Sparkling water, sometimes referred to as soda water or seltzer, is a refreshing and popular beverage choice. It is simply plain water with added carbon dioxide that gives it its distinct bubbly character.
While it can be an enjoyable beverage choice for many, some people find the taste off-putting or even unpleasant. Understanding the unique properties of sparkling water that differentiate from regular tap or filtered water can help provide insight into why some people may dislike its flavor.
What is sparkling water?
Sparkling water, also known as soda water or seltzer water, is simply water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas gives the water a signature bubbly, carbonated taste. While some people enjoy the taste of sparkling water, others may find it to be too harsh or unpleasant.
In this article, we will discuss the origin and taste of sparkling water, as well as some tips on how to make it more enjoyable to drink:
The process of making sparkling water
Sparkling water is made using carbon dioxide, a gas that’s naturally present in the atmosphere. During the carbonation process, the gas is injected into regular drinking water, giving it its unique bubbly taste and texture. This process also results in a slightly acidic drink with a pH level of around 5.5 to 6.5, depending on the amount of carbon dioxide used and how much additional minerals were added during production.
The sparkling water production process is fairly straightforward and begins with purifying regular drinking water until it meets certain purity standards regulated by governments or health organizations. Carbon dioxide is then injected into the clean drinking water under high pressure to create carbonic acid which gives the drink its distinct flavor and effervescent effect. Mineral salts such as sodium bicarbonate can also be added during this step to boost flavor and help balance out some of its natural acidity levels. Once mixed together, these ingredients are encased in separate chambers where they are left to settle for a few hours before being packaged for sale or distribution.
The ingredients used in making sparkling water
Sparkling water is made from carbon dioxide and water, which are combined in a process that forces the CO2 molecules into hundreds of tiny bubbles. The intensity of the bubbly texture depends on the amount of CO2 added to the water. Generally, it contains fewer than four grams per liter of dissolved CO2, which is considered to be a low carbonation level.
The ingredients used in making sparkling water vary based on what type you choose and who makes it. For example, many companies now offer sparkling waters with added flavors or nutrients. These can include:
- Natural fruit extracts such as raspberry, lemon and orange;
- Essential oils such as mint and bergamot; and
- Vitamins such as B vitamins along with other minerals like magnesium and potassium.
It’s also important to remember that many brands of sparkling water add sugar or other sweeteners for flavor enhancement – something that you should be aware of if you want to make a healthier choice or are on a specific diet. Additionally, some types may contain certain preservatives or other ingredients used for shelf-stability purposes, so it’s always best to read labels before purchasing any type of sparkling water.
Why does sparkling water taste bad?
Sparkling water has become a popular beverage recently yet many people find its taste off-putting. It can have a bitter taste or an unpleasant aftertaste.
There are a few possible explanations for why sparkling water can taste bad. We’ll look at the science behind this phenomenon, as well as what you can do to make the taste more palatable:
The carbon dioxide in sparkling water
A lot of people don’t like the taste of sparkling water because they’re not used to it. Sparkling water typically has added carbon dioxide gas which is the cause of the fizzy or bubbly texture, but it also affects the flavor of it. This gas, while helping to make up the fizziness, creates a slightly sour and acidic taste which some people find unpleasant.
As well as the added carbon dioxide, sparkling water may contain other artificial sugars and flavors in order to make it more palatable for certain consumers. However, artificial sugar and flavors can often overwhelm other subtle tastes in sparkling water leading many to find it tasting too sweet or fruity as a result.
The carbon dioxide in sparkling water reacts with your taste buds differently than plain tap or filtered drinking water does. When people initially drink sparkling water for the first time, this reaction can be enough to turn them off from ever wanting to try it again. Since taste is largely subjective, it’s important that you try out different brands and types until you find one that suits your tastes best.
The artificial sweeteners used in sparkling water
Sparkling water can be an acquired taste for some. The artificial sweeteners used in many sparkling water ades lead to a metallic or bitter taste. While flavoring in sparkling water can mask the taste of the sweetener, this does not mean that the sweetener is not present. For those who enjoy sparkling waters, lower sugar versions are available, which use noncaloric or non-nutritive sugars that are unlikely to affect flavor as much as traditional sugar and corn syrup found in higher sugar versions.
In addition to artificial sweeteners, other ingredients often give sparkling water a less than pleasant taste. Many brands include potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate, preservatives commonly used in carbonated beverages and foods such as juice. These preservatives are thought to have an acidic taste which can interfere with the sense of smell once opened–leading to a somewhat unpleasant experience with fizzy drinks.
The obvious solution is to choose a brand with minimal artificial ingredients; however, some believe carbonation is partly responsible for causing that off-putting taste sensation which has been associated with sparkling water. Carbon dioxide reacts differently when mixed with saliva than plain tap or bottled water does–creating an effect of tingling on your tongue due to stimulation of nerve endings within mucous membranes resulting in acidic tasting frequency differences. This effect is usually more noticeable when drinking colder beverages or quickly sipping from an open bottle or can of the beverage.
