Battle of the Dishes: Store-Bought Seltzer


Here’s hoping that the ultra-refreshing, spigot-dispensed seltzer at Fort Defiance will kick off an old-fashioned seltzer renaissance. But until you can get that ultra-fizzy, somehow-creamy seltzer on every corner, the bodega versions will have to do. In honor of the holiday weekend, in which you may put back a bubbly drink or two, this week’s battle of the dishes pits the Canada Dry, Schweppes, and Seagram’s seltzers against each other.

The testing used chilled cans from the three different brands, because plastic bottles sometimes impart an off flavor. Which seltzer had the most vivacious bubbles and clear, clean taste? Click through to find out.

All of the seltzers looked the same on pouring, although Schweppes had bigger bubbles clinging to the sides of the glasses. The Canada Dry smelled like water, the Schweppes medicinal and the Seagram’s clean and mineral.

Canada Dry tasted fine, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. But the bubbles were strangely weak, and it didn’t have a clean taste. By contrast, the Schweppes was disgusting, with a medicinal, bitter, off flavor. Seagram’s was by far the best of a (fairly weak) bunch, with small, prickly bubbles and a clean, clear, mineral, slightly salty flavor.

All three companies were launched in the 18th and 19th centuries as carbonated water specialists or, in the case of Seagram’s, as a distillery. Now, of course, all of them are owned by huge international beverage conglomerates. Which is why we are still rooting for Walter the Seltzer Man.