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#1
Old 06-04-2008, 02:55 PM
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Why is it so difficult to buy carbonated water?

Why is it so difficult to buy carbonated water? My entire household likes it and we want to buy about 20 to 30 liters a week, and for years I've been buying Canada Dry brand "Seltzer" at a local liquor store. But Canada Dry's local salesman told the store owner a few weeks ago that the company is no longer selling carbonated water in the eastern United States. Now the salesman won't return his calls and the Canada Dry's corporate office won't answer his questions, telling him instead that he needs to cultivate a better relationship with the salesman. It's become so difficult that he's dropping Canada Dry products from his store altogether now.

He's tried to get me Schweppe's, but their parent company will not agree to distrubute product to him.

We've tried Vintage brand in the past, but kept getting flat cases - that is, the carbonation has leaked out of the bottle. We're going to try that again but I have little hope for success.

I can buy it at grocery stores but that requires a lot of trips, a lot of waits in long checkout lines (I almost never get through the line in less than 20 minutes), and dealing with loose bottles in flimsy bags that tear and dump bottles everywhere. I think I'd stop consuming the product before I go to that much trouble. I have ordered case quantities of carbonated water at 3 different grocery stores but each time received mostly flat cases. Don't know why they all did that, but it doesn't look like a realistic option.

And even when it was not difficult to buy, for some reason it is generally more expensive than soda pop, which is the same product with corn syrup and dye and flavoring added. Sometimes it's as much as about three times more expensive. Corn syrup may be kind of unappealing, but it's a surprise that companies are willing to pay money to dispose of it.

The product I'm talking about here is, technically, water with carbon dioxide dissolved in it and nothing else. Its naming varies from place to place. My local liquor store owner just tried ordering me 3 cases from some division of Pepsi, and they sent him tonic water, which he and I both believe has corn syrup and flavoring and a tiny bit of quinine in it, but the Pepsi salesman insists that "tonic water" is what Pepsi calls carbonated water. Another related product, "Club Soda", has a variety of salts mixed in, which I don't like. Even naming the product consistently seems to be difficult.

Why in the world is it so hard to buy carbonated water?

Anybody here have much experience with those bottles you plug CO2 cartridges into, like the Three Stooges were so fond of?
#2
Old 06-04-2008, 03:08 PM
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I haven't used them myself, but here's a page on them:

http://fantes.com/seltzer.html


I recall an article from the American Heritage Magazine of Science and Invention from several years ago saying that pre-filled seltzer bottles were an endangered species. New York City hotels esentially got theirs from a single company in New Jersey, which filled them through the spout! Apparently that was the only opening in the traditional old bottles. There was only one old-fashioned machine still working that could fill the bottles, and it was still being used.


That must've been 20 years ago. I wonder if it's still in use.
#3
Old 06-04-2008, 03:18 PM
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Make your own.

http://amazon.com/iSi-32-Ounce-S...606924&sr=8-12

If you are using 20 liters a week this might be better.
http://sodaclubusa.com/default.htm
#4
Old 06-04-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier
Anybody here have much experience with those bottles you plug CO2 cartridges into, like the Three Stooges were so fond of?
Seltzer bottles. Quick search online shows them available at Target.
#5
Old 06-04-2008, 03:25 PM
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I have zero difficulty finding Polar seltzer in all my local supermarkets. About a dollar for a 2 liter bottle. Never gotten a flat one. The flavored (just flavoring, no sugar or corn syrup) ones are nice too.
#6
Old 06-04-2008, 03:27 PM
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I should have mentioned I have the first one I linked to and it works great.
#7
Old 06-04-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazpacho

If you are using 20 liters a week this might be better.
http://sodaclubusa.com/default.htm
I have used a product like this. Some friends I house sat for have one. It works nicely, and we considered buying one. We can get liter bottles for 50 cents, so we didn't.
edit: Walmart sells the 50 cent liters

Last edited by bannerrefugee; 06-04-2008 at 03:28 PM.
#8
Old 06-04-2008, 03:29 PM
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My workplace carries Aquafina Sparkling and I love it. I occassionally pay the extra charge at work just to bring a couple bottles home as it's been nowhere to be found in the supermarkets. It's a bit maddening so I understand the OP's plight.

(Man, if they would bring back New York Seltzers, I'd be in heaven.)
#9
Old 06-04-2008, 03:35 PM
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20 litres a week!

