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Soda makers are a popular kitchen appliance in US households because it allows you to make soda in the comfort of your own home. With the use of a CO2 cartridge, a soda maker makes it possible for your to:
- Make bubbly cocktails
- Carbonate coffee
- Flavor and fizz water to make LaCroix
This kitchen appliance adds compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) into the water as a soda base. Using different concentrated syrups, this is then added to your carbonated water. Soda makers are typically made out of BPA-free plastic while some models are glass carafes which are dishwasher safe. Plastic soda maker bottles are available in slim (11 inches tall) or standard makes (9 inches tall) and have a 1-liter capacity which can carbonate 60 drinks or 16 gallons per cylinder. On the other hand, ½ liter plastic bottles are 8 inches tall while glass carafes are 10 inches tall.
A soda maker can help you save money on fizzy drinks as a bottle of sparkling water costs about $0.06 per fluid ounce. With this appliance’s maximum capacity of carbonating 60 liters of liquid per canister, a soda maker has the ability to carbonate 2029 fluid ounces. This means that a soda maker will carbonate water at $0.007 per fluid ounce. A soda maker will cost you from $60 to $260 depending on the cylinder and style you want.
A soda maker is not limited to just soda as it can be used to make seltzer for consumption or cleaning purposes. A soda maker is also used to make bubbly tea and juice. This means that you can make kombucha too. The use cases of a soda maker include:
A soda maker can be used for cocktails. To make a carbonated margarita, add 1 cup of margarita mix, 1 to 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice, and 2 shots of tequila into your soda maker bottle and make sure that the cap is secure. Simply press down on the carbonating button for 2 seconds for a slight fizz then release the gas. Transfer your margarita into a glass with ice and garnish with a slice of lime.
Another use for a soda maker is to carbonate your coffee. . If you are going to carbonate cold brew coffee or instant coffee, refrigerate your coffee with your choice of sweetener until it is cold. Then, fill up your bottle halfway and secure the lid. Attach the bottle to your soda maker and press the carbonation button 3 to 4 times in 30-second intervals. Let the coffee soda rest before pouring it into a glass and adding ice or more of your sweetener of choice.
Soda makers can be used to make ginger ale. Fill your bottle with water up to the fill line and screw the lid on tight. Press your carbonation button 1 to 3 times depending on how fizzy you would like your water to be. Place your bottle into the refrigerator for 3 hours to 5 hours.
To make ginger ale syrup, add ½ water into a saucepan and let it boil on Low. Add mint, allspice, star anise, and ginger into the saucepan and let this simmer for 5 minutes. Take the saucepan off the stove and let it rest for five minutes before straining the liquid. In another saucepan, dissolve ½ cup of sugar into ½ cup of water and bring it to a boil until all of the sugar has dissolved. Add the spiced ginger water into the saucepan with sugar syrup and stir.
Taking your cold carbonated water out of the refrigerator, pour around 8 oz into a glass and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of ginger ale syrup. Stir and serve.
Your soda maker can alternatively be used to make a glass of kombucha. To make a big batch of kombucha, use your 1L bottle and fill it with water until you have reached the fill line. Use the carbonation button 2 to 3 times for fizzy kombucha. Transfer your sparkling water into a jug or jar and add 250ml of kombucha concentrate into it. Stir to mix and serve.
Make your own LaCroix using the soda maker. Fill your bottle with cold water up to the fill line and press the carbonation bottle 1 to 2 times after sealing on the bottle cap. Remove your bottle from the soda maker and pour in 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon, lime, or orange juice. Put on the cap and invert the bottle once, serve, and enjoy.
A soda maker can carbonate orange juice too. You can fill up your bottle halfway with orange juice making sure that there is as little pulp as possible. Press the carbonation only once or twice in 30-second intervals and slowly release the pressure. Pour into a glass and serve.
You can also fill your bottle up to the fill line with chilled water and press the carbonation button 3 times for a fizzer sparkling juice. Do this for another bottle of water. Add juice concentrate into a pitcher and then add 2 bottles of carbonated water. Stir and serve.
The soda maker is also a seltzer maker. Fill up your bottle to the fill line with cold water and press the carbonation button 2 to 3 times. Serve as is or with ice.
After making your seltzer, you can also use it on textiles with stains. Simply pour some seltzer from your bottle onto a stain on the curtain or on a shirt and blot.
Alternatively, a soda maker can carbonate tea. After brewing your tea of choice, let it chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours to 5 hours. Fill up your bottle with cold tea only halfway and use the carbonation button 1 to 2 times in 30-second intervals. Remove the bottle from the soda maker and add sweetener of choice or consume as-is.
