March 12, 2009

Making Our Own Sparkling Water and Sodas

With another small step toward going green, we started making our own soft drinks and sparkling water this week. I had read enough information to make me feel guilty about buying bottled water in plastic bottles. Stop! Okay! Filter water. Reuse bottles. Save money.

However, I like sparkling water. For some unknown reason, flat water doesn't sit too well with my stomach. We have been buying sparkling water by the case for several years.

A few days ago, my husband announced that he had found an item that we must purchase. He had already run the numbers to compare what we spend on bottled sparkling water with the high price of this device. He showed me the video. I read the rave reviews. We were both convinced. We headed out to Williams-Sonoma to buy a Penguin.

The Penguin uses refillable CO2 cartridges to turn flat water into sparkling water. Each cartridge makes 60 carafes (620ml/20 ounces) of sparkling water. The machine includes two cartridges and two carafes, so the price includes enough CO2 to make 120 carafes of sparkling water.

The carafes are glass and they are dishwasher safe. The carafes come with airtight caps, so you can easily store these in the refrigerator. We will return the empty CO2 cartridges to Williams-Sonoma when we need to buy more cartridges. The Penguin does not use batteries or electricity! Another way to go green!

We use our filtered well water to make the sparkling water with the Penguin. The taste is wonderful! Since I am a fan of San Pellegrino®, I am so pleased that our homemade fizz tastes great to me.

Today, we learned that we can make our own soft drinks, too! Diet soft drinks or sweetened. More savings. No plastic bottles or aluminum cans.

We bought Torani® Italian flavored syrups (sweetened with Splenda®) for $6.99 for 24 ounces. I used one ounce of flavor in a glass, then poured in the sparkling water and stirred. Perfect! You can make the sodas with more flavoring if you like. I made diet black cherry, diet cream soda and diet black cherry cream soda by mixing the two flavors. I love the taste of all three.

The machine will pay for itself in twenty weeks. The price of the supplies will be much less than what we have been paying for bottled water. We won't be buying soft drinks either... and we'll use the glass carafes over and over again. Better for our budget. Better for the environment.

Photo and story by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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