Can You Tell Your Seltzer from Your Mineral Water?

(Image credit: Molly Mazilu | Flickr)

If you skip soda for any of the varieties of sparkling water available, you should know the difference between seltzer and mineral water.

Men’s Journal recently took a look at the history of mineral and other fizzy waters in Europe and the United States.

Mineral water is the original effervescent beverage, with naturally occurring bubbles. And seltzer came second, historically, as entrepreneurs in the United States tried to capitalize on the bubbly water trend even when there weren’t natural sources of it available.

Currently, mineral water is a term that’s regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and anything labeled with it must have a specific type of water source and mineral content. Seltzer, on the other hand, isn’t a regulated term, and covers all manner of sparkling beverages. The commercial seltzers you used to find at soda fountains or that were delivered to your doorstep had approximately 60 pounds of pressure; now most seltzers you’ll find on grocery store shelves have about five pounds of pressure.

Check out the full article for an even more in-depth seltzer history lesson.