tonic water vs sparkling water

Tonic Water vs Soda Water

6 min read

With all the buzz about sparkling or soda water, by now, you’ve probably heard about SodaStream, the leading brand in sparkling and flavored sparkling water, as well as other popular alternatives, especially if you are a fan of carbonated drinks. But sometimes, with all these different terms, you wonder, should you go with tonic or soda water? The reason why today, we’ll be talking to you about this predicament, tonic water vs. sparkling water.

While fizzy water is environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and plain delicious, there are other alternatives such as tonic water, but what are their benefits, or which would be better for your health and your pocket. Glad you asked because there are significant differences between these two.

It comes down to personal preference; however, if you are picky with your drinks and enjoy a specific flavor, it is essential to learn the difference between these carbonated drinks and what should be mixed with what. Scroll down and discover what’s the deal behind tonic water vs. sparkling water, as well as options for you to choose from.

Tonic Water vs Soda Water FAQs

What is sparkling water?

Sparkling water is just naturally or unnaturally carbonated water, and it does not contain additional preservatives or compounds. It is similar to seltzer water. Naturally, carbonated water is mineral water carbonated from naturally occurring gases, while unnaturally carbonated water may be mineral water or another type of water, tap or bottled, with added carbonation. You can make sparkling water on your own with a soda siphon.

What is tonic water?

In its simplest form, tonic water is carbonated water with high-fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, and quinine (a naturally occurring compound) that adds to its flavor and calorie count. Tonic water is excellent in the classic Gin and tonic or vodka tonic.

Tonic water vs Soda water? Can you replace soda water with tonic?

The answer is a resounding no. Club soda and seltzer water can be used interchangeably with little to no flavor change, but tonic water should not substitute club soda or seltzer. With its distinct bitter or citrus flavor, tonic water may drastically affect the taste of the drink you are trying to make.

Is tonic water bad for you?

Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that may contain sugar and has little nutritional value. The quinine present in tonic water provides a distinctive bitter flavor. While not dangerous, tonic water does not have any benefits and could unnecessarily increase calorie consumption.

What makes tonic water bitter?

Like soda water, tonic water is a carbonated soft drink. However, quinine is dissolved in tonic water. To put it simply, it’s a bitter alkaloid that’s used to enhance flavor. With quinine added to tonic water, a distinct bitter taste is developed. This bitter taste of tonic water pairs well with Gin. Thus, a dynamic duo was born.

Why is soda water bad for you?

No evidence suggests that carbonated or sparkling water is bad for you. It’s not that harmful to dental health, and it seems not to affect bone health. Interestingly, a carbonated drink may even enhance digestion by improving swallowing ability and reducing constipation.

Is Gin better with tonic or soda water?

According to experts, a gin and soda will let the botanicals of the specific Gin come through more noticeably. It’s better if you want to taste the subtleties of the Gin. Tonic will give you that extra bitter hit but also sweetens the drink. It highlights the spirit you’re drinking and lightens it up.

Can you substitute tonic water?

You can replace tonic water with other flavored clear and carbonated beverages. Store-bought, lemon-lime soda works as a comparable substitute for tonic water. Lemon-lime soda looks like tonic water but is sweeter. If you find that it is too sweet for what you are making, try using a diet or sugar-free variety.

When to use soda water and tonic water?

  • Choose soda water if you prefer a simple-tasting carbonated drink when you need a versatile beverage or when you want an alternative hydration source.
  • Use tonic water if you enjoy a bitter taste and sweet contrast. If you want to try a new soft drink.
    When you like experimenting with flavor combinations of tonic and liquors.

Tonic Water vs Sparkling Water

  • Taste. Tonic water is pretty bitter, and it’s known for its distinct flavor. On the other hand, soda water utilizes pressurized carbon dioxide gas.
  • Carbonation. Tonic water is pretty different compared to most bubbly, carbonated waters. In addition to its distinct taste, tonic water contains calories, unlike the other types of water.
  • Nutritional content. Tonic water is a healthy alternative to soda in terms of health benefits. However, the added sugar starts to add up when you find yourself on your second or third Gin and tonic.
  • Calories. While tonic water has calories, soda water is shown to increase a hunger hormone, ghrelin. With increased ghrelin levels, a person feels hungrier and will munch on more food. This can lead to weight gain.

Q Mixers Tonic Water, Premium Tonic Water

Made with real Quinine from Peru and Organic Agave, Q Tonic Water is less sweet, so the subtleties of an excellent spirit shine through.

Q Tonic Water has a sharp flavor and high carbonation and complements great spirits rather than overpowering them.

More carbonation, so your favorite drink stays fizzier longer.

tonic water vs soda water: Q Mixers Tonic Water, Premium Tonic Water


  • Crisp
  • Highly carbonated
  • Dry

East Imperial Premium Tonic Water

Crafted most elegantly, this tonic water captures the contemporary taste of tonic and is rounded out with top notes of Thai lemongrass and Manao lime.

Javanese quinine blended with the finest botanicals. No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Warm and spicy with a hint of cinnamon on the palate. The finish is fresh, delicate, and full of zest from Manao Lime.

tonic water vs soda water: East Imperial Premium Tonic Water


  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • No sweeteners or preservatives

Fever-Tree Tonic Water Glass Bottles

By blending the essential oils from handpicked English elderflowers with quinine of the highest quality from the ‘fever trees’ of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we created a delicious, floral variation of our Indian tonic water.

The delicate and sweet flavor of elderflower is perfectly balanced by the soft bitterness of the quinine, which pairs perfectly with fresh and floral gins and premium vodkas.

Made with handpicked elderflowers from a small farm in Gloucestershire, England, this Elderflower Tonic has a slightly sweet floral aroma. A smooth, silky texture created by the tiny, perfectly formed bubbles, perfect in a Gin and Tonic, Vodka and Tonic, or simply as a sophisticated soft drink on its own.

tonic water vs soda water: Fever-Tree Tonic Water Glass Bottles


  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors
  • No preservative

bubly Sparkling Water, Passionfruit Bliss

bubly sparkling water combines refreshing, crisp sparkling water with great tasting, natural flavors perfect for any occasion.

With 0 calories and 0 sweeteners, bubly sparkling water is sure to put a smile on your face. Refreshing, crisp Bubly sparkling water with great tasting, natural flavors; each flavor comes with a different smile and greeting to match its unique personality.

 tonic water vs soda water: bubly Sparkling Water, Passionfruit Bliss


  • No calories
  • No sweeteners

La Croix Sparkling Water – Lemon

Natural lemon-flavored sparkling water, really refreshing. LaCroix is the best-selling domestic sparkling water brand.

LaCroix has the distinction of being the number one sparkling water brand sold in cans. 100% natural sparkling waters with a hint of all-natural flavor essences derived from the named fruit.

This naturally essenced carbonated water is tart and refreshing, delicious and healthy, and did we mention it has a great taste!

tonic water vs soda water: La Croix Sparkling Water - Lemon


  • No calories
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No sodium

Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water

PERRIER Carbonated Mineral Water inspires the imagination and stimulates the senses. A sparkling fusion of air and water, PERRIER has been bottled in the South of France since 1863.

The bubbles and unique mineral blend make for a great taste that thoroughly quenches thirst with zero calories or sweeteners.

It’s a beautiful choice to add zest to your morning or serve as an afternoon refresher. You can count on PERRIER Carbonated Mineral Water to satisfy your thirst for the extraordinary.

tonic water vs soda water: Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water


  • Zero calories
  • Zero sweeteners

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