Difference Between Tonic and Soda Water

Tonic and soda water are both drinks. They both have something more than just water to them.


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Both these drinks are carbonated. This means carbon dioxide is introduced or diffused in them.

They taste very different from one another. One can easily differentiate between these two drinks from their taste if not from the looks.

These drinks are often used in cocktails and mocktails as a substitute for plain water.

Tonic vs Soda Water

The difference between tonic and soda water is that tonic has quinine as its main ingredient, whereas soda water is simply carbonated water. Tonic has a bitter taste as it contains quinine, whereas soda water has no taste like that of water. There are several health benefits to tonic water when compared to soda water.

Tonic vs Soda Water

Tonic water is a popular traditional drink. It consists of quinine which has several health benefits.

It is also a carbonated drink. Tonic water was originally used to cure malaria and leg cramps.

Later it became a popular ingredient and part of cocktails. It is bitter due to the presence of quinine.

Soda water is sparkly and bubbly in nature. It is a type of carbonated drink.

It tastes like any other water available in the market. It generally does not contain any type of minerals, but this depends on the manufacturing company.

Soda water is used in cocktails and mocktails to bring fizz in the drink.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTonicSoda water
ContainsIt contains quinine as its important ingredient.It does not contain quinine.
TasteIt is usually bitter in taste due to the presence of quinine.It tastes less like that of water.
MineralsIt consists of several minerals.It usually does not contain any kind of mineral.
Benefits It was traditionally used to cure malaria. It can cure digestive problems and hence enhance digestion.
OriginIt was originated in India.It was originated in England.

What is Tonic?

Tonic water is a drink that was traditionally used to cure diseases. Its origins come from India.

In India, this drink was invented under the influence of British army officials who started mixing quinine with water and gin to cure malaria, which affected a lot of the people in India back then.

Many people started liking the taste of tonic. Soon many companies started producing this drink as it had high demands.

Later the drink was imported to different parts of the world, where it was highly appreciated. It became an important ingredient to many cocktails all over the world.

Tonic water added to drinks makes them refreshing and light. It has neither sweet nor very bitter.

Many companies that sell tonic water add fructose to it in order to balance out the bitter taste that comes from the quinine. Tonic water is mostly paired with gin and vodka.

However, it equally works well in tequila, whiskey, spirits, etc.

Many mix it with fruits and herbs give a good refreshing mocktail-like taste. Gin and Tonic is a great combo ad that is preferred by many people all around the world.

Overall, a tonic is a great ingredient with many different combinations. It does have a few health benefits, but these benefits are not enough to make it a healthy drink.

tonic water

What is Soda Water?

Soda water can also be referred to as carbonated water. It is also named fizzy water, club water, seltzer, etc.

This water does not have a typical taste to it. It is like plain water with bubbles and fizz.

The bubbles are due to the presence of carbon dioxide.

Typically, this water does not contain any type of mineral. However, many companies do include some minerals in it.

Soda water is sparkly in nature. It is refreshing and fresh in taste.

Soda water is a far healthier choice compared to other cold drinks. One can find naturally occurring carbonated drinks in the market, but they are quite different from soda water. 

Soda water is known as seltzer in the US. Soda water is also an ingredient used in flavored soda, such as cola-soda.

It is used in mocktails and cocktails as well. Soda water is a great replacement for water in whiskey and vodka.

Soda water is used in the process of baking as well; it makes cakes fluffy and soft. Soda water has several health benefits as well.

It is used to ease the process of digestion. It can help to release the trapped gas in the body.

There are no so such health risks involved with soda water.

soda water

Main Differences Between Tonic and Soda Water

  1. The tonic contains a special ingredient which is quinine, whereas soda water does not contain it.
  2. Tonic water has several minerals, whereas soda water usually does not contain any minerals. However, this does depend on the company manufacturing it.
  3. Tonic water is bitter in taste; it is made sweet with the help of fructose. Soda water does not have any taste like that of water.
  4. Tonic water is carbonated, and then quinine and gin are mixed to it, whereas soda water is plain carbonated water.
  5. Tonic water was traditionally used to cure malaria and leg cramps. Soda water can help in the digestion and swallowing of food.
Difference Between Tonic and Soda Water


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/289887
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883292708004459
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