For the last 20 years, as an avid cyclist and runner, getting my recommended 8 glasses of water each day was never a problem. Whether water, tea, coffee or milk, I almost always have a beverage on the go.
I know I must be getting enough fluids, because when I walk down the halls at the office, my tummy often makes swishy or “glug-glug” noises.
On the weekends, I might splurge and get into an occasional soft drink like cola, ginger ale or root beer. I really do like them, but I keep myself on a short leash, metaphorically speaking. Maybe it’s because my metabolism is getting older, but I just can’t put them away like I used to. For me, the tipping point between enjoyable and “I’ve had enough” comes quickly.
When I was preparing for my colonoscopy a few years ago, I don’t know exactly what part of my inner anatomy was complaining about the sweetness, but the ginger ale, popsicle and gelatin diet had me feeling pretty gross. No amount of clear chicken broth seemed able to sway the balance back to feeling normal, or as normal as one can be when trying to prepare for such a procedure.
Sparkling water was always something that I kept on the side as a treat. Even though it contains no sugar and makes a good building block for a variety of drinks, it can get expensive. Also, any leftovers tend to fizzle out after a day or two, which makes buying an economy size a huge question of commitment, unless I’m having a party. Plus, I can’t look at a plastic bottle without feeling a sense of deep environmental guilt.
When you combine all of these factors, for the last several months, I have been looking at SodaStream machines with increasing interest. But I also hesitated, not knowing how much use I would get out of it.
When my family asked what I wanted for my birthday this year, I decided to give it a try and asked for contributions toward a SodaStream machine.
What a fun discovery!
It’s not like I never played with sparking water before, but with the prospect of turning normal tap water into bubbly water, the ten-year-old “mad scientist” within me started adding fizzy water to anything and everything in my fridge.
The first choices were pretty obvious, trying sparkling water with a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. When I tried different combinations of wedges from the citrus family, my list of winning combinations was off to a great start.
However, I had to dial down the pace of the experiments when I realized that my tummy could only handle so much carbonation in one evening.
I turned to the cat, asking if she could burp me. She looked at me like I was crazy. So the posted limit for me is about three servings of carbonated beverages over the course of an evening.
For my next experiment, I tried mixing small amounts of store-bought fruit juice with my bubbly water. To me, these as well were winners. I don’t often drink juice because I find the concentration of certain flavours a little too strong. But by combining them with sparkling water, their flavours were toned down to pleasant and subtle whispers.
Why would someone want a whispering drink, you may be asking yourself? I don’t mean it literally, I just mean that like a fine wine or a fine scotch, I rather enjoy the pleasure of delicate flavour notes sneaking up on me and surprising me.
In another experiment, I remembered that my grandfather often diluted his cola with water because he thought it was too sweet. I had tried it a few times over the years, but it lacked something when the fizz disappeared in the dilution. When I tried it with my SodaStream water, I was able to cut down on the intensity of the sweetness like Grand Papa did, while not losing the fizz.
Over the following weekends, I tried a few bar recipes that called for soda water, discovering a few new favourites along the way. I also appreciated not having an open can or bottle of club soda going to waste. I could make exactly what I needed at any time.
In watching reruns of one of my favourite TV comedies, “The Nanny”, the Fine family referred a couple of times to an “Egg Cream” which I understood was another soda water based drink. I looked up the recipe online and on the next grocery run I picked up its key ingredient, chocolate syrup. It was a yummy treat!
In another experiment, I thought about combining coffee with carbonated water. Logically, these two favourites could go well together, but I can’t say I found the right coffee or the right proportions yet. That one is still a work-in-progress.
The SodaStream machine has been a successful experiment for me, and I say that without any compensation from the company.
I still consider myself in the kid scientist phase, trying different liquids to combine with my fizzy water, discovering new favourites and having much fun along the way.
Not only is it maintaining my water intake with a variety of new options, but I can see the potential for savings at the checkout and to help reduce packaging waste.
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,