Club Soda Vs Tonic Water: What’s the Difference?

Club Soda Vs Tonic Water What's the Difference

Today, every health-conscious person is aware of what’s in his platter as well as glass. From paying attention to diet to substituting soda and sweetened drinks with carbonated water, people are making efforts in all the ways possible. 

Since carbonated water such as club soda and tonic water are equally hydrating and fizzy, they appeal to many. 

If you are confused between different options among carbonated water, it’s time to learn their differences for better understanding. In this article, we will compare two popular carbonated drinks, club soda and tonic water.

Keep reading! 

Difference Between Club Soda and Tonic Water

Even though both of them are carbonated water, their method of processing brings a distinct taste to them.

Club Soda

Club Soda

Club soda is made after injecting carbon dioxide gas into water (1). Additional minerals such as potassium sulfate, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate and sodium bicarbonateare are also infused that bring its unique taste. 

Different brands may use different concentrations of these minerals to make their club soda unique in taste.

Tonic Water

Tonic Water

Tonic water is known for its one-of-a-kind taste and flavor. It is made in the same way as club soda, with the only difference being that an additional compound, quinine, is added into it (1). It is extracted from the bark of cinchona trees that make tonic water slightly bitter. 

To compensate for its bitterness some brands add sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrups with high fructose. Therefore, tonic water contains calories while it is null in club soda. 

Talking about nutrients, both these carbonated waters lack them as the minerals are added only to give them taste and not nutritional benefits. 

Below is the table differentiating between club soda and tonic water based on different aspects-

FeatureClub SodaTonic Water
Base IngredientCarbonated waterCarbonated water
FlavorPlain, with no added flavors or sweetenersTypically has a bitter flavor, often with added quinine and sweeteners
Quinine ContentDoes not contain quinineContains quinine, which gives it its characteristic bitter taste
SweetnessGenerally unsweetenedMay contain added sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup or sugar
CarbonationCarbonated with carbon dioxideCarbonated with carbon dioxide
Use in CocktailsOften used as a mixer in cocktails, adds fizz and volumeCommonly used in cocktails such as gin and tonic, adds flavor and bitterness
Culinary UsesUsed as a drink mixer, in cocktails, and for hydrationPrimarily used as a mixer in cocktails, also consumed on its own
Health ConsiderationsTypically calorie-free and contains no artificial ingredientsMay contain calories and added sweeteners, so check labels for nutritional information
AvailabilityWidely available in grocery stores and supermarketsWidely available, typically found in the beverage section of stores
Cocktail PairingsSuitable for a wide range of cocktails, including highballs and spritzersSpecifically pairs well with gin in cocktails like gin and tonic
Taste ProfileRefreshing with a neutral flavorBitter and slightly sweet with a distinct flavor profile

Club Soda Vs. Tonic Water- What’s healthier?

None of the drinks are nutritional as the small amount of minerals added to them only contribute to developing taste and flavor. These minerals don’t contribute to health. 

However, since they are carbonated, they can provide relief from upset stomach. At the same time, if drinking plain water seems boring, club soda or tonic water are good alternatives to keep the body hydrated.

Do not forget that tonic water is sweetened with sugar and fructose. Thus, drinking too much can increase your calorie count as well as your blood sugar level. So, keep tonic water consumption moderate (2). 


Out of different types of carbonated water, club soda, and tonic water have gained huge popularity due to their fizz and taste. 

While club soda is infused with carbon dioxide and a few minerals to bring taste, quinine is added to tonic water, and sweeteners are introduced later to reduce the bitterness. Thus, tonic water adds calories to the body. 

What you should drink goes down to your preference. Some people may like the taste of club soda, while others may prefer tonic water more. Both are good alternatives to plain water and keep your body hydrated. But don’t forget that tonic water adds sugar, so always drink it in moderation. 

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