Having a soda maker in your kitchen is a fantastic addition, whether you enjoy creating fizzy juices, concocting healthier carbonated drinks, or preparing sparkling water for your mini-bar mixes. The beauty of homemade carbonated drinks lies in their ability to provide a more economical alternative to store-bought fizzy beverages while granting you the freedom to customize the drinks precisely to your liking.
Not too long ago, options for soda makers were rather limited. For the most part, consumers either opted for the well-established brand SodaStream or took a risk on lesser-known, generic alternatives. However, the landscape has changed significantly, and nowadays, there is a wide variety of choices available to cater to the preferences of bubbly beverage enthusiasts. What’s even more exciting is the infusion of modern technology into soda makers, making them increasingly user-friendly and aligned with other connected appliances in your modern kitchen.
Let’s explore the reasons why a soda maker is a must-have kitchen gadget and delve into the exciting developments that have transformed the soda maker market:
1. Customization: By owning a soda maker, you gain the power to create drinks tailored precisely to your taste preferences. Adjust the carbonation levels to suit your desired fizziness, experiment with different flavors and syrups, or enjoy the simplicity of sparkling water on its own. The ability to customize your drinks ensures a truly personalized and satisfying beverage experience.
2. Economical: Homemade carbonated drinks present a cost-effective solution compared to purchasing pre-packaged sodas. With a soda maker, you can save money in the long run by producing your own fizzy drinks using tap water and your preferred flavorings, eliminating the need for frequent store-bought purchases.
3. Healthier Choices: For individuals conscious of their sugar intake or dietary restrictions, a soda maker allows you to create healthier carbonated drink options. You have control over the ingredients, enabling you to opt for natural sweeteners, reduce or eliminate artificial additives, and choose fresh fruit juices or flavorings.
4. Expanded Market: In the past, the soda maker market was dominated primarily by SodaStream. However, the evolving preferences and demands of consumers have led to a surge in options. Nowadays, you can find a plethora of soda maker brands and models, each offering unique features, designs, and capabilities to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of enthusiasts.
5. Technological Advancements: Soda makers have embraced modern technology, incorporating innovative features to enhance the user experience. Some models now come with intuitive interfaces, touch controls, and even connectivity options. These advancements simplify the carbonation process, provide real-time feedback, and allow you to monitor and control your soda maker using smartphone apps or voice commands.
6. Eco-Friendly: By utilizing a soda maker, you contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing single-use plastic bottle waste. Rather than purchasing and disposing of countless plastic bottles, you can enjoy your homemade carbonated drinks in reusable containers, minimizing your ecological footprint.
The ever-growing selection of soda makers ensures that you can find the perfect fit for your needs, whether you prioritize design, ease of use, advanced features, or compatibility with specific flavorings. From compact and portable options to high-end models with advanced carbonation systems, the choices are endless.
In conclusion, a soda maker is an indispensable kitchen companion for those who enjoy creating fizzy beverages. Homemade carbonated drinks provide a cost-effective, customizable, and healthier alternative to store-bought options. With the expansion of the soda maker market and the integration of modern technology, the choices are more diverse than ever, offering exciting possibilities for carbonated drink enthusiasts. Invest in a soda maker today and elevate your beverage game with endless sparkling concoctions tailored to your exact liking. Cheers to refreshing homemade fizzy drinks!
These are some of the best soda makers available today.
Philips GoZero Soda Maker
Want a cheap soda maker than can get the job done? Get this Philips model, which delivers a good combination of aesthetics, function, and affordability. At the price, it’s significantly more affordable than other options, all while looking just as nice as standard soda makers. In fact, some might argue it’s even nicer. And yes, it does make a good fizz pretty consistently, with none of the sourness that some soda makers produce after the sparkling water has sat for a bit. It does, however, produce bubbles that are noticeably smaller than the large ones you see on brands like Drinkmate and SodaStream, but it’s a reasonable tradeoff for being a much more economical choice (unless, of course, you want your big roiling bubbles).
