Coolest Christmas gift EVER this year was a soda making machine. You heard me right. A machine that makes soda. Shawners started requesting one about two months before Christmas. When he first asked about it, I replied, "Hun, I don't know if that even exists." He was very upset that I didn't such a thing existed and very adamant that it did. Fortunately for him, the next day I heard about a machine that makes soda called Soda Stream on the radio in full on Christmas advertising from the radio DJ style - "best Christmas gift ever - never have to buy soda again - make all different flavors" and, though skeptical, added it to the Christmas gift list to email to Oma. Wisely, she decided to give his soda machine to the family so he didn't hog the soda to himself. Not that I thought we'd be worrying about having a soda out of a home machine - I mean, seriously, kinda ew, right?
Boy, was I wrong. The soda this thing makes is DELICIOUS. Not to mention free from high fructose corn syrup - the main reason I avoid buying soda and only splurge occasionally on Whole Food 365 brand or Blue Sky. Shawners and I made soda for Shawners' and Justin's friends and they gulped those things down in less than a minute. The best part? Oma ordered tons of different flavors. While I'm still not used to the strange look of the bottles, the variety and taste completely overrides any strangeness. Our flavors include Creme Soda, Root Beer, Cherry Cola, Cola, Ginger Ale, Orange Soda, probably more... and the best flavor of all Essence flavors with absolutely nothing added! The essence is literally an essential oil and super healthy to drink besides the carbonation, which secretly is the only part I crave about soda. So far I've only tried Berry Essence and haven't strayed because the berry is too darn good - reminds me of Clearly Canadian soda I used to get at the gas station when I was little.
On top of it all, making soda takes less than a minute. First you fill the bottle up with water. Then, you insert the bottle into the machine and screw it in. Pull the tab in short bursts until you hear a loud buzz, then keep pulling until you hear two more buzzes. Personally, I like more fizz so I add a few more. Not sure where the buzzing comes from - maybe from being too full? To get this part down took us a few times and included an exploding soda over the kitchen island, and a typical overflowing soda bottle, but, fortunately, in the sink. Unscrew the bottle - depending on the amount of fizz you put in you should get the traditional "opening a soda bottle" release sound at this point. Or, in one of our first cases, "exploding soda bottle" release sound. The tank of CO2 is housed in the tall white part of the machine, but is disguised so sleekly you don't even think about the heftiness of the tank after it's in there. Finally, pour in your flavor - in the case of the sodas, pour in a capful, and in the case of the essences, pour in half a teaspoon. Pour over ice, and enjoy - look at that smile on his face. Seriously that easy. And more delicious than soda out of an aluminum can or sitting in a plastic bottle for who knows how long. Now the idea of those make me say ew. Who would've thought making your own soda could be so simple and delicious?
Last but not least, not to mention economical! I didn't even think about the cost aspect since it was a Christmas gift with all the flavors included already, but now that I've been checking out the links to the actual product, I realize the economics of having one. The tiny little bottle of essence water has already made me three liters of soda and is barely touched. I'm positive I can get at least seven more liters out of it. Besides the initial investment which will pay for itself after awhile, that's less than twenty-eight cents a liter for totally natural soda. The regular flavors of soda come out to forty-one cents a liter. Now, I'm even more excited about having this soda machine. Eek!