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Seltzer or club soda? What do you call it?

  • m

When I was a child, we drank seltzer. I discovered however, that most everyone else called it either club soda or sparkling water. I finally realized that it ust be a regional thing. And, although I was born and raised in Los Angeles, my dad is from Philly and I must ave picked up 'seltzer' from him. So now I'm wondering, where are you and what do you call it? Seltzer? Club soda? Sparkling water?

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  1. There was once a distinction in that club sodas had an appreciable sodium content whereas seltzer did not. Don't know if that still holds true.

    1. Club soda is different than seltzer. Club has sodium, seltzer does not.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alan408

        Which makes SELTZER a misnomer, since the root seltz (saltz in German or Yiddish) means SALT.

      2. I now live on West Coast and call it club soda but when I lived in NYC I called it "seltzer"

        1 Reply
        1. re: foufou

          Re the sodium, that may be the case in some places, but here in LA, if club soda doesn't have sodium, it's either called sodium free club soda, or sparkling water. Never seltzer as I was raised to call it.

        2. Seltzer, though some folks then say, do you mean club soda?

          1. They sell both in stores around here so I imagine there's a difference between them.

            1. Where I am, we call it "soda water" (as it has bicarbonate of soda in it)

              Sparkling water is, erm, water that's been carbonated. Different beast altogether. Seltzer isnt a word in common usage here (except in the context of the hangover alleviating product Alka-Seltzer)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Harters

                I've also usually called it soda water.

              2. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, NY, we'd get a weekly seltzer delivery. Seltzer came in charged, returnable "squirt bottles." I'm sure it was nothing more than plain water, carbonated. These days, when I buy it for home consumption, I buy "seltzer" because it's sodium-free. When I order it in a restaurant or bar, I ask for "club soda" because I just assume they don't have seltzer. To my way of thinking, "sparkling water" is yet a different product -- to me it's a fizzy bottled mineral water like Pellegrino or Perrier. And if I were traveling in Europe, I'd order my water "with gas" if I wanted it fizzy.

                I remember when, back in the day, at Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn, they called it a "two cents plain."

                5 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    or their famous Chinese Roast Pork on a bun????????????

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      I must admit, I don't remember that. But I don't think we ever went to Jahn's for anything but ice cream, and it was ALWAYS a very special treat.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      <SMILE> Only once -- it was on my birthday and my parents took me and a bunch of my friends. I think you'd get a free sundae if it was your birthday, but we ordered the Kitchen Sink. What a wonderful, gooey, gloppy mess! I also remember feeding nickles into that old time whatever-you-call-it music machine.

                    3. re: CindyJ

                      I went to the Jahn's on 86th Street (Bensonhurst) a few times and couldn't imagine anyone ordering the Kitchen Sink. Even tho it was always with a large group of friends, we always ordered our own sundaies.

                      I miss those old-fashioned ice cream parlours, wish there were more around. Great times!