The cravings began when my wife was pregnant with our son. With her coffee intake reduced, beer and wine off the table, and us not being big soda drinkers, she was left with water, juice, tea… and sparkling water. She began to crave sparkling water.
Suddenly, every trip to the grocery store meant coming home with liter and 2-liter bottles of sparkling water. It was tasty, a nice break from plain tap water, and above all it made my wife happy. But we wanted to spend less, and we didn’t want to keep bringing in heaps of disposable bottles. We wondered about making our own sparkling water and soda, and in time, we got a Sodastream.
Over the past few months, we’ve been putting a Sodastream Fountain Jet to work in our busy household. Whether making meals from scratch or brewing beer, our kitchen is an active place. From its spot in between the sink and the flour canisters, our Sodastream Fountain Jet gets a lot of use. But a Sodastream easily fits into anyone’s kitchen. It’s easy, it takes up little space, and honestly, it’s pretty damn fun.
The Sodasteam brand comes in a range of models, from the simple Fountain Jet to the snazzy Penguin. Looks and features vary, so it’s easy to find a model that best fits your kitchen.
What got me about the Sodastream Fountain Jet is how simple it is. A lot of kitchen appliance marketing likes to focus on how this or that gadget simplifies your life, but in reality the useless contraption is complex and confusing. In contrast, the Sodastream is ridiculously easy and simple:
- No electricity required: No batteries to charge or replace, and no need to worry about finding space near an outlet.
- Small footprint: Sodastreams take up only a few square inches of counterspace.
- No chef expertise required: It doesn’t matter if you’re a gourmet chef or if you only use your kitchen to make coffee. If you can push a button, you can use a Sodastream.
- Swap out CO2 canisters: Sodastreams use carbon dioxide (COs) canisters to carbonate water. The most complex thing about a Sodastream is swapping out an empty canister for a new one. But that’s easy too, as canisters just screw in and out.
- More carbonation for less: Stores in your area (from local shops to chain stores such as Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond) participate in Sodastream’s CO2 exchange program: swap your empty canister for a full one (as of this writing, the exchange is $15, whereas a new off-the-shelf canister is $30). Or, you can swap out online too.
- Carbonate and go: Think of carbonated water as your baseline, and from there you can flavor it however you want. To be clear, Sodastream says you’re only supposed to carbonate plain water, then add any syrups, flavoring, etc. I’m not planning to mess with that (e.g., I’m not going to see if I can carbonate my bottled homebrew beer with a Sodastream).
In addition to being simple, Sodastreams bring versatility to your water.
A quick aside: Water content and quality vary everywhere, so I’m not going to discuss hard water, soft water, bottled water, water chemistry, etc. That’s WAY beyond the scope of this wee blogger. Everything we do with our Sodastream, we do with chilled tap water.
Okay. Part of the draw of the Sodastream is the versatility. I love plain ol’ water, and start my day with a pint. But for meals, projects around the house, yard/garden work, and road trips, man oh man, there’s just something nice about having a bottle of non-boozy bubbly to tickle your palate while you get on with things.
Here are just a few of the ways we’ve been using our Sodastream so far (and there’ll be more details coming on a lot of these):
- Plain sparkly water. Carbonate, pour on the rocks, enjoy.
- Add Sodamixes and other Sodastream flavors. Sodastream carries a line of soda mixes and flavorings for sparkling water. (I’ll be talking about some of these too.)
- Add syrups. Once your water is carbonated, you can add off-the-shelf syrups (Torani raspberry is a favorite of ours), or homemade fruit syrups (such as an awesome rhubarb syrup a friend gave us).
- Add juice. We have friends who drive an RV from North Carolina to Oregon and back, and they swear that their Sodastream helps them get through the cross-continent trip. They add juice to their sparkling water, and that’s one we like a lot to.
- Soda: We do enjoy the occasional soda, and I’m especially a fan of soda when tackling projects around the house. It’s an incentive to get my DIY on.
- Sparkling water: Our mainstay, though, is simple sparkling water, with natural citrus flavorings. That is our household go-to for no-guilt refreshment.
More about how we use our Sodastream Fountain Jet
As we make new sodas and sparkling waters with our Sodastream, I’ll occasionally blog about what we’re up to, recipes to make your own, and other ways a Sodastream fits into your busy kitchen too.
Do you have a Sodastream? Are you considering one? Let’s talk in the comments below.
Blogger Disclosure: Anthony received a free Sodastream Fountain Jet plus an assortment of flavor mixes from Sodastream USA. That said, I only write about products I would recommend. So if I hadn’t thought it useful and awesome, I’d follow the old adage about saying nothing if I had nothing nice to say.