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flavored non-sweetened seltzer water?

k
katsongs Jan 16, 2010 10:29 AM

Since moving to Canada, I haven't been able to find flavored, non-sweetened seltzer water. It's really common in the U.S. -- no sweeteners (artificial or otherwise), no artificial flavorings... just seltzer water and natural fruit flavor. Anybody know if this is sold somewhere in Toronto?

  1. w
    wellred Jan 16, 2010 12:22 PM

    I moved from the US too and have been missing the same thing! The only thing I can find is flavoured Perrier (pretty common, I see it in most supermarkets) and I'm not a big fan. Whenever I go home I drink tons of flavored Poland Spring and Polar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wellred
      k
      katsongs Jan 16, 2010 04:33 PM

      We bring it back by the caseload when we drive to the U.S. for something, but that's getting old! Ironically, Canada Dry makes a line of these, but we can't find them in Canada...

    2. r
      relish Jan 17, 2010 08:07 PM

      This is probably not exactly what you are looking for, but some stores carry "Dry" brand soda, which has a very small amount of sweetening (I couldn't even detect it). It has amazing real flavours: Cucumber, Juniper Berry, Kumquat, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rhubarb.
      I am told soda water is not the same as seltzer water, but perhaps this is close enough ?
      http://www.drysoda.com/index.php

      1. p
        pastabroccoli Jan 18, 2010 08:48 AM

        I've searched high and low after moving from the States but seltzer water is not to be found. In the bubbly water world here I've found...

        > Perrier, Pelligrino, Polish brands, PC brand are all nice products. Maybe even better than seltzer. But the bottles are often big (I like the cans or 500ml bottles for portability... I don't drink it fast enough to finish a big bottle before it's flat) and the price isn't where I'd like it to be for everyday drinking.

        > Club soda. This has been a pretty good solution for me. When I want it flavoured I squeeze in some lime or lemon. PC brand is $3/12 cans, at both No Frills and Loblaws.

        > Import! Whenever I visit the States I come back with seltzer water. And whenever my parents visit they bring it with them. Now that I have a son my parents visit more and I have seltzer more regularly :P

        1. BeanerSchitzl Jan 18, 2010 10:09 AM

          Not sure if its exactly what you want, but I get Boylans Seltzer by the case from Mr. Case in Toronto. Its unsweetened just slightly lemon flavoured and very refreshing compared to pop or soda.

          http://www.mrcase.com/product_info.ph...

          3 Replies
          1. re: BeanerSchitzl
            w
            wellred Jan 18, 2010 12:23 PM

            Intriguing! I will try this out if I can find it in a smaller quantity. Thanks.

            1. re: wellred
              d
              daimon4 Jan 18, 2010 01:44 PM

              Boylans is what you're looking for. They make a lemon seltzer (yellow writing on the bottle) but also have a plain seltzer (blue writing). Have seen it in toronto but can't remember where. Perhaps try a large grocery store that caters to the Jewish community--I think it's kosher.
              There is a thread on this board from not too long ago called "Boylan's Diet Black Cherry" that talks about where to find Boylan's in Toronto.

              1. re: daimon4
                m
                Marumari Feb 15, 2010 05:01 PM

                I got a bottle of orange seltzer from The Big Carrot on the Danforth recently. I don't remember the brand, but it could have been Boylan's.
                Back when I was a kid, one of my favourites was New York Seltzer, which I believe were slightly sweetened.

          2. t
            toveggiegirl Jan 18, 2010 02:32 PM

            President's Choice makes seltzer, both plain and lemon (or lime, I can't remember) flavours. Jewish stores sell seltzer too.

            4 Replies
            1. re: toveggiegirl
              k
              katsongs Jan 18, 2010 04:01 PM

              Thanks for all your responses. Beaner & Daemon -- sadly, lemon is one of the flavors I can't stand. Wellred & Pasta -- glad to know I'm not the only one missing this! I'm really baffled as to why this isn't more readily available in Canada... in the U.S., many of the grocery stores even have their own store brand of really cheap fizzy water with natural flavorings -- everything from mandarin orange to cranberry-lime to raspberry. When I decided to stop drinking soda years ago (because I wanted to reduce my sugar intake and didn't want to use artificial sweeteners), these were what I substituted. Guess I will continue hauling them back from south of the border... but I will try the checking with the Jewish grocery stores.