We love the compact size of this soda maker, allowing you to tuck it into a small corner of the kitchen counter. However, that’s not even the best thing about it. What really makes the OmniFizz stand out is that it’s the only brand of soda maker that officially endorses carbonating juices, cocktails, and, pretty much, any beverage you can think of. That means, you can carbonate more than water without voiding your warranty, which is not the case with most other soda makers in the market. Even better, it carbonated every beverage we’ve tried with impressive consistency, producing the same level of fizziness each time out, so long as we were also consistent at infusing the CO2.
This soda maker doesn’t work with standard screw-in CO2 cartridges, so you’ll have to use the outfit’s own Quick Connect cylinder every time. If you can live with that, you’ll probably appreciate the convenience of their custom CO2 cylinder, which eliminates the repetitive wrist motion required to screw a standard cylinder in place, requiring you to simply load the cylinder in the back and lower the plastic lever to lock it in place. Instead of carbonating your drinks by pressing a button, it comes with a lever instead, giving it an old-school soda fountain feel that just sets it apart from your typical soda-making appliances. And yes, using the lever actually feels more ergonomic compared to a button for manual pump action, so we really like that design touch. Like other SodaStream carbonators, though, it only does sparkling water, requiring you to add in any flavorings afterwards.
If you don’t like pressing a button multiple times to carbonate your water, then this SodaStream model just might be what your countertop needs. That’s because it automatically handles how much CO2 is released into the bottle, instead of having to do it manually by pressing the gas release button multiple times. To use, you need to choose a carbonation level (low, medium, or high) and press the main button once, at which point it handles everything else, so you just wait the few seconds until it’s done. We actually appreciate the precise carbonation you can get here, since you’re not winging it each time out the way you would with standard manual pump soda makers. Only catch is, it uses power and requires plugging into a wall outlet, so it’s a little inconvenient on that end, since it adds another single-function appliance to the wire mess in your kitchen.
Every other soda maker in the market requires you to use CO2 cylinders. Not this one, which uses packets containing citric acid and baking soda to produce the gas instead, so it’s a bit more economical on that end compared to its cartridge-based counterparts. Because of this, operation just isn’t as smooth or seamless as standard soda makers. You know how you can, typically, put fizz in water in a few seconds using any of the other brands here? Well, it takes anywhere from two to four minutes to do the same thing with this machine, depending on the amount of fizz you want in your drink.
To use this soda maker, you fill the tank in the rear with water, drop the packet’s contents into the top slot, put your bottle in place, and choose a carbonation level. From there, you let it go to work and pick up the bottle once it’s done. Because it handles the carbonation on its own, we found it a bit more precise similar to SodaStream’s One Touch machine. However, it does that appliance one better by officially allowing you to carbonate juices, teas, wines, and anything else you want, just like the Drinkmate, so you’re not limited to pumping out bottle after bottle of sparkling water.
What’s the downside? Mainly the size, as this is bigger than any soda maker available today and requires a bigger footprint in your kitchen counter. Also, while you can use your own citric acid and baking soda mix to carbonate using the machine, doing that can void the warranty, so DIY at your own risk.
Not a fan of plastic-covered appliances adorning your kitchen counter? Skip the rest and pick up one of Aarke’s soda makers with its stainless steel build and premium-looking aesthetics. Seriously, this is one of the few soda makers we’ve seen that can really spruce up the appearance of any kitchen counter (it looks like one of those draft taps with kegerators underneath that you see in bars). Despite the elevated looks, the actual function is as straightforward as any manual pump action soda maker, so you simply load a CO2 canister, place a bottle with water on the head, and pull on the lever on the side. The actual carbonation doesn’t feel as consistent as the best manual pump soda makers we’ve tried (sometimes, it releases more CO2 with each pump, sometimes less), although it’s not really a big deal, since you can see what’s happening and adjust in real time. It’s also significantly more expensive than other manual soda makers, but, we guess, that’s the price of entry for something that can actually add a decorative touch to your kitchen space.