Before explaining when tonic water or club soda should be used in mixed drinks, it is important to understand the difference between these two items. . Quinine is a medicinal alkaloid that gives tonic waters a pronounced bitterness, which brands balance out by adding sugar and citrus. Club soda, like tonic water, is also carbonated, but instead of using quinine, which has a sour taste, club soda has added minerals that leave a salty taste in your mouth. , can be substituted with any other mineral water or seltzer water.
Advanced Mixology says the main deciding factor in using these mixers is their unique flavor. Tonic water has a bittersweet aroma, comes in a variety of flavors, and pairs well with gin, vodka, whiskey, rum, and tequila. Club soda, on the other hand, has a sharp, citrus flavor that makes it a perfect match for Lightning He drinks like Paloma and Tom Collins for a refreshing experience.
Food & Wine claims that incorporating a tonic into a drink can help balance overly sweet cocktails (gin and tonic is a perfect example), but club soda works well for subtle flavors.