Carbonated drinks found on supermarket shelves have received a bad rap over the years for being unhealthy and laden with processed sugars. However, SodaStream gives you the ability to take control over what goes in to your fizzy drinks as you make them yourself from scratch at home.
Of the four SodaStream models on the market, Ange gave the SodaStream Play a test drive to see what all the fuss is about. Read on to find out what she thought.
The sales pitch
SodaStream puts the fun back into water! Fizzing up water with SodaStream gives you the opportunity to try new soda flavours in a healthier way with less sugar and no additives.
These are great alternatives for a refreshing treat compared to many sugary sodas and soft drinks found on the shelves in the supermarket. All you need to add some sparkle to your tap water, is at a touch of a button. Your SodaStream will create a delicious array of sodas, cocktails and mocktails for whatever you fancy!
Road test results
I road tested the SodaStream Play over three weeks, trying the sparkling water on its own, used the SodaStream with various cordials and fruit syrups, requested some healthier SodaStream recipe options (which I’ve added below!), and bought a few SodaStream branded syrups which retail for around $10 each.
Once you’ve done the initial setup of the machine as per the fairly straightforward instructions you’re ready to get started. It comes with one reusable carbonating bottle and one carbonator gas cylinder capable of adding light bubbles to 30 litres of water. The carbonator adds CO2 to your regular water which creates the bubbles.
Simply fill the carbonating bottle with water (note: it always must carbonate water only!), lock it in to the SodaStream machine, then press the front top part of the machine down for 1-2 seconds to lightly carbonate your water. One press will add a light fizz, two presses will add a medium fizz, and three presses are for high fizz. Then remove your bottle from the machine and add your syrup or other ingredients.
To flavour the water over the trial period, I tried adding Rose’s Lemon Cordial, several Barker’s Fruit Syrups, and some of the SodaStream branded syrups (Pink Grapefruit, Orange Peach & Passionfruit, and Summer Lemon) which all worked well and kept the husband happy. The extra SodaStream recipes we’ve listed below though were really delish!
When you run out of gas, you take the cylinder in to your local SodaStream retailer and they ‘refill’ it which means they swap it out for a new cylinder of the same size and you pay for the gas only. You can also buy spare cylinders if you want to have extra full ones on hand.
- The SodaStream Play isn’t your typical kitchen appliance in that it doesn’t need to be plugged in to a power socket to work. This means that you can store it anywhere on your bench without taking up another power outlet (in our kitchen there are precious few left after the toaster, kettle and coffee machine are plugged in!) or having additional cables to deal with. It also means that it’s easier to pack away into your cupboards if you only want to bring it out when you want to make a drink.
- If you like sparkling water, this is a great way of having it any time you like; all you need is tap water and a gas cylinder. A great healthy option that gives you the fun of bubbles without adding to your calorie intake.
- If you want more bottles, carbonator cylinders or syrups, you can purchase extras at your local SodaStream retailer.
- The starter kit comes with a free gas cylinder upgrade from a 30L to a 60L the next time you need to refill (you will only have to pay for the gas itself).
- You may need to experiment with how many pumps and the duration of each pump depending on how fizzy you want it. Our first few test runs were a little flat and the husband and I preferred our drinks to be quite bubbly!
- The 30L cylinder is for light bubbles only; if you want your drinks extra fizzy, you will go through the gas faster than this.
- The carbonator bottles must not be washed in hot water or in dishwashers. As someone who does all the used dishes on the bench in one go, I’ve caught myself almost washing it out in the hot water with the rest of them on a couple of occasions, so be careful of this!
Extra SodaStream recipes we tried
– Few spoons of fresh passionfruit seeds
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Fizzed SodaSteam water
– Handful of ice
– 1 tsp of runny honey (if you don’t like it too sour!)
Muddle the lot together and pour into an iced glass. Garnish with the passionfruit seeds for a sour crunch! (Ange’s tip: If using iced water, combine the lemon, honey and passionfruit with a little warm water to dissolve the honey first otherwise it will solidify in the cold water!).
Cucumber and Mint Fizz
– 6 cucumber rounds
– ½ lime
– 2 sprigs of fresh mint
– Fizzed SodaStream water
– Handful of ice
Add ice, cucumber and one sprig of mint to a tall glass. Squeeze in the lime juice and top with fizzed SodaStream water.
English Country Garden
– 3 strawberries
– Squeeze lemon
– 2 basil leaves
– Fizzed SodaStream water
– Handful of ice
Blend strawberries and basil together. Squeeze the lemon into a short glass and add ice. Pour Sodastream water over the ice and then add the fruit paste stirring as you go. Decorate with basil! (Ange’s tip: Strawberries are difficult to get in winter so we used frozen ones; a nice hint of summertime fruit for the cold months!).
Where to get it
The SodaStream Play is available in red, blue, yellow, black, and white. Get yours from Farmers, Briscoes, Noel Leeming, The Warehouse and other SodaStream stockists (RRP $139.99). For more information, visit www.sodastream.co.nz.
Note: SodaStream Play provided for reviewing by SodaStream
Image / NZ Real Health (top), Supplied (bottom)