What do you call your carbonated soft drinks? Soda or pop?
Surprisingly, there is actually a web page set up to track geographical variations in the use of these terms. Really. I’m not joking. You can even add your personal data to help them with this critically important project. Isn’t it comforting to know that there are people out there who have dedicated their lives to helping solve one of life’s greatest mysteries?
I call it pop–always have, always will—and I love the stuff.
In the interest of good health, I try to drink only drink water during the day. All of that changes once the evening rolls around. That’s when things get a little wild. In fact, I’ve been known to drink a WHOLE GLASS of the fizzy stuff in one night!
Call me crazy. That’s just how I roll.
My family decided to jump on board the party train and got me a SodaStream for Christmas. What could be better than making your own pop? World peace? Equality in the workplace? A lifetime subscription to the chocolate-of-the-month club? Perhaps, but being able to make your own pop is pretty nifty. And SodaStream does not disappoint.
It’s so simple to use. You just install the CO2 carbonator (a canister of gassy stuff) onto the back of the machine, add cold water to the reusable 1-liter BPA-free carbonating bottle with fizz-preserving cap (empty soda bottle) that comes in the box, screw the bottle onto the machine, and press the fizz maker. Three presses for average carbonation, more if you want to go wild.
I went really wild the first time I tried my machine. Since there were no bubbles in my water after each press of the fizz maker, I figured I needed to add more fizz. So, I pressed it a few more times just to be safe.
Here’s the first thing I learned: the bubbles don’t actually show up until you unscrew the bottle from the SodaStream machine. When the bottle is removed, the extra gas is released with a great whoosh of air, just like when you remove the cap from a bottle of store-bought pop. After all those presses on the fizz maker, my bottle nearly exploded off of the machine.
That brings me to the next thing I learned: Adding more carbonation to your pop results in hiccups. I hiccuped my way through that first glass of pop.
If plain old soda water is your thing, all you need is the machine and a canister of the gassy stuff to make dozens of bottles of it.
Soda water tastes like medicine to me. Fortunately, the makers of SodaStream offer many varieties sodamix flavorings to add to your carbonated water. My box came with a variety pack of flavors. Each flavor pack contained enough flavoring for one bottle of pop. I’ve tried most of the diet flavors in the pack. They all taste just fine, but the one I like best so far is the Diet Dr. Pete (i.e., Dr. Pepper). It tastes very much like the “real thing” in my opinion.
The true test will be when I buy the regular cola flavor. We’ll see if it tastes enough like genuine Coca-Cola to fool the Big Man.
According to the SodaStream web site and various consumer sites, you can actually save money by making your own pop. I haven’t done the math, but I imagine it would take a while before you realize these savings considering the cost of the machine (anywhere from $80 to $140 depending on the model and what’s included in the package). This article goes into that issue in depth. Moreover, by reusing the same bottles, you are doing the environment a good service—fewer empty bottles and cans in the landfills.
I do have one major gripe with the makers of SodaStream. So far there is no sodamix flavor for Diet Cherry Coke or Diet Cherry Pepsi. I tried creating my own version by adding 100% tart cherry concentrate to the bottle of diet cola I made, but the result was not pleasing to my discriminating palate. It tasted like cough syrup.
Hear me now, SodaStream makers! We the People want a DIET cherry cola flavor!
Do you own a SodaStream? What’s your favorite flavor?
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