I’m interested in learning the difference between sparkling water and regular water, and in particular, the differences in taste.
So I did some research to find out why sparking water tastes bitter.
You may be wondering how it’s made, how to make it taste less bitter, and the difference between the different types of carbonated water you can buy.
So, read on where I will answer all of these questions and more.
Table of Contents
How do you make sparkling water less bitter?
Popular soft drinks are made the same way as sparkling water but fruit juice or syrup is added to the water.
It’s added either before or after it’s carbonated.
This is a common way to get the interesting – and some might say satisfying taste of carbonated water, without the bitter and plain taste or regular sparkling water.
Therefore, one of the easiest ways is to add a sweet fruit juice such as apple juice or pineapple juice. Which balances out the bitter taste.
Apart from adding natural sugar to give it a sweet taste, it also dilutes the amount of CO2 in the sparkling water.
Making it less acidic, and as a result less bitter.
As you may be aware if you leave soda water in a glass, or leave the bottle open soda water or fizzy drinks will become flat.
This happens because the CO2 escapes from the surface of the water, and makes its way into the air – never to return.
This removes most if not all of the CO2 in sparkling water and removes the bitter taste.
Sparkling water, also called soda water, and carbonated water is made by using pressure to force the gas to combine with the liquid.
But, sparkling water is also naturally occurring, more on this later.
Is there a downside to drinking sparkling water?
But this varies from person to person. I would categorize sparkling water as an acquired taste much like oysters, and certain types of cheeses like blue-vein cheese.
Some people love it, whereas others dislike it.
Therefore, each individual person will experience different downsides or advantages to drinking sparkling water.
What is the best sparkling water to replace soda?
It’s up to you to try them to see which you like best.
I would add to the list the Schweppes brand, as I like their other sodas, and I have personally heard very good things about La Croix.
Pellegrino is probably the most widely available sparkling water at restaurants, from what I’ve seen.
However, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants will typically also have a house soda that is almost identical to sparkling water.
But, to order it, you normally have to ask for soda water.
You can also make your own sparkling water using a machine that you can buy online fairly cheaply.
It’s a small benchtop device that pushes CO2 into the water.
It comes with the special bottles that fit into the machine, and you buy canisters of CO2 for it.
There are also a range of specially made flavor concentrates that you can add to it such as cola, or ginger ale.
It’s always a balancing act to figure out how much to add, so that it isn’t too strong or too weak.
How do you make sparkling water taste better?
You can experiment with a bunch of different flavors to see which you like the best.
And can even make one that tastes like lemonade by adding sugar, and lemon juice.
Many people also use soda water as a mixer in alcoholic drinks.
A combination I like is one shot of tequila, a glass of sparkling water, and lemon or lime juice.
It’s very refreshing.
Is club soda the same as sparkling water?
The added mineral salts are sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, or sodium citrate, according to Wikipedia.
However, some sparkling water manufacturers will add these to the water to make it taste closer to naturally occuring spring water.
There is also tonic water which is similar to both club soda and sparkling water.
Healthline.com reports that tonic water is different though, because it usually contains added quinine and sugar.
Is seltzer water the same as sparkling water?
Even though, this technically makes it a seltzer and not a sparkling water.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to read the label, and/or do some research into the company to see how it’s made.
Standard seltzer water and sparkling water are both fizzy, and don’t contain any additives to improve the taste.
And by and large they seltzer water and sparkling water taste almost identical.
The major difference in taste occurs because of the different places the water is collected from.
Each source will taste slightly different based on what minerals and nutrients are present in the environment.
For example, spring water can flow through rocks.
All rocks have a distinct chemistry.
For example, volcanic rocks like basalt will produce a different taste, compared to water than has flowed through or over rocks such as sandstone.
As the water flows over and between the rocks, the water washes off some of the surface of the rocks and the tiny particles get suspended in the water, modifying it’s flavor.
Sparkling water tastes bitter because of the CO2 that is in the water. CO2 is a weak acid, and gives sparkling water a bitter or sour taste.
Much like lemon juice which contains citric acid.
You can make sparkling water taste better by adding syrup, sugar, or fruit juice.
Also, if you leave sparkling water open to the air, such as in a glass, or leaving the lid off the bottle, the CO2 will eventually escape from the water, and it won’t taste as bitter.