Make your own bubbly–water, that is

Perhaps this holiday season you will get the $5k winepod to make wine at home. For my birthday a few months ago, I got a gift that gave me the ability to make something a little less exciting: water.

Well, not exactly make water, which, of course is free from the tap. But I received a carbonating contraption known as SodaStream that adds some sparkle to your H2O. Fill a one-liter bottle with water, twist onto the nozzle, press button three times and voila! Sparkling water! Just like an old-fashioned seltzer water maker. After making probably close to a hundred liters of such water now, I find it to be very good (though it is best to carbonate immediately before consuming) and convenient (no running out of sparkling water).

And, of course, it’s low carbon footprint! As an offset to my wine consumption, I gave up bottled water almost entirely last year and it was the sparkling water that I missed most. Now it’s great to have it back on my table. In fact, since grape fermentation produces both alcohol and carbon dioxide, I’ll be looking out for the first carbonation cartridge that comes from captured fermentation CO2!

As to the pricing, it’s about $100 for the Fountain Jet model that I got with two cartridges and a refillable bottle (but having extra bottles helps since you can just keep them full in the fridge; UPDATE–enter code SODAGIFT to get $25 off a new soda maker for the holidays). At 50-60 liters of carbonation per $15 cartridge, or $0.25 a bottle, it’s neither as cheap as tap water nor as cheap as I would like, but it’s less expensive than bottled water–and lower carbon footprint, clearly, without the trucks hauling glass bottles and water from Maine or the Alps.

Now if only I can get the courage up to try carbonating still wines, then I’ll really be undercutting the market price for bubbly!

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10 Responses to “Make your own bubbly–water, that is”

  1. I love sparkling water. I though I came up with the cheapest by buying seltzer which can be about .35ish a btl. As for the carbon footprint I feel like it’s trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. China and India will be building 80 coal fired power plants between them and with the population continuing to grow I don’t really think it will matter if we drink bottled water or not. I just don’t like paying a buck or more for it.
    I always enjoy your blog and think you do a great job.

  2. Soda Stream have actually been around for a long time. I remember we had one at home in England when I was a kid – 30 years ago now. We never used it for carbonating water of course, just for making sodas. I would imagine the technology has improved but they were pretty good even back then. Have you tried carbonating a really dry white wine? I guess that would be a little gross…

  3. I request … nay, insist! … that you start making your own sparkling wines and report the results here.

    Sparkling Two-Buck Chuck, coming right up! 😉

  4. I’m an avid drinker of sparkling water and have been a SodaClub member for almost two years now. It’s much less expensive than buying bottled at the store and so much more convenient – sitting right on the kitchen counter! And CO2 replacement gas cartridges delivered right to the door.

  5. Looks interesting. We go through a lot of Pellagrino and even at Costco it adds up.

  6. Very neat device. It adds a certain satisfaction found only in making something yourself. I’m sure it’s much the same feeling as an ice cream, rice, or bread maker. You should definitely try it on the still wine, see what happens, at worst you’re down a bottle.

  7. Thanks Thom, you’re no doubt right about 80 coal fired power plants. But Americans did buy $15 billion of bottled water last year and it got hauled all over the country by trucks!

    Glad you like it Richard and Jeff!

    Mark – the gauntlet has been thrown. The only trouble is that if I sparkle a wine that was nasty to begin with, then won’t it just be nasty sparkling wine? Maybe I need one of those $300 wand things that claims to turn a $10 wine into a $100 wine?!?

    Is anybody else seeing a google ad on the sidebar for Fiji water? How ironic!

  8. I LOVE my soda maker… I even make ginger syrup so my girls can have gingerale…

  9. I’ve been looking for something like this for my husband for Christmas. This will definitely fit the bill. Thanks for sharing your success with the fizzerator!

    If anyone is planning on buying one, here are two other coupon codes I had good luck with: FREEMIX (1 free bottle of flavoring) and KOA ($30 off the cost of a new machine).


  10. In answer to whether you can make your own cava with a soda stream the answer (as I found out last night) is a resounding YES!


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