If there is one beverage that people can’t seem to get enough of, that is soda. We can’t really pinpoint why we love the fizzy drink so much, especially when we know it’s loaded with sugar! Maybe it’s the carbonation that we love, or the many different flavors available. Whatever it is, 1 in 3 Americans will drink soda and other sugary drinks each day.
What can you do to get your fix for fuzzy drinks without all that sugar? A soda maker! Now you might think that a soda maker is just some gimmicky think that would be targeted for kids, but it’s actually not. It’s a very adult product that can help you get that little bit of bubbly goodness that you may be looking for.
These little appliances are great for carbonating water if you’re a fan of sparkling water, but it can so give you a chance to experiment with homemade soda syrups and even kick up the wow factor of your favorite cocktails.
In this article, we are going to delve into the world of soda makers, how they work, what you can do with them, and talk about popular Sodastream flavors if you don’t feel like experimenting with making your own.
Soda makers work by putting carbon dioxide into water or other liquids to create that fizziness (carbonation) that we all know and love about soda. Now, you may wonder how does carbonation work.
Basically, carbonation is the result of CO2 being forced into the liquid at high pressures—sometimes up to 1,200 pounds per square inch. That hissing sound you hear when you open your bottle is millions of CO2 molecules breaking through the liquid.
If you look at a bottle of soda that is unopened, you’ll notice that it has very little, if any, bubbles in it. This is because the pressure inside that bottle is able to keep the carbon dioxide contained within the liquid. However, once you crack that seal, you’re releasing that pressure and the gas bubbles are allowed to rush to the top of the liquid and break free.
When you shake the bottle of soda prior to opening it, you’re giving the CO2 more energy, and when the seal is broken, those bubbles are going to skyrocket toward the top.
A soda maker will work the same way.
When you’re looking at soda makers, you may notice that there are devices that look like something used to make whipped cream, and then there is a machine with a bottle. They are both a sparkling water machine, but they are slightly different/
A soda siphon is a machine that is going to be attached to the top of a water bottle and you can carbonate the water. There is a CO2 cartridge inside the siphon that’ll give your water that CO2 goodness.
There are numerous advantages to using a soda siphon:
Unfortunately, they will require more time to carbonate your water, and it will be more tedious if you’re an avid sparkling water drinker. Also with a soda siphon, there is less control over the amount of carbonation is injected into the water. That means you could be wasting a lot of CO2 and go through the cartridges much quicker than you’re comfortable with, meaning it’ll become quite costly in the long run, even if you do buy the cartridges in bulk.
With the machine, it is an actual appliance that will produce soda. These appliances usually use a carbonator that is filled with CO2. That is put inside the sparkling water maker to create that fizz in the water that is in the bottle that is compatible with the maker.
Some advantages of using a soda maker rather than a siphon include:
With that in mind, the soda maker is not going to be as portable as a siphon, so you’re going to be restricted to one place. They are going to take up more space in your kitchen, and they can have issues further down the line. The soda maker is going to be better for those who drink a lot of soda and need a quick and affordable bit of sparkling water when the mood strikes.
If you’re sold on the idea of DIY soda and sparkling water, then a carbonated water maker may be the appliance for you. However, you might be wondering how to make sparkling water with one of these makers. It’s really simple!
Now you can drink sparkling water. However, if you want to make soda, continue with these following steps:
If you know early on that you’d rather have soda than sparkling water, you can add the soda mix to the water prior to carbonation so that you don’t have to re-carbonate it.
Maybe you aren’t interested in drinking just plain sparkling water and you want some kind of flavor. That’s the beauty of using a soda maker, you can use any kind of flavoring you’d like.
One brand, SodaStream, makes many flavored syrups that will turn your sparkling water into a flavorful beverage. There are nine categories of flavors that are sold:
Now just because you have a soda maker, that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to using one brand of syrup. You can use a variety of flavors. One of the most cost effective ways of creating your own soda is by using snow cone syrup. There’s a bunch of flavors available and when you buy in bulk, it’s pretty cheap.
You also have the option of finding liquid flavorings (cherry and lemon are the most common) in most grocery stores. While they aren’t going to be as flavorful as the soda syrups, they are still an option.