              1. re: katsongs
                Wahooty Jan 18, 2010 04:30 PM

                kat, one thing I do a lot when I want a beverage with flavor but not sugar is add a couple of dashes of bitters to club soda. If you have a couple of different flavors around, you can have some variety from drink-to-drink without having several bottles of seltzer in your fridge. Lately, I've been hitting my bottles of Fee's orange and peach bitters pretty hard for this purpose, but Angostura is also quite nice.

                That being said, PC does make both lemon and lime unsweetened club sodas mentioned above, as well as cucumber and a blueberry-pomegranate. My NoFrills has the lemon and the lime, and used to carry the cucumber, but cleared it out since I think I'm the only one who was buying it. :)

                1. re: katsongs
                  e
                  embee Jan 18, 2010 04:31 PM

                  The pop companies seem to have convinced the major retailers that Canadians don't like carbonated beverages. It's not quite - but almost - impossible to find chilled plain carbonated water (forget flavoured) or club soda anywhere in the GTA.

                  I've seen convenience stores with up to 8 full size double door fridges, an infinite selection of bottled flat waters (sweetened, flavoured, and/or plain) and "energy drinks, and not one carbonated variety other than, perhaps, Perrier. When a store does stock cans of plain Canada Dry club soda, they sell out in a flash.

                  The supermarkets do carry a few things, but Perrier is the only brand of unsweetened, flavoured fizzy water that's widely available. Most of the other options are really vile. There are some good tasting PC (lightly) fizzy waters with natural flavours (imported from Italy), but they are all sweetened.

                  Seltzer is more widely available than you may realize. Some of the supermarket brands of "club soda" are actually seltzer, though you'd need to add your own flavours. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think that the Metro and Sobey's club sodas are actually seltzer (albeit quite flat). The PC club sodas are not seltzer - one type contains a sodium salt and the other contains potassium.

                  THE kosher store is the Clark Av Sobey's in Thornhill. Other possibilities include Daiter's and Kosher City Plus on Bathurst and the Metro at Lawrence Plaza.

                  You ideal solution may be the Soadstream system. I used to recommend it highly, but find their current delivery/exchange method ridiculous and their current Canadian pricing a joke. Nevertheless, you should check it out (sodastream.ca). It's certainly easier than hauling cases of water from the States.

                  1. re: embee
                    f
                    FrenchSoda Feb 16, 2010 08:08 AM

                    Agreed. There are any number of lovely sodas available in other provinces or countries which are impossible or difficult to find here. Oh Raspberry Ginger Ale from BC, how I miss you. Agrum by Schweppes from France, won't you join us over here?

                    Neither of these are the non-sweeneted type from the original post, but I fully agree on the scarcity of carbonated beverages in Ontario.

              2. k
                katsongs Feb 15, 2010 10:35 AM

                Wanted to give you all an update -- we just bought the Sodastream machine and we're really happy with it! (http://www.sodastream.ca/). We got the "Genesis" model -- $169 included the machine, two hard plastic 1 liter bottles, and a 60 liter carbonator. We bought an extra carbonator for $35 because we drink so much, and then when it's time to refill the canisters, it'll be $19.99 each.

                You can order online and do exchanges by mail, but we went to one of the Toronto retailers instead (list for Ontario: http://www.sodastream.ca/shop/retaile...).

                For flavoring, we're going to try the MyWater flavorings -- they're unsweetened, all natural flavor essences (no calories, no sodium, no artificial anything), but we didn't get them yet. (You can order them through Sodastream.) In the meantime, we've been happy using just a bit of orange extract to flavor the water. We've heard that other people like to add a little bit of concentrated fruit juice.

                We've just had it for a couple of days and love it. Pretty small footprint in the kitchen, really easy to use, really fast, and way better than hauling the stuff up from the U.S.!

                2 Replies
                1. re: katsongs
                  Olivia Feb 15, 2010 10:59 AM

                  Intriguing. I've been adding my own homemade syrups to club soda, but this sounds like a step up from that. Didn't realize a home carbonation system could be had for that price point.

                  1. re: katsongs
                    s
                    stephen Feb 16, 2010 05:09 AM

                    Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

                    Just can't understand why this type of product is so common in the states and yet so hard to come by here in the GTA. I lived in Manhattan for ten years and lived on bottled flavored unsweetened seltzer. Some brands were as little as .39 cents a bottle as I recall...

                  2. p
                    padulo Apr 9, 2010 11:14 AM

                    President Choice has REAL Seltzer, it's under their blue menu label.

                    99 cents for one liter. The taste is great like in the States.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: padulo
                      sweetie Apr 9, 2010 12:10 PM

                      I second that. I don't know what US seltzer tastes like but I love the lime flavour seltzer from the PC blue line.

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