Tonic Water Vs. Club Soda: What Is The Differences

Tonic water and club soda are both sparkling waters that can be used in cocktails and mocktails. Club soda is the simplest of them, with only carbonation added. Tonic water typically has salt and sugar added as well, while club soda does not. Now let’s explore these two sparkling waters in more detail!

What Is Tonic Water?

Tonic water is a carbonated drink that contains quinine and sugar. Tonic water is usually clear, but it can also be an opaque white or yellow color depending on the brand.

Most tonic waters are sold in cans, bottles, or 2-liter bottles. Some brands also sell a version with zero calories. The drink is named after its most common use: as a mixer with gin and other spirits to make a cocktail.

Although tonic water was originally used to treat malaria, today it has no medicinal uses outside of being used as a flavoring agent in mixed drinks.

Tonic Water
Tonic Water

What Best Of Tonic Water

The best water to use in tonic water is filtered water, which removes any impurities that can interfere with the taste of the tonic. Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that is often drunk on its own, but it’s mostly used as a mixer for drinks, particularly gin and vodka. The tonic water you choose will depend on your personal taste preferences, but there are a few factors to consider when choosing the best.


The best tonic water tastes good when you drink it by itself. You’ll want to avoid tonic waters containing too much quinine or sugar, which can give the tonic water an unpleasant taste. While some people prefer strong-tasting tonic waters, others can find them off-putting and bitter.

Mixing potential

The best tonic waters are versatile, so they work well with a wide range of different spirits and ingredients. For example, if you’re mixing your tonic with gin, look for a lighter citrus flavor that won’t overwhelm the gin’s flavor. If you have a sweeter drink in mind, look for a tonic water with more sugar content to balance out the other flavors in the drink.

Carbonation level

Some people prefer a lot of fizz in their tonic water, while others prefer a milder carbonation level. The carbonation level also depends on the drink you’re using it for. A gin and tonic that is naturally very fizzy might not need so much carbonation in the tonic water, because it will overpower the drink’s natural fizziness.


Some tonic waters contain pleasant flavorings that can enhance your drink, while others are more plain. If you plan on using tonic water as a mixer, look for a fruity tonic water with subtle flavorings. If you’re using the tonic water to create your own signature drink, go for plainer flavors to allow the other ingredients in the drink to shine through.

Taste vs. mixability

Tonic waters come in many different varieties, and they contain varying levels of sugar and ingredients that can have an impact on the drink’s taste and mixability.

What Is Club Soda?

Club soda is a carbonated water that contains some dissolved minerals. It has a slightly salty taste, and it is often used for making cocktails. The name club soda comes from the fact that the beverage was once commonly served in exclusive clubs, but it is now available in grocery stores everywhere.

Club Soda
Club Soda

Is Club Soda the Same as Tonic Water?

Club soda is not the same as tonic water, which also contains carbonation and minerals. Tonic water also contains quinine, a bitter substance once used to treat malaria. Most store-bought tonic waters are made with artificial sweeteners, which gives them a sweeter taste than club soda.

Club soda is often confused with tonic water and seltzer — both of which are different types of carbonated beverages. Tonic water is a type of carbonated soft drink that contains quinine as a flavoring and sweetener. Quinine makes it bitter, so sugar or other artificial sweeteners are typically added to mask the bitterness. Seltzer water is simply flavored seltzer water with carbonation. Some taste like fizzy lemonade while others have a hint of lime or grapefruit flavor.

Differences Between Tonic Water and Club Soda

Tonic water, club soda and seltzer are all slightly different types of bubbly water. While they may look the same, they have different chemical compositions. Therefore, tonic water and club soda are better suited for some applications than others.


All three types of bubbly waters contain carbon dioxide under pressure, which causes the characteristic fizz. The amount of carbonation varies from brand to brand, but in general, the more bubbles, the more carbon dioxide.

Tonic water has the most carbonation because it contains the most sugar. As a result, it is also the sweetest of the three types. Club soda has medium levels of carbonation and less sugar than tonic water. Seltzer has low levels of carbonation and no added sugar.


Tonic water is flavored with quinine and sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Quinine is a bitter-tasting compound that comes from cinchona bark and was originally added to drinks to prevent malaria. Today’s tonic waters contain much less quinine than early versions; however, there is still enough present to give tonic water its distinctive taste.

Seltzer and club soda have no flavorings other than carbon dioxide and water.

Carbonation and bubbles cause your mouth to salivate, which keeps your mouth moist. This prevents dryness, especially when the air is cool or dry. That’s why many people drink club soda or seltzer with meals to enhance their flavor. Tonic water has a distinctive taste, however, so it may not be ideal as an all-purpose, everyday bubbly water; however, it can still be used occasionally in cooking or as a mixer for alcoholic beverages.

Tonic water, club soda and seltzer contain more dissolved carbon dioxide than water. The amount of dissolved carbon dioxide varies by brand, but generally speaking, the more bubbles in the drink, the more gas is dissolved in it.

Phosphoric acid is another common ingredient in tonic water and club soda. Phosphoric acid occurs naturally but also can be produced by adding lime or calcium hydroxide to either tap or bottled spring water.

During the process of carbonation, the beverage loses some of its water content.


The bubbles in tonic water, club soda and seltzer form as a result of carbon dioxide interacting with water. As a result, the bubbles are higher in tonic water than club soda or seltzer. In addition, because tonic water is flavored with quinine and sugar, it contains more dissolved gas than either club soda or seltzer.

Bubbles do not contain gas. The gas and the dissolved carbon dioxide are present in the same drink. Because of this, tonic water and seltzer are sometimes called “carbonated waters” as they both have a lot of dissolved carbon dioxide, but tonic water contains more gas.

Other Differences

Tonic water almost always has some ingredients to help control the fizz. For example, it may contain sodium saccharin or sodium benzoate, which helps prevent bitterness and off flavors; however, neither ingredient is added to club soda or seltzer. Additionally, the packaging for tonic water may include a dropper to keep the product fresh and prevent overfilling.

Club soda is sold in larger bottles and cans than tonic water. Because of this, club soda tends to be cheaper than tonic water.


Which is healthier tonic or club soda?

While both beverages contain quinine, tonic water contains added sugar, which contributes to its characteristic sweet taste. Tonic water is a type of soft drink, and club soda is not. Club soda does not contain any calories or sugar and has no effect on blood sugar levels.

Is it OK to drink tonic water daily?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t drink tonic water every day because it’s high in calories and sugar.


The most noticeable difference between tonic water and club soda is the sugar content in tonic water. The sugar is added to give it a sweet flavor. Club soda and seltzer are almost the same.

The main difference between them is that companies make seltzer by adding carbonation to normal tap water, but they make club soda by adding carbonation and minerals like potassium sulfate and sodium chloride to normal tap water.

You should use club soda when you want to add bubbles to your drink without changing it much flavor-wise, but when you want to add bubbles and some sweetness to your drink, you should use tonic water.

However, we would advise you not to always choose one over the other as that might get boring eventually. Mix them up once in a while so that you can try out different types of drinks.

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