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Natural Sodastream Recipes
You Have a SodaStream, Now What?
So you've gotten a SodaStream, and you've been discouraged because the manufacturer says you can carbonate only water without invalidating your warranty. And you've tried the flavorings and you don't like them, or they are too expensive, or you're worried about the artificial ingredients. Never fear, you can still get a lot of use out of your device, because there are all kinds of things you can do to flavor carbonated water and keep yourself and your family interested. (And drinking more water is healthy for you, too.)
You can help your home feel more like a spa with these exotic recipes. They take little time or effort, and simply require a bit of waiting to let the flavors infuse before drinking. Try whatever appeals to you and let everyone know what you think in the comments!
For all these recipes, you simply combine the ingredients with carbonated water, and let infuse, refrigerated, in a tightly-sealed glass container such as a Mason jar or wiretop bottle, for at least two hours before serving. Fruit or vegetables should be sliced thinly (a mandoline works best for this); herbs should be bruised.
Ginger Pear Water
2 pears, peeled
1/4 ounce fresh ginger, peeled
1 box of strawberries
Watermelon Green Tea
3 cups watermelon, seeded
1 box of blackberries
1/4 ounce ginger, peeled and crushed in a ginger (or clean garlic) press
Mush these together before adding water.
Orange Pepper Water
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (grind this as finely as you can)
Zest of one orange
Mix these together, then let infuse, refrigerated, and strain before adding carbonated water. The oil in the orange peel and black pepper have extremely similar molecular structures, and because of this similarity, orange zest and black pepper taste great together!
Minty Melon Water
1 cup melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, or really any kind of melon)
1/4 ounce fresh mint leaves
Melon Cucumber Water
1 cup watermelon or honeydew
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 cup peaches, peeled
Dash of cream (add this at the very end, when you serve it)
Berry Rosehip Water
Rosehip tea concentrate
1 package berries (slice strawberries thinly, mush the other kinds of berries)
Really, almost any combination of fruits and herbs can be combined to give you that spa water ambience. I recommend experimenting with combinations like strawberry/basil, orange/sage, blueberry/sage, and just let your imagination run wild. If you have a herb garden, you will never run out of ideas for new spa-type waters.
And if you want to be even more adventurous, I have infused lettuce grown in my Aerogarden in carbonated water, by simply bruising it and let it infuse. For something really light and refreshing during the hot summer months, there's nothing better!
Have you ever wanted to try something different with your SodaStream?
Herb and Spice Waters
Micronutrients and Flavor, Too
Herb waters are basically fizzy herbal iced tea. Simply put the herbs in an airtight glass container, and then add your carbonated water to make delicious herbal drinks. Let them infuse overnight. Not only do they taste wonderful, but they are good for you, too. Don't stop at mint, but experiment with just about everything. Don't forget your herb garden, and try infusing fresh herbs into your water as well!
I love Pumpkin Pie Spice or black pepper for infusing, as far as spices go, but you can try just about anything in your cupboard that you would normally like on its own.
Which herb would you prefer in carbonated water?
Spices can also be used to infuse carbonated water, with delicious results! What do you think you might be willing to try?
Which spice water appeals to you?
Even Farther Afield
If you're put off by the idea of stuff sitting around in your fridge, but you still like the idea of flavored carbonated water, you might want to try Antesite. Created in the nineteenth century by a French pharmacist, don't be put off by the mention of licorice in the description, because you won't taste it. This tiny little bottle will flavor up to 85 liters of water--a steal by almost anyone's standards! What you can't find elsewhere, you can order directly from the Antesite web site, or picket your local grocery until they agree to carry it.
I have personally tried almost every variety (even the licorice-flavored one) and I love them all. Antesite even has an energy drink formulation available, and there's no waste, because you can flavor each glass as you drink it. And best of all, there's a cola flavor if you are trying to wean yourself or your family off of commercial soft drinks.
With no calories, no artificial ingredients, and a completely herbal preparation, Antesite is a practical and enjoyable way to convince your family to drink more water. Why should French people have all the fun? (The energy drinks have caffeine, but the rest are caffeine-free.)
If you use Antesite, be sure to pour the carbonated water first, and then add the Antesite to the glass. Otherwise you'll have foam everywhere but no drink!
Fizzy Fruit or Vegetable Juice
A great favorite with children, carbonate a bottle of water to the highest level, then simply take your 1-liter carbonated bottle, pour half into a glass bottle with a tight seal, and fill up to the other half with fruit juice. Garnish with fresh fruit or mint if desired. Lovely and refreshing! (I find that about 90% carbonated water and 10% juice is right for me.)
If you want even stronger fruit flavor, use frozen concentrated 100% juice, and thin to taste with carbonated water instead of plain water. (Hint: they now sell frozen margarita mix concentrate in the grocery store. Yes, you read that right. Fizzy Margaritas.)
You can either buy the syrups for Italian Sodas, or you can make your own very simply. To make your own, measure equal quantities of sugar and water, boil the water, dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, and let cool (it's so simple, even the name is "simple syrup"!) Now add any flavoring you like, and then mix it with your carbonated water.
If that's too complicated for you, you can always buy the syrups, which come in a wide variety of flavors (you can also use these to flavor coffee, tea, soft drinks, or desserts).