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Home Izakaya! How To Choose The Carbonated Water For The Best Whiskey/Shochu Highball

how to choose the best carbonated water for making whiskey and soda at home Food & Recipes

Whiskey on the rocks sounds nice for a relaxing bedtime drink, yet, whiskey highball is also nice for refreshing and quenching your thirst.

Needless to say, whiskey highball is a popular Izakaya drink in Japan, we enjoy it daily, casually, for celebrating the end of daily work, and on any occasion.

So, to enjoy the best whisky highball, have you ever thought about fizzy water?

If you prefer to use club soda for whisky highball, this post is wasting your time.

This post talks about the water for whisky highball when you make it with natural carbonated or sparkling water.

So why I am talking about carbonated water this much because we simply use carbonated water or natural sparkling water to make highball cocktails at home Izakaya.

In Japan, not so many kinds of fizzy water for cocktails are available in local grocery stores and also club soda is more expensive than carbonated/sparkling water.

It’s very common to use carbonated/natural sparkling water to use at home in Japan.

Break Down The Unflavored Carbonated Water

Have you ever thought about carbonated water for cocktails well?

There are so many types of carbonated water (soda), and simply changing the brand will dramatically change the taste of highball.

First of all, carbonated water refers to “general beverages containing carbon dioxide”.

Roughly speaking, it can be divided into two types- “flavored” and “unflavored”.

In this post, we’ll skip “flavored carbonated water” for making whiskey/Shochu highballs.

Furthermore, there are three types (could be four) of unflavored carbonated water divided by the types of water- Artificially Carbonated Water, Naturally Carbonated (Sparkling) Water, and Carbonated Natural Water.

Artificially Carbonated Water

“Artificially carbonated water” is purified water artificially carbonated like club soda.

Depending on the products, minerals infuse into the carbonated water.

Naturally Carbonated (Sparkling) Water

As the name suggests, “natural carbonated water” is naturally carbonated water, in which carbon dioxide gas emitted from magma due to crustal movements dissolves in groundwater.

“Gerolsteiner”, “S.Pellegrino”, and “Perrier” are well-known, and the mineral values and the fizzy level vary depending on the production area.

These are mainly hard water which contains rich minerals, and in Japan, there is natural sparkling soft water.

Carbonated Natural Water

“Carbonated natural water” is artificially carbonating natural mineral water.

“Hildon” or “san Benedetto” are one of them.

So, what does matter whether you should know about the types of carbonated water to make highballs?

The Difference Of The Water Brings The Different flavors

Indeed, the flavor of highballs doesn’t matter whether it is naturally carbonated or artificially carbonated.

The key is water hardness and gas volume.


Unflavored carbonated water that you’ll get at local stores has three types as I mentioned.

The important key to making the best whiskey highball is the mineral values.

Mineral values in this point refer to the hardness of the water.

According to the standard WHO, a hardness level is less than 120 mg is “soft water” and 120 mg or more is “hard water”.

As you know, hard water typically contains rich magnesium and calcium so hard water taste slightly bitter and you will feel thicker than natural water when you drink it such as Evian and Fiji.

Simply, hard water contains minerals and soft water contains fewer or no minerals.

Generally, the hard water will change the whisky flavor (as well as the Shochu flavor).

When making whiskey highball with hard water, you’ll feel the whiskey flavor is stronger and deeper. Contrary, you can enjoy refreshing and smooth whiskey highball mixed with soft water.

Speaking of Japanese shochu, soft water enhances the natural sweetness of the raw materials, and, hard water changes the shochu flavor to tangy and stronger.

Therefore, some people find highballs difficult to drink when making them with hard water.

Of course, the best water to make the best whiskey highball is up to you, but when you want to enjoy the original flavor of whiskey, carbonated soft water is recommended.

Not only soft water is the best for whiskey/shochu highballs, but it is also better to know what your preference is and the water hardness level.

Basically, smoky whiskey like Talisker can go well with mild hard water around 100mg/L.

However, very hard water like Gerolsteiner which is over 500mg/L will not be suitable to make highballs since the mineral values are too high and rich.

By the way, choosing the same water hardness level that your whiskey is made of is also the key to enjoying the whiskey flavor for whiskey connoisseurs.

*When making a glass of whiskey highball with Japanese whiskey, choose soft water since the standard natural water in Japan is mainly soft water.


GV (gas volume) is the unit of measurement indicating the amount of carbonated gas contained in a beverage. 

Making whiskey highballs with strong fizzy water surely brings strong refreshing vibes to your throat.
On other hand, once mixed with mild fizzy water, you can enjoy the original whiskey flavor more.

If you get top-shelf whiskeys such as Hibiki 18 years old, Taketsuru 21 years old, and Yamazaki 18 years old, you may don’t want to use extremely strong fizzy water, which fizzy sensation may blow the whiskey flavor away.

Therefore, the choice of carbonated soft water with mild gas volume is the better best water to make whiskey/shochu highballs if you want to enjoy the flavor. Yet, enjoy changing the water depending on the brand you drink, your taste, and the mood of the day.

Make Favorite Carbonated Water At Home

Today, everyone knows a carbonated water maker.

Some carbonated waters contain salt added to improve their taste. So why not make your own healthy water at home?

You can make your favorite carbonated water with your favorite water with these factors (hard/soft), (with minerals/non-mineral), (the carbonation volume) depending on today’s whiskey and your mood.

McCola: Homemade Natural Cola Recipe

Homemade cola aka “Craft cola” is carefully made from raw materials. Moreover, you can make an organic cola drink that you know all ingredients in this refreshing sweet cola drink that everyone loves worldwide. With its exotic spice and hints of citrus, this “Craft Cola” is so refreshing and addictive. Add this aromatic delicate McCola to milk, coffee, tea, beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, and of course, rum to entertain your guests!


Health Benefits Of Carbonated Water

Incorporate healthy carbonated water in your daily life when enjoy making it with a carbonated water maker such as SodaStream.

Carbonated water brings several health benefits when you make it at home or choose natural sparkling water.

Fatigue recovery and intestinal regulation

Carbonated water has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. When the gastrointestinal blood vessels absorb water, the amount of urine excreted increases, and by producing urine, fatigue substances are discharged from the body as waste products.

Also, the intestinal environment will improve and can be expected to treat constipation.

Relieve Muscle Tension

When the carbon dioxide level in the blood increases by drinking carbonated water, it can improve blood flow. Because the body will take more oxygen and carry it all over the body.

Most causes of muscle tension are poor blood circulation, so improving blood circulation can be expected to relieve muscle tension.

Carbonated Water Can Suppress the Appetite

When you drink carbonated water before meals, the carbon dioxide gas will swell your stomach which stimulates your satiety center and suppresses your appetite.

When you have no appetite, on the other hand, drinking carbonated water affects gastrointestinal activity and leads to an increase in appetite.

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