This spring we celebrate Club Soda No. 1’s first anniversary among Top Note’s lineup of sparkling mixers! If you’ve spent this past year curious about this seemingly simple product and what makes it so interesting, you’re not alone. Here’s the rundown!
Q: What is club soda?
A: Club soda is carbonated water with added salts and minerals, including sodium, magnesium and calcium as well as chlorides, sulfates and other ions. Like salt for a chef, club soda brings minerality and flavor enhancement to cocktails and also serves to dilute the drink to a proof suitable for sipping.
Q: What is mineral water, and how is it different from club soda?
A: Like club soda and plain seltzer, mineral water is a form of sparkling water. Like club soda, it features a multitude of minerals however while club soda’s mineral content is added to the water, the mineral content of mineral water is natural. Unfortunately, mineral waters tend to clash with most cocktail ingredients, making for an unbalanced drinking experience. Club soda, on the other hand, is formulated specifically for mixing into cocktails.
Q: What made Top Note decide to produce a club soda?
A: When we set out to make club soda, we knew we had to make it different, and to really dig deep into this category of mixer. We asked ourselves, “What is club soda’s purpose?” and “How can we not only make it unique, but also better?”
The idea of making a club soda for whiskey stood out to us as unique and purpose-driven. In 2019, we began to study the water chemistry in Kentucky and tasted many different club sodas and mineral waters with a variety of whiskies. Armed with this new knowledge of water chemistry and our experience in the beer brewing industry, we developed a formula that enhanced not only the malty tones and barrel aromas of whiskey, but also succeeded in making citrus flavors pop.
Q: What makes Club No. 1 different from other club sodas on the market?
A: Lower sodium levels and higher levels of carbonation!
The levels of sodium in club soda are highly variable, and some premium-marketed club sodas have surprisingly high levels of sodium. Understanding that the average consumer actually desires less salt in their diet, we targeted lower levels of that ion, producing one of the lowest-sodium club sodas on the market. However, with lower levels of salt, we needed to come up with different ways to amplify the flavor of our club soda. We discovered that if we focused on the chloride side of the salt, we could still enhance the ion's soft, round flavors.
The carbonation in club soda is generally high, as it has to take on the dilution of alcohol and ice while still making a fizzy beverage, but we wanted to bring it to the next level. We targeted the highest carbonation levels achievable, producing a club that can hold its carbonation for days after it’s been un-capped.
Q: How can I best enjoy Club Soda No. 1?
A: Top Note Club No. 1 lifts barrel-aged spirits like scotch, bourbon, whiskey and brandy, but is also great with clear spirits like vodka and a squeeze of citrus. Check out some of our favorite club soda cocktails.
For more information on Top Note Sparkling Mixers, head to our Industry Home Page, curated just for bars, restaurants, cafes and distributors.