Sodastream's have become quite popular for good reason:
- You can make carbonated water from tap water!
- No more lugging home cans, bottles or 2-litres.
- It's eco-friendly because it eliminates single-use bottles or cans (reducing the plastics going into the trash and ocean).
- You never run out.
- No ingredients you can't pronounce.
- Cheaper in the long run.
I frequently refer to making our own club soda on the boat since that is a term people understand, but it is really carbonated water or seltzer. Learn the difference here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/29/seltzer-vs-club-soda_n_1434891.html.
Don't drink soda? Here's what you can make with carbonated water:
- Sodastream mixes: You can make an individual glass & it can be adjusted for each individuals taste by adding more or less syrup ie. ginger ale, root beer, lemon lime,
- The Captain drinks the carbonated water straight up
- I like to add it to fruit juice like grape, cranberry or grapefruit (a good way to wean yourself off of soda--little fizzy & a little sweet, using less & less juice to save calories)
- Homemade sodas like ginger ale, lime and cream soda (or Italian Soda if you're at Starbucks). There are tons more on the internet. Think green tea or chai concentrates, simple syrups, fruit juice, Torani flavored syrups, or sassafrass concentrate.
- Mixer: Wine spritzer, see "lime" in recipes below for sweet & sour/margarita mix, to dilute hard liquors
- Tonic: Sodastream mixer is good or homemade (http://imbibemagazine.com/Homemade-Tonic-Water-Recipe/)
An extra Sodastream CO2 cylinder costs $30 (one is included with your purchase) & can be exchanged for refills in the states for $15 (I used Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupons). We had two at home so when one ran out, there wasn't a rush to exchange. Once you leave the country, you won't be able to exchange. You may be able to refill if you have all the pieces and can talk someone into it. Friends on sv Sail Pending use dry ice: (https://sodamakerclub.com/diy-refills/)
We had a SodaStream but we bought a 4 lb C02 bottle and brought it to the boat (can't ship or take on airplanes) and then attached our Sodastream head when the smaller canisters were empty. It lasted 18 months and we refilled it for $14 (labor waived) at Caribbean Inflatables in Red Hook, St. Thomas, USVI. While some articles recommend using regular soda bottles, I still use the SodaStream brand water bottles (watch expiration date. You don't want one of these to explode!)
Home brew supply stores are making it easier to find all the bits & pieces to make your own set up from scratch. Here's a few articles:
Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-06/how-make-your-own-home-carbonation-system
Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/pros-cons-diy-carbonation-rig-how-to-carbonate-cocktails-at-home-equipment-how-to-build-cheaper-sodastream-replacement.html
Tips: Water fizzes better when it's cold so we keep 2 bottles in the fridge or refill with water pitcher. Add flavoring after fizzing or even better, in the glass.
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 cups hot (not boiling) water
3/4 cup honey
1. Combine all in a blender and process for 1 minute. Strain into a canning jar and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 10 days.
2. To Make Ginger Ale: Pour 1/4 cup of the ginger mixture (more or less to taste) into a glass.
3. Add sparkling water and ice cubes. Makes about 2 cups--enough for 8 servings of ginger ale.
2 oz lime simple syrup, or to taste
6 oz club soda
2 oz vanilla syrup recipe: Simmer 1 cup water & 1 cup sugar until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool. Add 1 tbsp vanilla extract & refrigerate
6 oz carbonated water
(Splash heavy whipping cream or Half & half, if desired)
Bonnie's Copycat Starbucks Refresher Energy drink (12 oz)
Ingredients on can:
Fruit Juice concentrate 25% (Raspberry/Pom, Orange/Melon, Strawberry Lemonade)
Green Coffee extract
4 oz carbonated water
4 oz green tea concentrate (1 1/2 c. water to 4 teabags or purchase powder)
4 oz white grape juice & another fruit juice of your choice (also try frozen concentrate?)
Simple syrup to taste
6 oz carbonated water,
2 oz rum
6 oz carbonated water,
2 oz rum