Do you have a rec room? Can't you install one of these?
#10
Old 06-04-2008, 03:46 PM
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I switched a few months ago and just buy it at the local super market. I have never had a bottle be flat.

Vintage is the brand I usually buy.
#11
Old 06-04-2008, 04:07 PM
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I personally probably drink almost 2 liters of sparkling water per day. Hey, it's a great, great way to drink water, and it's an excellent substitute for binge drinking beer (which used to be the only real beverage in the house). Since all I really want is a fresh, bubbly beverage, I simply binge drink the sparkling water instead.

Do make your own water, but don't use one of those expensive "systems." Get get a 20 lb. CO2 tank. AirGas has them for about $23 around here, plus the price of the tank, which is only a one-time expense forever. Throw on a pressure regulator, some hosing, and one of these, and a ball-lock gas connector, and you're all set. Maybe the up-front cost will be a little higher than one of those "systems," but you'll save a fortune in consumables over the years. Yes, I admit I had most of this stuff due to my beermaking hobby, and so adding the carbonator cap wasn't all that frightening. Also, I use the water filter from the fridge. Our chloriney tap water from the faucet tasted a bit off when carbonated.

If you're sufficiently motivated, you can now make your own soda-pop. Probably the easiest is cream soda. Equal parts sugar and water boiled into a simple syrup with a bit of vanilla. Add it to your water, and voila! Other recipes are out there, too.
#12
Old 06-04-2008, 04:45 PM
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I buy mine at Trader Joe's by the case- either Blu Italy or Pellegrino. I think it comes out to about $1.09 US per liter.
#13
Old 06-04-2008, 05:30 PM
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I always have carbonated water to drink, and I never have problems finding it. I get it in cans at my local grocery store. There's at least two brands in my area, and I live in the middle of nowhere. I tend to get the ones with lemon or lime flavoring in them, but they always have the plain stuff as well.
#14
Old 06-04-2008, 06:26 PM
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You can buy Pellegrino (and occassionally other brands) by the case at Costco too.
#15
Old 06-04-2008, 07:09 PM
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Safeway sells it - both Club Soda and Seltzer. Identical cans - you have to watch what you're grabbing. They do have some stores in the Mid Atlantic. I buy it in California in Vons stores, but it's still the Safeway brand.
#16
Old 06-04-2008, 08:34 PM
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Weird.
The sheer variety of ways that what-should-be a common beverage is sold/withheld from the buying public.
Here, 1L bottles are either store-brand or Vess, at almost all supermarkets, some liquor stores, and no gas stations, @ 79¢. Canned fizzy water is rare indeed, and overpriced "mineral water" when you find it. No 2L about that I know of. I don't drink enough of it to justify the big can o' CO2, but it sounds like the way to go for more serious enthusiasts.
If you're going to make it yourself, hint: refrigerate the water first. Gas in liquid solubility goes up the lower the temperature. That's why we like soda cold (and for Americans, beer too! ).
And it's been pointed out: WTF is up with soda being cheap and fizzy water expensive?!?!
Quote:
Napier
...companies are willing to pay money to dispose of it. {corn syrup, in brackets added by me}

Last edited by The Them; 06-04-2008 at 08:35 PM.
#17
Old 06-04-2008, 08:43 PM
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A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
#18
Old 06-04-2008, 09:39 PM
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I love carbonated water (known in my household as "yuppie water"). Our local grocery carries La Croix. We buy the cans, not the plastic bottles.
#19
Old 06-04-2008, 10:10 PM
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It's popular in New York and easy to find. I buy store brands like Adirondack, Polar, or Zazz. I also buy Vintage and I've never had a flat one.

But I think it's a regional thing. I know when I visit Texas it's extremely difficult to find any store selling seltzer water. Especially if you want single cans.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 06-04-2008 at 10:12 PM.
#20
Old 06-04-2008, 10:19 PM
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Here in Dallas, Canada Dry sells 2 liter bottles of sparkling water, sparkling water with lime, sparkling water with mandarin orange, and sparkling water with cranberry.

They cost about $1.25, I think, and are sold with the bottled water or sodas, not the drink mixers.
#21
Old 06-05-2008, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC
A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
I live with a german, it's what they serve, don't know why.

Quote:
Freckafree
known in my household as yuppie water
My wife calls it sprudel. I like "water with gas."