You can also carbonate a liter of cold water using the carbonation button 2 to 3 times. Pour your carbonated water into a cup and add 1 oz of tea syrup.
The soda maker can be used to make sparkling wine. Using white wine, fill up your bottle halfway to leave space for the wine to foam. Use your carbonation button 1 or 2 times in 30 seconds intervals before slowly unscrewing your bottle from the soda maker. Pour into a wine glass and serve.
What are the common mistakes of usage of a soda maker?
As you are learning how to use a soda maker for the use cases above, you may be committing the following mistakes:
- Cleaning your soda maker improperly. If your soda maker is not maintained, it will not run properly and will have clogging issues. Unplug your soda maker if your model requires electricity and use a soft cloth with mild dish detergent to wipe it down. Afterwards, use a dry cloth to wipe down your soda maker again.
- Filling your bottle with too much liquid. If you are carbonating water, filling up the bottle past the fill line will cause your bottle to overflow or burst after carbonating. With the use cases above, carbonate non-water liquids after filling your bottle halfway to give liquids space to expand.
- Not cleaning your soda maker bottles properly. If your bottles are dirty, all of the drinks for the use cases above will taste off. Make sure that you are cleaning your bottles thoroughly with lukewarm water for your safety and satisfaction.
- Not letting your water rest after carbonation. Opening your bottle right after carbonating allows CO2 to escape. Let your water rest for around 45 seconds before opening the bottle for consumption to let the CO2 fully dissolve.
- Screwing CO2 tanks incorrectly. When this happens, gas will not come out of your soda maker no matter how hard or how many times you press on your carbonating button. To fix this, simply unscrew your CO2 tank and screw it back on slowly.
- Your liquids are at the wrong temperature. Liquids will best carbonate when they are cold. For instance, water at a temperature of 45°F (7°C) will be able to absorb 3 g of CO2, while water at room temperature (60°F or 16°C). If you want very fizzy drinks, your liquid should be 32°F (0°C), for mild fizzy drinks, use 68°F (20°C), and for barely fizzy drinks use a liquid at 140°F (60°C).
Keep these mistakes in mind when you are using your soda machine.
What is the history of usage of soda makers?
What is a soda maker today? The carbonation process that a soda maker uses can be traced back to 1767. Joseph Priestley produced the first carbonated water that was manmade and drinkable by suspending a bowl full of water right above a vat of beer in a Leeds brewery.
Based on Priestley’s discovery, the soda fountain was invented by John Matthews in 1832. This was mass-manufactured and is how Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper launched their own signature flavors in 1886 that are still popular mixes of syrup and carbonated water today.
The first home carbonation machine was invented in 1903 by Guy Hugh Gilbey and was intended for creating fizzy drinks that guests could enjoy with gin. This large machine was installed in state homes and did not have the different soda flavors and concentrates that are famous today until 1920.
The soda machine intended for regular kitchens were made affordable and invented in 1955. The SodaStream spread from the UK and to Europe but only became popular globally from 1970 to 1980. The SodaStream relaunched in 2007 and other soda machines by competitors like Cuisinart and Hamilton Beach came out with soda machines in 2012 and 2013.
Do the use cases of a soda maker change based on type?
Yes, the use cases of a soda maker change based on the type of soda maker. An automatic soda maker has pre-set carbonation levels 1 to 3 which require a power source. A manual soda maker has a carbonation bubble that allows you to carbonate a liquid for how long you would like and do not necessarily need a power source.
Which soda maker is best for making vanilla coke?
The best soda maker for making vanilla coke is an automated soda maker with a BPA-plastic bottle. An automated soda maker is easy to use, offers three different fizziness levels, and has plastic bottles that are perfect for making more vanilla coke.
Does a soda maker have more use cases than a coffee maker?
No, a soda maker does not have more use cases than a coffee maker. Looking at a soda maker vs. coffee maker, a soda maker can only be used to carbonate different types of liquid. On the other hand, a coffee maker can be used to make soup, boil eggs, and melt chocolate.
What are other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to a soda maker?
Other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to a soda maker include:
Cocktail Shaker: This kitchen tool is used to mix and chill drinks and is made out of metal.
Water Carbonator: A water carbonator diffuses CO2 gas into the water to make a seltzer.
While similar to soda makers, these kitchen tools have use cases unique to themselves. You can dive into the 5 uses of these 2 appliances here.