It seems that the biggest movement toward making soda at home instead of buying it is to save carrying the cans or bottles and returning them, rather than saving money. It would also be good for use on an RV or boat, or at remote camp sites as most models don’t use electricity or batteries. It also provides home users the opportunity to experiment (at the risk of having to clean up a big mess and having their warranties voided) with their own flavors. And on the topic of warranty voiding usage, some users are apparently using an adapter to use paintball C02 tanks with their soda makers to save money. Another thing to consider is that the syrups sold for the machines contain Splenda, not sugar, so it controls sugar levels, a consideration for diabetics or something of concern to many parents when it comes to their children. Making your own syrups would also allow the choice of sugar or Splenda. But in terms of actual savings, if you are in the habit of buying bargain brands at sale prices, you probably won’t save a lot making your own.
SodaStream Models Comparison
SodaStream is a very popular soda maker manufacturer. Here is a review of some of the currently popular SodaStream models.
|Click picture for current price|
|Nickel plating & plastic||YES||–||–||–||–|
|Metal plating & plastic||–||–||YES||–||–|
|Uses large 33.0 oz. cylinders that carbonate up to 130 liters||YES||–||–||YES||YES|
|Carbonates in reusable, BPA-free plastic 1-liter bottles||YES||–||YES||YES||YES|
|Carbonates in dishwasher-safe 620 ml glass carafes||–||YES||–||–||–|
|Compatible with special dishwasher-safe PEN plastic bottle||YES||–||YES||YES|
|Compatible with ½L bottles||–||–||–||YES||YES|
|Snap-on lock bottle mechanism||YES||–||YES||–||–|
|Runs without electricity||–||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Pattented Fizz ChipTM Technology to monitor gas and fizz levels||–||–||–||YES||–|
|LED indicator to monitor gas and fizz levels||YES||–||YES||–||–|
|Warranty Period||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||3 Years|
Soda Syrup Recipes
If you get tired of the syrups available, or want to experiment, there are lots of recipes you can try. Use some of these at your own risk and at the risk of voiding your warranty, or you may want to get creative and experiment and make your own recipes.
How To Make Simple Syrup
Use granulated sugar and water in proportions of 1 pound of white sugar to 1 pint of water. Stir while bringing water and sugar to a boil until all sugar crystals are dissolved, then cool. You can add 1-1/2 teaspoons of citric acid per gallon of syrup to prevent crystallization if desired.
Another method for making simple syrup is to use 2 parts granulated sugar to 1 part water. Bring water to a boil, add sugar and stir so that the sugar is completely dissolved with no sugar crystals visible, then remove from heat and let cool. If desired, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn syrup to help keep the consistency of the simple syrup smooth for storage.
Just add a tablespoon of cream to the flavored soda water of your choice.
Acid Fruit Syrup
The juice of any acidic fruit such as lemon or orange or lime can be made into syrups by using 1 pound white sugar to 1 pint of juice, and adding some peel; boil 10 minutes, then strain.
Vanilla Cream Syrup
1 ounce vanilla extract, 3 pints simple syrup, 1 pint cream or condensed milk, red food coloring. More perishable because of the cream.
Raspberry And Honey Syrup
Equal parts of maple syrup, honey, and raspberry juice.
Sherry Cobbler Syrup
Let 1 pint of sherry wine, 1 pint of simple syrup and 1 lemon cut into thin slices sit for 12 hours; then strain.
Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup of water. Add a bunch (approximately 3/4 ounce) of fresh herbs such as basil, lemon verbena or mint, cover, and let cool completely. Then strain the syrup through a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined colander, discarding herbs. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Ginger Syrup for Ginger Ale
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4 ounces peeled and sliced ginger (6-7 oz whole fresh ginger)
- 2 teaspoons cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 3 star anise pods
Yield: 3 cups
In a small pot, combine the sugars with the water and add the peeled and sliced ginger. Toast the whole spices in a saute pan until they just begin to brown and become fragrant. Add them to the sugar and water mixture and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Allow to steep until cool. At this point you can strain it into a clean container and store it in the refrigerator. Chill.