Last edited by bannerrefugee; 06-05-2008 at 12:46 AM.
#22
Old 06-05-2008, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC
A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
From my experience living there, carbonated water was far, far more popular than still. If you bought bottled water, it would almost always be carbonated, and the still water you did find would often have an odd, slightly salty minerally taste (like sparkling mineral water gone flat). I developed quite the sparkling mineral water habit out there, but I haven't found a sparkling water here I like quite as much.
#23
Old 06-05-2008, 03:19 AM
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[tangent]
I can't drink it. It bugs me, makes me feel queasy. My trip to Germany last year was painful, because I love plain regular water. The colder, the better.

In US restaurants, a glass of ICE water is free, they usually bring it to you without asking, and they refill your glass frequently. I took all that for granted before my trip.

First, I had to order water, and specify "no gas." Not that big of a deal, because I am used to asking for "no lemon" here at home (why spoil a pure glass of water with a sour slice of fruit?). Since I was the only one drinking it, they would bring me a cute little 375ml bottle of Pellegrino, or Vittel. Joy. I could polish off a couple magnums of water, if they had them. I am sure those tiny little bottles cost a fortune at the restaurants we were eating at, so I politely rationed my drinking, and only drank two per meal.

My brother advised us not to drink the tap water at the hotel, like it was third-world Mexico or something. By the end of the trip, I just said fuck it, and binged on nasty German tap water all night. I could live without the ice cubes, but damn it, I wasn't about to die of thirst in an industrialized nation.
[/tangent]
#24
Old 06-05-2008, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bannerrefugee
I live with a german, it's what they serve, don't know why.



My wife calls it sprudel. I like "water with gas."
Lemme guess, Saarlander? Or Rheinland-Pfaltz?
#25
Old 06-05-2008, 07:34 AM
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There are places that don't sell carbonated water? I get a liter or two a day when I'm at work and it costs less then a buck. The local Giants here in the DC area have their own brand and it's cheaper then plain water. I'm off to get myself some now.
#26
Old 06-05-2008, 07:41 AM
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Here in the Northeast, you can get seltzer water at the grocery stores easily. Polar is 1.10/2liter bottle, and the store brand (Hannaford) is .99/2liter. We drink a lot of it at my house as well.

We also have the ISI, but the bottle size is so small, it's really not worth it once you add up all the little CO2 cartridges, etc. I'd rather just buy it for .99/2liter, flavored or unflavored, and go that way.

I don't really like soda, so if I want something fizzy, seltzer water or beer are pretty much my only two options. And drinking 2 liters of beer would make me slightly tipsy and is certainly more expensive.
#27
Old 06-05-2008, 07:47 AM
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Missed the edit window.
Sams Club here in the NE has Polar selters 12oz variety pack cans for 6.12/24 pack. So you can bring cans with you if you want, and it's still cheaper than soda.
#28
Old 06-05-2008, 07:59 AM
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Just for the record, I also drink a lot of "water with gas" (love that phrase!) .

My favorite is to put a few drops of angustura bitters into the glass before pouring.

Because I love vintage things, I splurge on Stewart's Soda, it comes in those nifty glass bottles.
#29
Old 06-05-2008, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkwurdigliebe
Lemme guess, Saarlander? Or Rheinland-Pfaltz?
Close-Hessen

Another funny thing, over there you can by different gas. So you can often get Sprudel brand X in extra carbonated, regular or less carbonated.
#30
Old 06-05-2008, 09:55 AM
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Here in Michigan, it seems the only mineral water available is in the mixers section of the supermarket, and then only in 1 liter bottles, only Canada Dry. There are smaller bottles of Perrier, and it's roughly the same price as the Canada Dry. Yet there're many, many bottles and cans of quinine water.

Hmmm... how to make that?
#31
Old 06-05-2008, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC
A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
Got news for you: Europeans aren't homogeneous at all.

In Baden Baden, my all-Spanish team (12 people, nobody ever drank "gassy water") learned to ask for San Pellegrino because the restaurants would simply refuse to serve us flat water. The San Pelli was less gassy than the German waters.

I worked in Basel for a year; the office was about evenly divided between the "flat" and "carbonated" crowds.
#32
Old 06-05-2008, 11:48 AM
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Ok since I am utterly without anything constructive left to do at work here is an interesting page which rates mineral waters, lists there content and sorts by country.
#33
Old 06-05-2008, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
Here in Michigan, it seems the only mineral water available is in the mixers section of the supermarket, and then only in 1 liter bottles, only Canada Dry. There are smaller bottles of Perrier, and it's roughly the same price as the Canada Dry. Yet there're many, many bottles and cans of quinine water.

