water and sparkling water are both types of carbonated water. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Frédéric DUPONT)

Seltzer water and sparkling water are both names for soda water, which is water that has been carbonated. Some seltzer water and sparkling water may be naturally carbonated, but most seltzers and sparkling waters have been artificially produced.


Unlike regular water, carbonated water is bubbly and effervescent. It is slightly more flavourful than regular water.


Carbonated waters, like seltzer water and sparkling water, may be sipped on their own or used as the base for flavoured sodas. They also may be mixed with alcohol in order to create cocktails.


Carbonated water can contain small amounts of sodium bicarbonate, which some believe to be helpful in soothing upset stomaches.

Other Names

Seltzer water and sparkling water are also known as club soda and soda water. Tonic water is a type of seltzer or sparkling water to which quinine and additional flavourings have been added, giving it a strong, unique flavour.


According to PracticallyEdible.com, carbonated water was discovered by Joseph Priestley in 1767. The name "seltzer water" comes from the German town of Nieder Selters, where there is a naturally carbonated water spring.

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