Invite Soda Stream to your next Bar-B-Que

Make the perfect refreshing beverage, with the option of adding extra fizz, fruit juice, fresh fruit or more. Photo: by ohmegahn Flickr Commons

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2013 – We drink a lot of sparkling water and, with Soda Stream, have begun to experiment with our own soda flavors.  Soda stream has changed the way we view carbonated drinks. 

The ability to make fresh soda or sparkling water at any time is great. The fact that it can be made as carbonated or as sweet as I like it is even better.


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According to the SodaStream website, it costs you $.25 to make a can of soda or sparkling water with the soda stream.  I do not know if this includes the price of the soda maker itself, (which can run from $69.99 to $130), the special bottles (one comes with the soda maker, extras are $19.99 for a two-pack) and the carbonator cans (one comes with the soda maker, refills are $14.99 new are $29.99).  A note on refills and new carbonators below. 

Steven H. Saltzman at Consumer Reports estimates that the machine should pay for itself after around 300 bottles of soda. 

The lack of cans and plastic bottles is an added bonus as I feel like I’m doing something good for the environment.  SodaStream claims to be an “Active Green” product, which reduces an individual’s CO2 footprint the more it is used.  According to SodaStream, if you use their product instead of buying soda at a store, “less plastic (is) manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes.” 

I’m not an environmental expert and don’t know if using a SodaStream will actually reduce your CO2 footprint.  However, I can say that we personally waste a lot less in terms of bottles and cans, and have much more room in our refrigerator. 


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One of my favorite features of the SodaStream is that since you add carbonation gradually by pressing the button on the soda maker, I can make my soda as fizzy or flat as I like it.  Also, since you add the flavor syrup, you can make your soda as sweet or as light as you want.

Tasting the various Soda Stream versions of popular soft drinks, and wholly in my opinion, they taste pretty much like the real thing.  Soda Stream also has every popular flavor you can think of. 

The final thing that I love about the SodaStream is that since you have to use so little syrup, you almost never run out of soda.  This is a huge plus at parties, or that backyard Bar-B-Que or just for convenience of not having to lug bottles and boxes of soda from the car to the kitchen.

When I got the SodaStream, I though that it would be a great gift for my father-in-law in Greece.  However, you are not allowed to carry or check the SodaStream carbonators in your luggage on an airplane and you cannot send them in the mail. 

Luckily SodaStream products can be found around the world- except for Greece. 

I have found that the most expensive part of using the SodaStream is the carbonators  though a single carbonator lasts us about one month.  Luckily, you can buy a refilled carbonator instead of a new one for half the price. 

Finally, it is not that difficult to find the carbonator cans or refills; they are on Amazon and at almost every home-goods store. 

However, you cannot walk down to any local grocery store or deli and get a carbonator- like you can a bottle of soda.  However, with a little planning and a spare carbonator, you should be fine.

There are tons of articles online about “going rouge” with your SodaStream.

Some are hilarious and others are quite informative.  Just type “homemade soda syrups” into any search engine.  A word of caution: NEVER put anything but water in the bottle before you carbonate it

Believe me, we’ve survived a few explosions and they are not fun and extremely messy.  It may also damage your soda maker.  Nevertheless, after you’ve carbonated the water and put the machine safely away, go crazy. 

John’s Ginger Ale Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 cups water

3 Tbs. peeled and sliced ginger

10 cardamom pods

4 star anise pods

1 tsp whole allspice

1 tsp whole peppercorns

Preparation:

  • In a small pot over medium heat, combine sugars, water, and ginger. 
  • In a separate skillet, toast the rest of the spices over medium high heat for about 30 seconds or until fragrant
  • Add toasted spices to the sugar and water mixture and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
  • Simmer for 20 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to steep until cool
  • Strain cooled mixture through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate in a glass jar or container.

All in all, I love my SodaStream and continue to give it as a gift and recommend it to friends and family.  It seems that vveryone that owns one really loves it.


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Laura Sesana

Laura Sesana is a writer and DC, Maryland attorney, joining the Communities in 2012.  She is the author of Colombia: Natural Parks, and has also written several articles on literary criticism.  She writes about food, health, nutrition, women’s legal issues, and the environment.  

In addition to writing for the Communities, Laura also works as an attorney and legal content writer.

 

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