For weeks now, Lobsterman and I have been intrigued by the SodaStream commercials. Frankly I was more amazed at how cool the exploding bottles of soda were, but he was in it for the actual fizzy possibilities.
Frankly, I'm not a big soda drinker. I use to be addicted to Diet Pepsi, then Dr. Pepper, but after serving in our great Armed Forces over in Germany, I became addicted to the warm, not so fizzy, pretty bland Fanta orange soda over there. Much like beer, and McDonald's Big Macs, once I got back to the states I realized just how much crap, preservatives, sugar, syrup, and blech goes into all of our products. I gave up beer, Big Macs, and soda, only trying them all once in a while as a reminder of how crappy they tasted.
We are a HUGE fan of sparkly water though, but HOLY CRAP the price of Pellegrino is insane for bubbly water!
So, of course, there was a very helpful (and incredibly nice) SodaStream demonstrator in Costco, who answered all of my questions (the biggest question was: can we just make fizzy water, answer is YES), and who let me choose a flavor to try out. I opted for lemon lime. He showed me how to screw the bottle of water on, pump the thing three times, add the flavoring, mix it gently, tah dah, soda.
I tasted it and pronounced "Holy crap, it's Sprite!", but it wasn't really Sprite because Sprite is all syrupy and too sweet and leaves a nasty film on my mouth and tongue... this didn't. It was actually refreshing! Best part (to me anyway) is that when you get the bottle of flavoring, you can add as much or as little as you want... great potential for recreating bland German-like Fanta orange soda here.
I honestly don't see why you couldn't, after fizzying the plain water, just add whatever juice or flavoring you want, and we'll be giving that a shot. Oh yeah, I had him throw one of them in my cart.
Now, there are some things to be aware of before you go all wacky nuts and run out and get one.
There is a "carbonator" tank that comes with it. When it runs out, you exchange it (kinda like propane tanks) and exchange price depends on the size of your tank. Some stores will exchange the tanks right there, or you can tell SodaStream to send you a replacement, they do, then you put the old one in the prepaid box and ship it back.
The scoop I got from the SodaStream demo guy was that most stores only have the small bottle models. The one from Costco is the 130l big bottle. If you get a machine that takes the big bottle, then you can use a big bottle or a small bottle. But if you buy a machine that uses the small bottle, you can't use the big bottle... just letting you know.
The model I bought had 12 samples of diet and regular flavors. We're in the process of testing them out. I have no idea how much the actual bottles of flavoring cost, frankly we're just in it for the fizzy water, but we'll probably go check out the bottles of Raspberry and other tasty, tasty flavors (there's a gazillion of them).
So far I've tried the lemon lime (tastes like Sprite) and we tried the Orange (too much Orange for me, and tastes like Orange Crush, we watered it down and it tasted almost German Fanta to me). I'll let everyone know if the "cola" tastes like Pepsi, Coke, or otherwise.
As far as cost goes, even with the whole tank exchange price (the 130l tank makes 130 liters of bubbly whatever, which is 65 2-liter bottles, and in my crappy math skillz I figured that would be $40 of bubbly stuff versus about $100 for 65 2-liter bottles of soda) so yeah, there's some savings in there, but also less waste, more variety, ability to flavor how you want, and tasty, tasty, fresh fizzy stuff when you want it.
So, go out and check out the SodaStream Web site and make sure you know what you're getting into and whether it is something for you, or not. I'm just sayin... it's tasty and convenient. Your taste may be different.