Hmmm... how to make that?
C'mon up to the UP. We get cans of LaCroix and Mendota Springs brands of plain-ol fizzy water in just about all the grocery stores I frequent.

Last edited by Athena; 06-05-2008 at 11:51 AM.
#34
Old 06-05-2008, 12:07 PM
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It's extremely popular here and in Germany, but in my experience less so in the UK. In the Republic of Ireland every or most newsagents/restaurants/supermarkets/grocery stores will have bottled water of the carbonated and non-carbonated varieties.
#35
Old 06-05-2008, 12:51 PM
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Damn,
All I know is that when I lived in Saarland, I was told that the name Sprudel is pretty particular to that region. I'm pretty sure they don't use it in Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, etc..

I used to drink Gerolsteiner. Anyway yeah, I don't drink so much of it anymore. I should probably take it up again, as it's better than coke.
#36
Old 06-05-2008, 01:49 PM
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I live in the mid-Atlantic region, too, and regularly buy Zazz, the Giant Foods generic seltzer. Dirt cheap, and it comes in bottles and cans.

When I feel fancier, I buy Pellegrino or Gerolsteiner. Few chain grocery stores don't carry both.
#37
Old 06-05-2008, 08:58 PM
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In Raleigh, we have LaCroix, Vintage, Kroger and Lowes Food brand seltzers for sale.(I drink 3-4 cans of the Kroger a day). You can also get an assortment of sparkling mineral waters.
#38
Old 06-07-2008, 06:44 PM
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Well, it's weird. Some of my most thoughtful and heartfelt posts have drawn one or two replies and a few recent ones have drawn zero. I should have whined about buying seltzer before, but had no idea it would go over so well.

The latest news:

The local liquor store has given up and removed all Canada Dry products from the store.

The local rep for Pepsico insists that "tonic water" and "seltzer" are the same thing.

Mrs. Napier has brought home a few Zazz seltzer bottles from the Giant, and they are fine, but it's not a practical way of purchasing in the quantities we want. She goes shopping about every 3 weeks. We actually consume more weight in seltzer, I am pretty sure, than in all other grocery store products combined - and that includes nonfood items like cleaning supplies.

I made inquiries and discovered that the next distribution region to the south, the border of which is actually only a couple miles away, is served by a nasty and unhelpful sales rep for many mixer products. I guess this is just one more thing about the booze biz that comes as a surprise to me.

But, the human spirit always keeps trying, doesn't it? The local liquor store got in three cases of Vintage seltzer to try, and only one bottle was flat (and it was only partly full, too). I think I'd tolerate a failure rate of maybe 20% or so, maybe even 30%, because the product is cheaper than what I've been buying. So, who knows...
#39
Old 06-07-2008, 07:29 PM
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Why is it so difficult to buy carbonated water?

I think the answer to your question lies somewhere in the dichotomy of wholesale vs. retail. You're obviously in an area which has traditionally not consumed fizzywater, and where the beverage industry has streamlined its distribution channels to the extent that procuring fizzywater is prohibitively difficult, not only for individuals but for small businesses like your local likka sto. It's a law of the market: if lots of people want something, everyone can get it, but if only a few want it, nobody can get it.
#40
Old 08-22-2008, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC
A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
Certainly not common here (France). The best I can tell is that I know carbonated water exists and can even name a brand because there used to be adds for it.
#41
Old 08-23-2008, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC
A sorta hijack: do Europeans typically consume more carbonated water than Americans, and why?
It was extremely popular in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Hungary, where there were plenty of naturally carbonated mineral springs. I would assume the abundance of these springs would contribute to the popularity. In general, I've found sparkling water much, much more common throughout Europe than in the States. Obviously, as stated, it varies by region, but, on the whole, it is certainly more popular.

I'm surprised to hear that it's not common in France. I seem to remember Badoit, Perrier, and San Pellegrino being readily available.

Last edited by pulykamell; 08-23-2008 at 12:04 AM.
#42
Old 08-23-2008, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell

I'm surprised to hear that it's not common in France. I seem to remember Badoit, Perrier, and San Pellegrino being readily available.

Huh! Yes, I had forgotten about Perrier being carbonated water. Well, forget about my previous post.


