So, I was trying to decide what to review first on here, so I thought I'd start by reviewing another 'first' of mine, the first thing I ever won, in the first competition I ever entered, on Twitter.
You see, about seven months ago, I'd never heard of 'comping' on Twitter, I was just a casual user, until one day I noticed that Soda Stream were running a competition. The first prize was a Soda Stream machine, and a years supply of syrups, and all you had to do was send in a video of your best 'Soda Shake' dance.
Well, I remembered the fun of having a Soda Stream when I was younger, so I promptly recorded a video of my then 2/3 month old son dancing away, and uploaded it to Twitter, and lo and behold we won.
Anyhow, last week, my husband was moaning because, since becoming pregnant, what I'll drink one minute will make me throw up the next, and trying to shop for a weeks worth of drinks for me was a pain in the backside. It was at this point I remembered my Soda Stream. When I got home, I dug it out, rifled through the cupboard to find my array of syrups, and got to work.
I couldn't believe that I'd left this in the cupboard for so long.
You see, the Soda Stream is incredibly easy to use, but it's main advantage is how cheap it is to run! Once you've set yourself up with the machine, you only really need to pay for flavour syrups, which will set you back around £3-4 for enough syrup to make around 12 litres of pop, and if you order online, there's currently an offer of 8 bottles of syrup for only £20 (thats 20p per litre, a huge saving when you consider it's around £1 for a two litre bottle of cheap-ish pop in the shops, £2 for two litres for the better stuff!) All of the bottles are also 'Bio-bottles', which contain a harmless additive in the plastic which helps them to degrade much faster. Add this to the re-usable carbonating bottle, you're also helping to reduce wastage and save the planet :)
There's also an incredible amount of variety, at last count there were 29 different flavours, including mixers (tonic water, ginger ale) clear flavourings (tastes just like the flavoured water in the shops, personally I love the kiwi and pear one!) and even a sugar free range, great for diabetics (my step-mom loves them!) They even do sports and energy syrups. I was really craving fizzy Vimto the other day, so I went to the shop, and for £1.50 I bought a bottle of Vimto squash, and added it to the carbonated water. It tasted perfect!
Another use I've found for the Soda Stream is to re-carbonate bottled drinks. If you buy a bottle of, say, cider, and it goes flat after a day or two, you can put it into one of the Soda Stream bottles, whack it into the machine, one or two presses, and hey presto! Re-carbonated cider! This thing just saves you money everywhere, it's well worth the initial investment of around £55 for the basic machine (including a 60 litre gas cylinder, worth £19.99 and two carbonating bottles, worth £9.99)
The only other cost is getting the 60 litre gas cylinder re-filled, however, which is £19.99, however, if you send your old cylinder back, £10.00 of that is refunded. I still haven't had to do this yet, and despite it having made at least 50 litres of pop, there's still quite a bit of gas left!
So, how does this Soda Stream work?
Well, the Soda Stream machine comes with two plastic bottles, and to use the Soda Stream, you simply fill one of these with water, up to the clearly marked fill level, screw it into the front of the machine, then press the button on the top to begin the carbonating! The machine will hiss, before making a 'honking' sound, meaning that the water is carbonated. You can do this another one or two times to get your water extra fizzy, or you can hold down the button for as little time as you like to get a gentle fizz.
Then, simply unscrew the bottle, and add your syrup (the bottle of syrup comes with a handy measuring cap, and will tell you how many caps full you will need)
And there you have it! scrummy fizzy pop!
I would really recommend this, as it's such a cost-effective alternative, and offers such a diverse range of flavours!
Disclaimer - Neither Soda Stream nor any of it's associated brands have paid me or encouraged me in any way to endorse their products. All opinions are my own.
Image 1 borrowed from here
Image 2 borrowed from here
Image 3 borrowed from here