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Is it soda water or club soda? Are they even the same thing? Though these carbonated drinks may look the same, their subtle differences in taste can affect the way your cocktails turn out. Here, we break down the bubbly.

You typically see bottles of this stuff at your grocery store (but it’s easy to make at home, too, if you have a SodaStream). Seltzer is made by adding carbon dioxide to plain ol' water, which is why it has a crisp, clean taste and goes well with other flavors like lime. Or peach. Or vodka.

Club soda
Another popular pick, club soda has a slightly saltier taste than the aforementioned seltzer, as the carbonation comes from added ingredients like potassium-bicarbonate or potassium-sulfate. However, the difference is so subtle that the two can usually be used interchangeably when mixing drinks. 

Mineral water
The priciest of the bunch (think San Pellegrino or Perrier), mineral water comes directly from springs or wells and contains naturally occurring minerals that give the water a heavier flavor than the rest. Best enjoyed solo with a festive wedge (or splash) of citrus…whilst looking out at the ocean.

Tonic water
Though it is indeed bubbly like the others, that is where the similarity ends. Tonic is typically sweetened with corn syrup (and is therefore the only one that’s not calorie free) and has a slightly bitter flavor that might not taste as great on its own (or in any old cocktail), but is a heavenly match for gin.

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