We’ve been looking at a bunch of bar gear lately, and today’s gadget might seem like a bit of an odd fit. But it’s a great addition to any kitchen, and especially to any potential bartenders, as well as any families who are tired of spending a lot of money on soda. Bottles add up- environmentally, and in terms of space on your shelves, and in weight while you’re carrying them.
The Sodastream Revolution is the latest in a line of home carbonators- we’ve tried several out in the past. Some of them are cute and playful, and others are classy, as we wrote about earlier this year. And we’re excited about some of the updates that are yet to come that we previewed at the IHA Housewares show recently. The newest model takes the same CO2 cartridges- ours came with a 60L carbonation cartridge that should make around 60 liters of soda, depending on a few variables like the temperature of the water and how fizzy you make it.
And that leads us straight to the best part- you’ve always had some level of control over the end product. But with the Revolution, you can directly select from four different carbonation levels, and enjoy consistent results. As with the some of their other models, you’ll have a few color options here- ours was black, but silver, white, cream choices are available (or will be shortly). Unlike any of the previous versions, this one requires power- just plug it in- but has a more gadgety look and feel and even an LCD screen that allows you to see how much CO2 is left in the cartridge. It’s sleek, sexy, and sets up nicely next to, say, your Keurig single-cup coffee maker.
The bottles are the same- you have a choice between plastic or more attractive glass, and we recommend buying a spare. They come with lids that help keep your soda fresh- and remember that you’ll only be carbonating water (trust us, other liquids don’t really work well). The build quality of this machine is the best yet, and sharper, more stable and solid than any of the other machines we’ve tried. The only real downside we noticed was that the bottle connection mechanism is a bit more finicky than many of their other machines, most likely because of the new electronic carbonation system.
We’ve talked in depth about their flavors and mixes before, but a quick note on the syrups. They’re continually improving, in fact- the first ones we tried used artificial sweeteners, but now a complete line of naturally-sweetened sodas are available. Many might not quite compare to the originals- the cola isn’t quite as good as Pepsi or Coke- but we love the Natural Root Beer, Tonic, and Ginger Ales, and some of the best are unique, like their excellent Black Currant Pear and Cranberry Raspberry. Diet versions (and even zero calorie) versions are available as well, and you can expect to get the equivalent of 33 cans or so per bottle of syrup. Sodastream also offers a pretty good line of “essences”, for those who want some flavor but no sugar, with mint, orange, lemon-lime, and rapsberry available. Expect to spend about $5 to $10 a bottle, and keep in mind the carbonation costs- you’ll still save money over time, especially if you are paying to buy soda water regularly.
The Revolution is simple, fast, and a perfect gift for the person who wants their own soda fountain. It doesn’t yet make recipes for you, but that’s part of the fun. Available now, online and in stores, for $199.