Seltzer’s History from Natural to Manmade Carbonated Water

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Seltzer is a generic term used for soda water or carbonated water. Originally, it was a brand of naturally carbonated water that came from Germany [Niederselters]. When was carbonated water invented?

Nielderselters had natural springs with high carbonation and low mineral content. In 1787, naturally carbonated water got bottled and sold. Immigrants brought it to the US from Europe. Soda water makers in Europe and the US saturated water with carbon dioxide & minerals to create a Seltzer Water version. Thus it became a generic name for every kind of carbonated water.

Seltzer was not trademarked, so anyone used it on their labels. It has been a hot topic for debate about its alleged health benefits.

Let’s look at how Seltzer progressed from naturally carbonated water to the invention of manmade carbonated water

The 1700s – How Seltzer got the name?

Spa culture originated among the rich class in Modern Europe. Spa towns got established around the natural mineral springs, where doctors believed could heal ailments ranging from gout to indigestion to kidney issues. Niederselters was a German spa town that started bottling and exporting Seltzer water in 1787. The US also started developing its spa report. During this time, a chemist from England impregnated water with carbonated water but his version was not able to treat scurvy but this innovation started an entire sector of Seltzer bottlers and makers.

The 1800s – Spa’s enter the city

The drugstore soda fountain got launched to allow spa water benefits to urban Americans. Customers’ demand made the Pharmacists add flavors like lemon to make the taste of Seltzer better.

1900s – Seltzer gets social

In the 18th & 19th centuries, Seltzer was about health but in the 20th century, it promised pleasure. As alcohol got prohibited, carbonated flavored beverages took over. Bars stayed open and started soda fountains. Perrier arrived in 1976 on the American shore, when American elites got concerned about municipal tap water purity. Thus American-made Seltzers re-entered the market in 1979.

The 2000s – Seltzer regained interest

Around 2015, Americans were searching for a healthy and refreshing alternative for coffee and Seltzer & soda suddenly grabbed their attention.

Seltzers have always been a healthy option. First spa waters were superior to contaminated city water then soda fountain bubbly drinks were regarded to be better than alcohol and today the flavored seltzers are perceived as a healthy substitute to sugary sodas like Pepsi and Coke.


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