ice cream soda

What is a Seltzer Bottle?

Seltzer bottles, also known as soda siphons, are used to transform normal tap water into carbonated water. Though they are still occasionally used today, they were at their most popular before soda and seltzer were widely mass produced and distributed. Once the water is carbonated, it can be added to flavored syrups, alcoholic beverages, ice cream sodas or any other drink that may benefit from some bubbles.

Parts of a Seltzer Bottle

The base of a seltzer bottle is a container that is filled with cold water. Newer seltzer bottles' bases are generally made of metal, but antique seltzer bottles usually have glass bases. The head of the bottle fits into a stationary plastic or rubber seal around the top of the container that keeps gas and liquid from escaping. A tube extends from the bottom of the head into the bottle. There is a spot in the container head to connect a holder containing the carbon dioxide-filled cartridge to the bottle.

How a Seltzer Bottle Works

The base of the bottle is filled with cold tap water, with a bit of space left between the top of the base and the fill line. The tube is inserted into the base, and the head is screwed onto the bottle. A carbon dioxide cartridge is inserted into its holder and placed in the slot on the side of the head; the holder pierces the cartridge, allowing carbon dioxide to flow into the base through the tube. The preparer shakes the seltzer bottle for 10 to 15 seconds to disperse the carbon dioxide throughout the water. This gas is what carbonates the water. After shaking the bottle, the cartridge holder is removed from the head, and the seltzer water is ready to disperse by squeezing the handle located on the head.