What if you don’t want to spend money on a syrup and you’d like to experiment making your own? You can! There are several ways you can create your own flavors depending on what flavor you want and how much time you have—heck, sometimes you can just use real fruit juice like fresh squeezed citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits.
What are you to do when you’re tired of drinking the same old cola flavors, it’s understandable that you may want to branch out and try new things. But, with so many syrup options available, where do you even start?
Here is a list of the top SodaStream flavors that you may want to consider trying.
Many people are under the impression that they can only carbonate water when they use the soda maker. That isn’t the case at all! In fact, you can carbonate many different liquids. It may take a bit longer to get the same amount of carbonation, but mark our words, it is possible!
Here are some great options you can play around with.
Fruit juices will carbonate much easier than water. However, if you want to carbonate orange juice, there are two things you’ll want to keep in mind:
When you’re taking the freshly carbonated orange juice from your soda maker, there is going to be quite a bit of built up pressure, so take it slow and be extremely careful when you release the pressure. If you take it off too quickly, you’re going to be showed in orange juice.
Coffee may sound a little strange, but back in the 1990s, Pepsi came out with Pepsi Kona, which was a coffee flavored cola. Also, you can also find coffee flavored beverages in stores all over. However, none of the stuff that you buy in the stores is actually pure carbonated coffee—it’s just a carbonated drink with coffee added to it.
To make your own carbonated coffee, add some cold coffee (fill it about half way) to the bottle of the machine. Slowly start carbonating the coffee with the soda maker. Once the coffee is carbonated to your liking, you are going to want to slowly remove the bottle from the machine. It’s going to be quite fizzy so be slow.
Now, some people are fans of carbonated coffee and some aren’t. The carbonation is going to change the pH level, which is going to alter the flavor a bit. While the first few sips are going to be a unique experience, once the carbonation begins to subside, the overall flavor will start to sour.
Tea is quite good when it’s carbonated and it isn’t going to be as fizzy as coffee or juice. You’re going to carbonate the tea just like the other liquids. Fill the bottle about half way with tea and go about carbonating. The nice thing about tea is that you can add some kind of sweetener like honey or agave nectar. You can also add other flavoring like lemon juice too for a little extra something.
A fun way to make your cocktails a little extra special is by carbonating them. It gives you a unique mouth feel that you don’t normally get with hard liquor.
To make a carbonated cocktail, you will want to make the drink like you would normally. Shake it and chill it with a bit of ice. Strain the drink into the soda maker bottle and then slowly carbonate it.
We do want to point out that some liquors are going to carbonate different than others, so you may have to experiment with the amount of carbonation you add, and also how fizzy they become once you remove it from the maker. A good rule of thumb is to always expect a lot of pressure when you’re removing it from the maker.
If you do want to make a carbonated cocktail, here’s how you can expect the liquor can carbonate:
If you’re a wine lover, you can turn your favorite wine into a sparkling wine. It’s just going to take a little bit of trial and error, and patience. White wine is going to work better than red wine because it isn’t as viscous and it has a lower sugar content. If you have a fizz overflow, it’ll be much cleaner too!
If you want to experiment with unique beverages to turn into soda, we say go for it. Some things are going to carbonate more than other, and some are going to become fizzier quicker than others. If you’re going to experiment, you’re going to want to be careful and be prepared to wear whatever your carbonating!
When it comes to keeping hydrated, soda just isn’t going to be the best option. If anything, your mother was right about one thing: It’s loaded with sugar, empty calories, and it’ll rot your teeth. However, if you have to have your soda fix, you can still get it by carbonating water and adding flavoring to it.
A soda maker can be that perfect small appliance for those who love the carbonation from soda but they don’t want to negative impact soda can have on your health. Not only can a soda maker be a healthier option, it can open you up to a whole new world of flavors!
Half of the syrup flavors that are available today are not available in your typical soda form. If they are, they are going to be pretty expensive and only available in multi-packs. With the soda syrups, you can try new things.
Then again, if you don’t want to go with a pre-made syrup, you can make your own or carbonate other liquids! For those who love carbonated beverages, the soda maker, or a soda siphon (whichever you prefer) can be exactly what you’re looking for!