… SodaStream! We were very excited about trying one of these, not least because we were also sent a few fruit-flavoured syrups with which to organise a ‘taste test’ (no shortage of volunteers there, age range four to 40. Getting a go with the ‘bubble lever’ – not the technical term, needless to say – was a big draw, too. As was the temptation to overdo it – three times is just right. Get more carried away and we recommend standing back).
The model we reviewed, the SodaStream Pure (£79.99), is impressively slimline – you could slide it into a spot on the most cluttered kitchen counter (pic, left, was taken after we cleared the decks). We also like the look of the glossy red Genesis (£59.99) model (pictured below).
Another bonus is the lack of any cords or wires and it requires no recharging. Gas cylinder in place, it’s ready to serve up sparkling drinks – lightly carbonated to eye-wateringly fizzy – whenever you are. No lugging back two litre plastic bottles from the supermarket, which take up lots of space in the fridge and tend to go flat before they’re finished. And when they’re empty, the 60 litre gas cylinders can be exchanged for full ones in-store or by courier (more details here).
The SodaStream works by carbonating your tap water, which you chill in the two bottles provided (the hard plastic bottles are BPA-free, if you’re concerned about this, but, as such, aren’t dishwasher safe).
So, the taste test. The majority of SodaStream flavours we tried are part of the new, Clear range, containing no artificial sweeteners, flavours or added colours, which really appealed to us (£3.99 each, at SodaStream.co.uk). The original line-up, meanwhile, offers classics such as Cola and Lemonade. Each 500 ml bottle makes up to 12 litres of drink.
And the results are in. Our fizzy favourites, in order of yumminess:
Lemon & Lime – our runaway favourite. Declared “yummy”, “refreshing” and “delicious”.
Cranberry & Raspberry – a close second. Described as “sweet”, “zingy” and “refreshing”.
Passionfruit & Mango - a bit different. “Exotic” and “fizzy”, according to our testers.
Orange – from the original range, was “fizzy” and “sweet” and just like a fizzy orange you’d get in a bottle or can.
Mango & Apple – “Fruity” and “tropical”.
Of course, you can use the SodaStream Pure to simply make sparkling water (and control the amount of fizz, according to taste) and maybe try diluting pure fruit juices with the chilled tap water and making them fizzy. We certainly had heaps of fun experimenting …
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