New version : Carbonated water is relatively common here (France). I'm familiar with some brands and occasionally drink it.
#43
Old 08-23-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier
The local rep for Pepsico insists that "tonic water" and "seltzer" are the same thing.
Your liquor store clerk ought to switch to Coke then, insisting to the Pepsico rep that Pepsi and Coke are the same thing.
#44
Old 08-23-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
I buy mine at Trader Joe's by the case- either Blu Italy or Pellegrino. I think it comes out to about $1.09 US per liter.
Those are mineral waters that happen to be carbonated, decidedly not seltzer. Also the water in Manitou Springs is decidedly better than Pellegrino. I suggest the Cheyenne Spring and recommend the Stratton spring.

Also club soda is awful because of the sodium. One time I picked up a bottle in a hurry and when I came home and had some and it felt like it burned my tongue.
#45
Old 08-23-2008, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier
Well, it's weird. Some of my most thoughtful and heartfelt posts have drawn one or two replies and a few recent ones have drawn zero. I should have whined about buying seltzer before, but had no idea it would go over so well.

The latest news:

The local liquor store has given up and removed all Canada Dry products from the store.

The local rep for Pepsico insists that "tonic water" and "seltzer" are the same thing.

Mrs. Napier has brought home a few Zazz seltzer bottles from the Giant, and they are fine, but it's not a practical way of purchasing in the quantities we want. She goes shopping about every 3 weeks. We actually consume more weight in seltzer, I am pretty sure, than in all other grocery store products combined - and that includes nonfood items like cleaning supplies.

I made inquiries and discovered that the next distribution region to the south, the border of which is actually only a couple miles away, is served by a nasty and unhelpful sales rep for many mixer products. I guess this is just one more thing about the booze biz that comes as a surprise to me.

But, the human spirit always keeps trying, doesn't it? The local liquor store got in three cases of Vintage seltzer to try, and only one bottle was flat (and it was only partly full, too). I think I'd tolerate a failure rate of maybe 20% or so, maybe even 30%, because the product is cheaper than what I've been buying. So, who knows...
Why haven't you looked into making it at home? It should be cheaper in the long run and that's how most people would do it these days.
#46
Old 08-23-2008, 01:59 PM
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I have no trouble at all. Every corner deli in New York often has both Schweppes and Canada Dry in a number of sizes.
#47
Old 08-23-2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMossie
Your liquor store clerk ought to switch to Coke then, insisting to the Pepsico rep that Pepsi and Coke are the same thing.
Other than the Salt in Seltzer and the Quinine in Tonic Water, they're exactly the same.
#48
Old 08-24-2008, 09:54 AM
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>Other than the Salt in Seltzer and the Quinine in Tonic Water, they're exactly the same.

Well, by most definitions, seltzer is water and carbon dioxide, and it is club soda that adds salt to the recipe, whereas tonic water adds sugar and quinine and other flavorings.


>Your liquor store clerk ought to switch to Coke then, insisting to the Pepsico rep that Pepsi and Coke are the same thing.

Ah. OK, you have the funniest thing I've seen in weeks here, the funniest thing since the Obama campaign named their Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential Candidate.
#49
Old 08-24-2008, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
Here in Michigan, it seems the only mineral water available is in the mixers section of the supermarket, and then only in 1 liter bottles, only Canada Dry. There are smaller bottles of Perrier, and it's roughly the same price as the Canada Dry. Yet there're many, many bottles and cans of quinine water.

Hmmm... how to make that?
I'm working in Coldwater MI, and the Felpausch store always has 4 cases of unflavored LaCroix out. (I buy them, then there are none, then by the next day they have four again. . . rinse and repeat.) They also have at least five fruit-flavored ones as well. They also have Fanta brand, in liters, more expensive. Meijer's usually has only flavored LaCroix, but they sell Meijer's brand sparkling water in two-liter bottles which are always sold out, except for one or two on the top shelf where nobody can reach them. I asked once, why they don't put more out on display. It seems they're not popular enough to justify the extra space.
#50
Old 08-24-2008, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
Here in Michigan, it seems the only mineral water available is in the mixers section of the supermarket, and then only in 1 liter bottles, only Canada Dry. There are smaller bottles of Perrier, and it's roughly the same price as the Canada Dry. Yet there're many, many bottles and cans of quinine water.

I can get La Croix (yum!) and tons of carbonated water. They might not be seltzer (instead being sparkling mineral water) but I have no issue getting Gerolsteiner (my favorite), San Pellagrino, Perrier, heck, even Trader Joe's house brand. Meijer's has a bunch.
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