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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Fizzy with SodaStream, a review


I love fizzy drinks. Fizzy water. Fizzy lemonade. Soda, I’m not so crazy about, but fizz I like.

What I don’t like about soda:

  • the cost
  • the high-fructose corn syrup
  • the fast loss of fizz once you open the bottle
  • the empty recyclables falling out of the bin and rolling around in my mudroom

But what if you could have your fizz whenever you want,…

whatever flavor you want…

and for a whole lot less than the store-brand generic soft drinks?

And it was high-fructose free and green to boot?

You can, with SodaStream!blog 004

The folks at SodaStream sent me their Fountain Jet Seltzer Starter kit, plus 8 different SodaMix flavors and a MyWater variety pack. This is all I need to make 60 liters of soda (one liter at a time), and still have a whole bunch of SodaMix left over.

How does it work?

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The unit itself is quite simple and ingenious, really.

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The back cover comes off and this is where you’ll install the CO2 cylinder.

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The CO2 cylinders are licensed rather than sold with the unit. When it’s empty, you don’t buy a new one, but pay a fee to exchange it for a refilled one. This is recycling at its best…no waste.

Once you’ve got it back together, push the lever in front…

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…and then screw on a bottle of very cold water.

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Why does it have to be cold? You know what happens when you open a warm can of soda, right?

The bottles are proprietary and each holds 1 liter when filled to the line (don’t fill too full, or you’ll have a mess). These are heavy duty, BPA-Free plastic bottles that should stand up to abuse (not that I recommend abusing them).

Next, push the top button in short bursts. Fizz. Fizz. Fizz. When you hear 3 kinda buzzes (or 4 or…how fizzy do you like your water?), ‘tis done.

Take it out, pour some into a glass and add some SodaMix, or add the flavor to the whole liter. Or have it plain. I like it plain, actually.

That’s it, no batteries, no plug. Purely mechanical, just takes a minute and you are done.

This was a real hit at the double birthday party we had a while back…I could serve anyone and everyone their own fizzy drink (and they all tried different kinds). We had: Rootbeer, Gingerale, Cranberry-Raspberry, Green Tea Pomegranate Peach…and we didn’t even try mixing any of the flavors together.

The SodaMixes are super concentrated (something like 1 part mix to 23 parts water), so you only need a tiny bit per glass. Each of those bottles you see will make the equivalent of 33 12oz. cans of soda. The water flavors are even more concentrated, as they contain no sugar, just flavoring.

What did we like?

Easy to use. Fits into my kitchen easily. See how nice it looks under my cabinets?


I can make a different flavor for each and every person…and I won’t be stuck with a 2-liter bottle of orange soda in my fridge.

No high-fructose corn syrup in the SodaMix.

I can even mix flavors (would you believe my kiddos like to mix things like Rootbeer with orange soda…I know, they are weirdos).

I like the MyWater essences (these can be used in still water, too).

I even like just plain fizzy water (and it’s cheap and sodium-free).

I can make make it as fizzy as I want.

The bottles are reusable and BPA-Free (if you are concerned about plastics, there’s a more expensive model that uses glass bottles).

You can buy extra bottles (we bought an extra 2-pack)---makes it easy to have a fizzy bottle and one ready to fizz.

The water stays fizzy in the bottle for a couple of days.

It’s very green…the best way to recycle is to reuse something, and SodaStream has that down.

What could be improved?

Really just one thing: the SodaMix. The current SodaMix flavors all contain Splenda, even the non-diet flavors. I’m speculating, but this is probably to help keep the cost down, possibly makes it easier to have a super concentrated formula if without the bulk caused by adding more sugar, and it keeps the calorie count down (only 35 calories/glass). The problem is---I’m not a fan of the Splenda taste. And I don’t like feeding the kiddos artificial sweeteners.

UPDATED: Good News! Sparling Naturals are now available! They do not contain artificial sweeteners, woohoo!

The even better news is that you don’t have to use SodaMix to make your soda! You could make your own syrup…but I had an even better idea: juice concentrate (the kind that comes in a can in the freezer section at your local grocer), works perfectly! You can usually find orange juice, apple juice, and some blends. I found raspberry apple…very yummy. Just make sure it’s all juice and not “juice cocktail” (which will have high-fructose corn syrup added to it). You’ll have to experiment with the proportions as the juice is not as concentrated as the SodaMix. I found that about 2 tablespoons of juice concentrate to about 8 oz. of fizzy water was about right for me (and still had plenty of fizz!).

And using juice makes it more like real food, doesn’t it? Takes the guilt away. I love it!

SodaStream is available at thousands of retail stores, or purchase direct from SodaStream on-line, starting at $79.95.

Featured in this review: The SodaStream Fountain Jet Seltzer Kit, which includes the Fountain Jet unit (available in black/silver, white, or red), one CO2 cylinder, and one carbonating bottle, currently retails for $79.95 directly from SodaStream. Prices will vary at different stores.

SodaMixes, Naturals and MyWater Essence Flavors sell for $4.99-$9.99.

Please visit the SodaStream site for other options, locations for purchase, locations for trading in CO2 cartridges, and for exact pricing on SodaMix and accessories.

Disclosure: SodaStream sent me this product for free for review purposes. I received no compensation and was in no way obligated to post a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. I almost jumped up and down when I read that you love fizz!! Me too!! I do love the taste of Dr. Pepper, but it really is more than the flavor. It's the way the fizz feels in my mouth... I'm sure I sound crazy but maybe not to another fizz lover!! Anyways, soo cool that you got one to try out... I've seen them at Bed, Bath and Beyond but never stopped to see what they were about. I love that you can do juice!! I'm not into Splenda at all... I think the corn syrup is better than that. Anyways, yay for another fizz lover!!

  2. Hmmm looks very interesting this SOdaStream, i`m thinking to buy one for me. Thanks for your review, very helpful.


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