We thought it was time to answer some standard questions we see out there regarding mixers. Much of this information is in the blogosphere already, but a maker's perspective is a bit different - so here we go.
Our first Frequently Asked Question answered is about a perennial question we hear all the time. Now that we have a club soda, we are happy to answer it;
"What is Club Soda?"
Club soda, a sparkling water with salts, is almost exclusively used only in cocktails, though we would like to see that change. Think of club soda as a mineral water built for a specific purpose. Like salt for a chef, club soda brings minerality, and flavor enhancement to the cocktail. Club soda also serves the purpose to dilute the spirit to a proof that is sippable.
Usually club sodas are NOT SALTY, but they can have Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, and other ions like Chlorides and Sulfates. We do encourage our readers to check the sodium content on their club soda! The levels are highly variable. Our club happens to be one of the lowest in sodium on the market. But it also cleverly has higher chloride content to enhance flavors. Boosted with calcium and magnesium, club soda's can be quite refreshing before, after or during a meal as a stand alone drink.
Being so mineral laden, club sodas sometimes have a little body and character like a mineral water. What is mineral water? How does mineral water differ from club soda? Glad you asked! Mineral waters are "natural", i.e. they come from the ground with the minerals already diluted in the water, and the sparkle carbonation is what is naturally present from the source. The carbonation level is usually pretty soft. Club soda on the other hand is made; it is a purified water, with salts and minerals added back to it, and carbonation is added at the beverage plant. The carbonation in club soda is usually fairly high.
New club sodas are coming to the market. And they will be built for purpose, with finer minerals, and better carbonation, the club soda market is only starting to get competitive. Is it worth spending more money on club soda? Heck yes. A good club soda has highly purified water, a select set of minerals, and brings a big snap of flavor enhancing and a sparkle; in other words it makes your cocktail taste perfect. Spend the extra few bucks, wow your friends for less than a cup of coffee....
Top Note built Club No 1 for purpose of dilution of barrel aged spirits. We studied the water chemistry in Kentucky, USA. Armed with this knowledge and our craft beer roots, we wanted to make a club soda that enhanced malty tones, and barrel aromas, while making citrus flavors pop. We find Club No 1 delicious with whiskey and lemon, as well as with vodka and a lime (or orange or grapefruit). But the real enjoyment comes just on it's own, with a splash of citrus to enjoy with dinner.
Next up -
What is Tonic Water?"