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Do you have a preferred brand of naturally carbonated sparkling water?

As far as I know, the following brands are naturally carbonated:

- Apollinaris

- Badoit

- Gerolsteiner

- Wattwiller

- Ferrarelle

- Borsec

Are there others?

Do you have a preference?

I really like Badoit and Borsec, but haven't tried enough of the others to say definitively of any preference.

(Note, I don't consider Perrier "naturally carbonated" anymore, given the new production method extracting carbonation and water separately and then combining the two.)

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  1. I'm very curious to see if people have a preference and why. I'm an inveterate Pellegrino drinker, despite its being... un-naturally carbonated, I guess? ;) But I love sparkling water generally and I'm interested to know if I've been missing out on something really wonderful.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LauraGrace

      Same here with San P., though I generally choose the Whole Foods version for home consumption (a rarity). Interesting thread. I never thought of whether San P. was *naturally* carbonated before.

      1. re: Jay F

        I do really like the WF brand of sparkling mineral water. Wish I had a third tap in my kitchen that piped that stuff!

      2. re: LauraGrace

        To me, it's like using a salt mill - there's no explicable difference between pre-ground salt and chunks of "sea salt" but it seems to be a "purer" act when the middleman is eliminated (never mind that the larger granules need to be "ground" to get them to a uniform size in the first place).

        Adding CO2 to water after the fact has never appeared un-natural to me. My father, born in Eastern Europe and living there half his life considered a soda syphon to be the standard for making sparkling water. I think we tend to blow it out of proportion.

      3. Are you including mineral waters?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Quine

          Only if they are naturally carbonated from the mineral springs.

        2. Missus and I have been enjoying Topo Chico, which is a Mexican soda water. I believe it's naturally carbonated, but won't promise it is.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gilintx

            I don't believe Topo Chico is naturally carbonated.

          2. I like Perrier anyhow but San Pellegrino would be my choice.
            Badoit is too soapy.

            1. In the States, use SP or the W(T)F equivalent, always glass not plastic as the plastic loses it's fizz very quickly. In France drink Chateldun, if you try it once, it is hard to go back. Expensive tho'

              2 Replies
              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                San Pellegrino and WF are not naturally carbonated.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  funny thing both mr. alka and i noticed just last week: after lunchtime, i'd bought a plastic bottle of SP at a 7-11. we drank it over the next ½ hour. then, after it was emptied, i refilled it part way from a water fountain. when i drank some, i noticed that it had some spritz, and thought to myself that it was odd, and…had i imagined it? then, without me having said anything, my husband drank some, and remarked, "hey, this has some fizz!"

                  did the Co2 permeate into the plastic, which fizz then became introduced to the still water? it was a neat phenomenon.

                  ps. i'm all in with the idea of having a mineral water tap in the kitchen. entrepenueurs out there….help us poor sods.

                2. Appollinaris has very small but intense bubbles and a strong mineral component that is distinctive...some might find the taste a little aggressive.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: penthouse pup

                    I actually like it. It has a slight...tang. gerolsteineris a little milder, but I find myself buying Apollinaris more often.

                  2. Most often I drink San Pelegrino because it's readily available and I like the smaller bubbles and more minerally taste. I'm with others, if I could have a tap in my kitchen for SP I would be in heaven.

                    Perrier has larger bubbles (almost like club soda) that I don't care for. Obviously I love and drink a lot of seltzer but if I'm paying for fancy water I'd drink plain seltzer over Perrier which tastes the same to me.

                    I really have gotten into Gerolsteiner recently. By far it has the cleanest taste of any of these. I assume it's lower in certain minerals but it's also a very soft water with medium size bubbles. I would say Gerolsteiner would be the perfect water to cleanse the palate between taste tests or wine tasting.

                    Badoit is meh to me, Apollinaris is too expensive (twice the price of SP where I live). I haven't tried the last three on your list but I will definitely look for them. Now I am in the process of figuring out if investing in a soda stream (not crazy about plastic bottles) or an iSi soda maker would be worth it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Klunco

                      My water of choice is either Borjomi or Nabeglavi, both from Geogia (the country, not the state) but, fair warning, it is somewhat of an aquired taste (many people find both unbearably salty).
                      Mention should also be made of Souroti, a mineral water from Greece. This is actually double carbonated (it's carbonated artificially but the water was already naturally carbonated when it came out of the ground. It's not one of my favorites (I find it a little harsh) but if you like your water really really fizzy, it might be the one for you.

                    2. Although artificially carbonated, by choice is S. Pellegrino....good buy at Costco.

                      1. Although my favorite tasting sparkly beverage is Topo Chico, I am on a new kick of finding the most healthy water that packs the biggest punch in mineral content. So far, the most nutritious naturally sparkling water with the least sodium and the most calcium and magnesium available in my area, is Garolsteiner.I like the taste, but it doesn't have that super-effervescent mouth feel and satisfying thirst quenching that Topo Chico has for me. Still, the more I investigate the health benefits of mineral water, the more I am glad to be addicted to it!

                        1. Gerolsteiner's the best, hands down, but it's even more expensive here than S. Pellegrino (which has the highest levels of uranium! according to recent tests of a number of bottled waters in Europe).

                          I'm thinking of getting a soda stream. Bottled water is an environmental disaster, glass or plastic.

                          I know it won't taste the same but it'll save a buttload of moolah.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: linguafood

                            I love my soda stream. One of the best purchases I have made, but I've been a fan of seltzer for a long time.

                            1. re: linguafood

                              +1 for Gerolsteiner. It is my absolute favorite. It even helps to settle my stomach when I've indulged in too much food and/drink. At least I think it helps- it could just be wishful thinking to justify the cost!

                              1. re: linguafood

                                check out how much fizzing up a liter of water costs with the sodastream. i bought something similar (isi) at a williams-sonoma, and it took one entire small co2 canister http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... for something like ¾ liter of water. i returned it.

                                i see they don't even sell the water fizzer anymore! no wonder, i thought it was bogus, for the price.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Well, not having done the math or anything (mostly b/c I really, really suck at math) -- let's see.

                                  One case of Pellegrino = 12 bottles à .75 l at $12.99 used to last anywhere between 2-3 days in our household.

                                  One carbon canister = $14.99 lasts about a month or at least 3 weeks, and we drink a LOT of water (we always have five 1 l bottles in the fridge at any given time).

                                  So, given my admittedly very very fuzzy math, the sodastream saves us gobs and gobs of money. Please feel free to prove me wrong '-)

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    my little canisters only charged less than one liter each in the "isi" kit. i did not feel it was a good value.

                                    so you already have the sodastream, and find that it costs $14.99 per 3-4 weeks? that would make sense if that is the actual cost.

                              2. I have absolutely no preference and, in a restaurant, will happily drink whatever is on offer, whether naturally carbonated or not.

                                We are even more down market at home. Supermarket sells unbranded 2 litre bottles for 18p (29 US cents; 22 Euro cents)

                                With regard to the branded products, I confess to not being able to detect differences in taste and regard sparkling water as pretty much being sparkling water. With the exception of Vichy Catalan which, IIRC, has a sort of very unpleasant soapy flavour