I don't usually review kitchen tools because I don't want this blog to read like a glorified Williams-Sonoma catalog, but the Sodastream Penguin is worth sharing. We used to buy sparkling water in bulk. (One member of our household, who shall remain nameless, is a recovering soda fiend. As methadone is to heroin, sparkling water is to Diet Coke.) With all the money we're not spending on Pellegrino and Poland Spring, the Penguin, a countertop gadget that carbonates tap water in seconds, paid for itself in less than 6 months.
The Penguin is easy to use: you just fill a reusable, dishwasher-safe glass carafe with cold water, drop it in, and press the beak-like lever a half dozen times. No clean-up and no electricity, and best of all, no plastic bottles to dispose of. The only upkeep is exchanging empty CO2 cylinders every 110 liters, using prepaid UPS shipping boxes.
SodaStream offers soda concentrates in flavors like classic cola, root beer, and diet pink grapefruit, but I'm enjoying sparkling water mixed with last summer's Sunshine Rhubarb Juice and Strawberry Lemonade. I'll take the occasional homemade sugary beverage over diet sodas full of mystery dyes and sweeteners. Sometimes I jazz up plain sparkling water with fruit instead. Blueberries look elegant in the bottom of a martini glass:
If you're a fan of bubbles, or are trying to cut back on soda, the Penguin is fun, convenient, and will save you money in the long run. See the SodaStream website for photos and videos of the Penguin and other seltzer-making gadgets.
____________________________________________________A word about product reviews: Occasionally I receive invitations to try products free of charge and review them on my blog. So far, I've yet to take any companies up on these offers, because I didn't feel the products were a good fit. They were either: 1. not vegan,
2. not gluten-free, or
3. not something I could imagine using in real life. So far, all reviews have been unsolicited and products have been purchased with My Own Money. I'd love it if some Lärabars and a Tofu Xpress came pouring in free of charge, but no such luck so far. If, in the future, I do review a product I've received for free, I'll let you know, for I am a pillar of integrity.