To reduce the amount of bubbles reaching your tongue it may be useful to:
- Leave bottles open for five minutes prior to drinking
- Drink from a straw placed near the bottom where fewer bubbles reside
Both tactics will help reduce bubbly tingle on your tongue when drinking any type of carbonated beverage including flavored sparkling waters and sodas alike!
The lack of minerals in sparkling water
One of the primary factors behind why sparkling water tastes bad is because it lacks minerals that are normally present in still water. Minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium help give still water its distinctive and pleasant taste. Through a process of carbonation, these minerals are removed from natural spring or underground sourced sparkling waters leaving them with a flat or unpleasant taste. Additionally, some sparkling waters may pick up an odd taste from plastic containers in which they’re often stored and bottled.
Manufacturers have begun to address the undesirable effects of mineral-free sparkling waters by adding artificial sweeteners, natural flavors and acidifiers to replicate the pleasant-tasting effects of naturally occurring minerals. However, depending on what you’re looking for in your beverage – this may not be ideal as it may affect both nutrition and flavor ratings.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for something with a great taste that’s enjoyable to have on its own – we recommend sticking with regular tap or spring water over its naturally bland counterparts like carbonated beverages or mineral free sparkling waters.
How to make sparkling water taste better
Sparkling water is a popular alternative to sugary soft drinks, yet many people find it difficult to enjoy the taste of carbonated water. If you’re someone who struggles to enjoy the taste of sparkling water, don’t worry!
There are simple steps that you can take to make your sparkling water taste much better. In this article, we will discuss how to make your sparkling water taste better and enjoy it:
Add natural flavors to sparkling water
Adding natural flavors is one of the best ways to make sparkling water taste better. Natural flavors come from real fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and other botanicals. These ingredients will infuse your sparkling water with a pleasant aroma and substitute the otherwise flat-tasting beverage.
One of the simplest ways to enhance sparkling water is to add slices of citrus fruits such as oranges and limes. Although citrus flavors are popular, you don’t have to limit yourself there; try planting a small herb garden so you always have an assortment of fresh flavors for your bubbly beverage.
Fresh fruits can also be added directly into your sparkling water for more intense flavor. Soft fruits like strawberries and raspberries work great because they won’t overpower the light bubbles in sparkling water – but harder fruits like apples and pears are good too if cut up small enough.
For a special treat, freeze cubed fruit in ice cube trays or an ice cream maker to create “fruit clouds” that you can float in your drink. They taste delicious and look beautiful! You can also steep ingredients such as lavender or rose petals for subtle flavor changes; just remember if you use any sweeteners (honey or sugar) that these may not dissolve completely so be sure to stir them before drinking.
Add a squeeze of lemon or lime
Adding a squeeze of citrus to sparkling water can make it much more refreshing and enjoyable. The bright, tart flavor of lemons and limes helps to break through the blandness of plain sparkling water, while also adding some healthy vitamins and minerals. Citrus slices also look great in a glass, adding a touch of decoration as well as flavor.
If you’re feeling creative, there are plenty of other fruits that work well with sparkling water too. Try orange or grapefruit wedges, pomegranate arils or even slices of fresh ginger for an interesting flavor twist. If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter, add some fresh berries like raspberries or blueberries for natural sweetness and color.
You can also try adding herbs to your sparkling water for an earthy aromatics – basil, mint and rosemary all work especially well because their flavors stand out from the light carbonation of the beverage. Just remember that herbal flavors can be potent – use them sparingly so you don’t overpower the taste of the beverage itself.
No matter what flavors you choose, don’t be afraid to experiment! With so many possibilities at your fingertips, chances are good that you will find one (or many) combinations that make your sparkling water taste delicious – without having to rely on added sugars or syrups!
Add a pinch of salt
If you’ve ever taken a sip of sparkling water and found it to be a bit too harsh or with an unpleasant aftertaste, adding a pinch of salt can help. The flavors in the water will be softened and enhanced, making it taste more like water you’d find in nature. Plus, adding a little bit of sodium is actually good for your health – electrolytes like sodium help maintain the balance of fluids in your body and keep your organs functioning properly.
There are several ways to add salt to sparkling water. You can use coarse salt or fine table salt – just make sure not to overdo it. A pinch should do the trick. You can also try adding some fresh citrus fruit such as lemons, limes or oranges – these will give that extra zing of flavor without sacrificing any health benefits associated with the water. Another great way to make sparkling water tastier is by mixing in flavors from natural ingredients such as fruits, herbs, spices and teas – this will give you endless possibilities for creating new and exciting flavors!
In conclusion, sparkling water can be an acquired taste for many consumers, due to its strong bubble-producing agents and the high levels of carbon dioxide it usually contains. These factors lead to an unpleasant, acidic taste that has turned off many potential sparkling water drinkers. However, carbonated water still offers plenty of health benefits and with enough adjustments to the taste and bubbles it can be a refreshing treat.
Experimentation with adjustable jettison systems or recipe alterations can help sweeten up any unflavored soda or mineral water’s flavor profile so it can become something worth drinking rather than just trying once and immediately dismissing. With the right amount of fizz, bubbly flavor and added sweetness you won’t have any trouble liking sparkling water again.