Topo Chico Inspired Mineral Water for Home Carbonators

When we made the move from San Antonio to rural North Idaho, I wasn’t surprised to find that several of our favorite products were not available up here. Unfortunately, my beloved Topo Chico mineral water was one of them.

Founded in 1895, the citrusy, mineral-rich water has gained a cult following over the years, particularly in the area where I grew up in South Texas. Every grocery and corner store carries it. It’s a favorite among bartenders — a popular Texas cocktail known as ‘Ranch Water’ is made with tequila, lime juice and (you guessed it) Topo Chico. There’s even a local old wive’s tale that drinking Topo Chico will cure a hangover, and personal experience can confirm that it does help!

There are plenty of other mineral waters out there, but for my money, there are none quite like Topo. For years, I was mail-ordering 6 to 12 liters at a time to keep us in our favorite fizzy mineral water. But you have to find a place to store all those bottles, plus, purchasing bottled mineral water can get expensive… especially if you’re like us and consume it regularly!

As luck would have it, a couple years ago I stumbled across the idea that Topo Chico could be replicated at home using easily accessible brewing salt additives. Andrew over at Third Leap cleverly translated Topo Chico’s annual water analysis report and calculated the ratios needed to replicate their mineral profile.

Brilliant!!

Iconic minerals

We all know that adequate minerals are essential for optimal bodily functions and overall well-being. In addition to being delicious, drinking mineral water (homemade or otherwise) is a convenient way to supplement your mineral intake, particularly if your regular diet may be lacking in certain minerals.

Mineral waters can also help maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance in the body. Electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, are vital for regulating fluid levels, muscle function, nerve signaling and maintaining pH balance. Mineral water replenishes these essential electrolytes, especially after exercise or extended periods of sweating.

What sets Topo Chico water apart is a specific mineral composition, which gives it its distinct flavor profile. The water is naturally enriched with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium that accumulate as the water filters through layers of limestone and volcanic rock, acquiring its unique characteristics along the way.

Gypsum, also known as calcium sulfate, adds distinctive mineral notes to the blend. It imparts a subtle earthiness and helps enhance the overall flavor complexity of the mineral water.

Epsom salt aka magnesium sulfate is a key ingredient in Topo Chico. It brings a touch of smoothness and enhances the mouthfeel of the water, adding a silky texture that complements the carbonation perfectly.

Slacked lime (calcium hydroxide) introduces an alkaline element to the mineral blend. It contributes to the balancing of the water's pH and provides a hint of brightness, giving Topo Chico its characteristic citrusy zing.

Sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda is a crucial component for achieving the desired effervescence in your homemade mineral water. It releases carbon dioxide when mixed with acid, creating those delightful bubbles that tickle your taste buds.

Calcium carbonate, commonly called chalk, brings a subtle mineral flavor to the blend. It acts as a buffering agent, helping to maintain the desired pH level of the water and adding a touch of complexity to the overall taste.

Calcium chloride provides a boost of calcium to the mineral blend. It adds depth to the flavor profile, contributing to the overall mineral richness of your homemade Topo Chico-inspired water.

Magnesium chloride, similar to epsom salt, enriches the mineral content of the blend. It imparts a slight bitterness and contributes to the overall balance of flavors, working harmoniously with the other ingredients.

Potassium chloride is a salt compound that helps to maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body and provides a slight salty flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the mineral water.

Sea salt is pure sodium chloride without additives, brings the essential salty element to the mineral blend. It helps to amplify the overall flavor profile and rounds out the taste experience.

Since our move north, Topo Chico’s has been purchased by the Coca Cola Company, and has begun popping up in grocery stores in my area, but now thanks to Andrew, we don’t *have* to buy it anymore. I honestly can’t tell the difference between homemade and store bought. Not to mention, for less than $25, we purchased enough ingredients to make (literally) hundreds of bottles of Topo Chico-inspired mineral water.

And it all fits in a teeny 4-ounce mason jar. 

Less waste

Another reason to make your own homemade mineral water is it cuts down on waste. This one’s a big deal to me, since we don’t have the means to recycle plastic and glass in our county. Avid Topo Chico fans know all too well how many empty bottles you can go though. By using a DrinkmateSodaStream or similar home carbonation device with your DIY mineral blend, you can significantly cut down on the waste you create.

Mix it up

And of course, when you blend your own minerals, it also means you have FULL control over the ingredients and their ratios. You can fine-tune the flavor until your heart’s content. Whether you want a strict Topo Chico clone or something with a more pronounced mineral taste or perhaps a bit more citrus… the possibilities are endless when you’re the designer of your own mineral blend!

Note: Since I prefer a bit more citrus flavor, my version increases the slacked lime content slightly vs Andrew’s calculations and adds a small amount of potassium chloride to offset the sodium.

Working with mineral powders is messy
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Toco Chico-Inspired Mineral Water


Ingredients

Scale

15.5 g gypsum (calcium sulfate)

3.25 g epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)

3 g slaked lime (calcium hydroxide)

2.75 g baking soda

2.75 g chalk (calcium carbonate)

2.5 g calcium chloride

2.5 g magnesium chloride

1.25 g potassium chloride

1.25 g sea salt (sodium chloride)


Instructions

  1. Using a kitchen scale that can read a hundredth of a gram (0.01), measure out each of the ingredients by weight. The minerals will likely be all different sizes ranging from fine powders to large granules. Powder everything in an electric spice grinder or manually with a mortar & pestle. You want the minerals to be as fine as possible for easier dissolution when you add it to water.
  2. The powdered minerals will keep indefinitely in an airtight container.
  3. To make a bottle of Topo Chico-like mineral water, add 1 slightly rounded 1/8 tsp per liter bottle.
  4. Fill your bottle with cold water to the max fill mark. Give it a gentle swirl to ensure the minerals dissolve evenly.
  5. Attach the bottle to your carbonation device (Drinkmate, SodaStream, etc.) and carbonate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Fizz, sip and enjoy! 

Disclaimer:

I’m committed to only recommending products and companies that I’m passionate about, that I personally use and trust. The content on this site may contain affiliate links. If you decide to purchase items through these links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. These commissions help cover our operating costs to keep Redheaded Herbalist running. Thank you for your support! ♥

The content on redheadedherbalist.com is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Claims made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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