Although I no longer live there, I was born and raised in good old Minnesota. The land of 10,000 usually-frozen lakes, a game called Duck, Duck, Gray Duck (much cooler than your boring Goose) and tasty pop. Not "soda," not "soda pop," just "pop." I have since been converted to "soda" but there was quite a transition period. As for the Goose, I don't know if I'll ever be able to give up my Gray Duck.
There's something about soda that it just hits the spot sometimes. The tasty flavors, the yummy bubbles, you just can't go wrong. However, the idea of spending a large amount of money on a big case of soda or to have a 2-liter go flat before it gets finished... well, that's just old-fashioned these days. As the only ingredients in soda are just water, fizz and flavor, there should be an easier way.
In fact, there is. It's SodaStream and it is delivered right to your front door.
Using one of SodaStream's home drink makers, it's easy to see for yourself just how simple creating soda can be. By adding carbon dioxide to ordinary tap water, you've achieved the fizz and all that's left? The flavor. Choose any of SodaStream's concentrated syrups, add just the right amount for your taste buds, and the perfect glass of soda awaits.
As there are no batteries, electricity or plumbing required with SodaStream, it was easy to bring along with us to my in-law's house to try our Fountain Jet Starter Kit out for the first time. Have a boat or an RV? What an easy thing to bring aboard to save you from having to lug a ton of soda with you, not to mention you won't have to find as much space to store both the full and empty containers.
I assumed the initial set-up would be complicated, but in fact all that was required was screwing the bottle of CO2 into the back and filling one of the carbonating bottles with cold water. After sliding the water into the slot on the front and attaching it tightly, we were ready to go. Simply press the button on the top of the soda maker to add the carbonation and listen for the loud buzz to let you know it's working (and to make your mother-in-law jump and cause everyone to laugh).
It's up to you how much fizz to add to your soda, as there really is no "right" amount. After one buzz, your soda will be lightly carbonated (recommended for fruit flavors) and after five buzzes it will be strongly carbonated (recommended for colas and other dark syrups).
From there, remove the carbonated water and add the flavoring of your choice. (Note: Be sure to notice that the directions state to tilt the bottle and pour the syrup in slowly, so you don't end up with a small fizzy puddle on the table due to your husband's eagerness in creating your orange soda. Just a thought.) Screw on the cap and gently move the bottle to mix and your soda is complete.
As well as controlling the level of carbonation, you are also able to determine the flavor of your soda when adding the syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little more. If you like your drinks less sweet, don't add as much. If you aren't really a soda fan at all, try making plain seltzer or flavor it with SodaStream's MyWater Flavor Essence for a sparkling drink. Another option is to add your own fresh lemon, lime, orange, berries or juice to your carbonated water for a healthy and refreshing treat. Yum!
In just a few quick steps, we had homemade soda. We tried out the orange and the lemon lime first and were surprised at how similar these taste to store-bought soda. I am definitely a fan of how quick and convenient it is to use a SodaStream machine, as well as the positive environmental impact it makes. Instead of the constant flow of bottles and cans, the reusable BPA-free bottles and concentrated syrups are all that are necessary on a regular basis (aside from keeping this stylish and modern machine handy).
When given an option Big Sister E chooses to mainly drink water and actually would pick it over juice or soda. As she gets older, however, I love the idea of being able to control just how much sugar are in her drinks and the SodaStream will make that a breeze. Plus, there is no high-fructose corn syrup in the regular SodaMix flavors and no aspartame in the diet flavors. Who needs those?
The Fountain Jet Soda Starter Kit sells on SodaStream's website for around $100, making it a pretty terrific gift for any soda or seltzer-lover on your holiday list, as well as anyone who loves to entertain. After that initial investment, bottles of concentrated SodaMix (which contain enough syrup to make around 12 liters/33 cans of soda) cost only $4.99 or $5.99, depending on the flavor. Think it sounds like a convenient, money-saving, eco-friendly, tasty thing you would like to try? Thanks to the generosity of SodaStream...
One lucky person will win a Fountain Jet Soda Starter Kit* of their own!
*The Fountain Jet Soda Starter Kit (ARV $100) includes the winner's choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet, 1 60 liter bottle of CO2, 2 reusable carbonating bottles and choice of 2 SodaMix flavors.
To enter to win your own Fountain Jet from SodaStream: Visit SodaStream and tell me TWO of their tasty flavors that you would like to try. Please do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile. I have to have a way to contact the winner.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted. For example, if you subscribe, leave one comment saying "I subscribe #1" and a separate comment saying "I subscribe #2")
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow SodaStream on Twitter or sign up for their mailing list.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway. See the list on the top of my right sidebar - there are some really great ones going on right now and coming up!
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
SodaStream Fountain Jet giveaway (ARV $100) @thxmailcarrier from @sodastreamusa! Soda-lovers rejoice! http://bit.ly/6AvDxM #win #giveaway
2 Extra Entries per follow method (leave 2 separate comments for each type) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect (see sidebar), subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email.
3 Extra Entries (leave 3 separate comments) if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries (leave 3 separate comments) if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and SodaStream. Please leave an address where it can be found.
Giveaway will end on December 18th at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway open to continental U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to SodaStream for providing me with the Fountain Jet Soda Starter Kit (including 9 flavors of syrup and a pack of MyWater Flavor Essence) as well as 1 Kit for a lucky giveaway winner. What a fantastic invention! The opinions shared are my own and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.