Here at The Huffington Post Australia office, we have a SodaStream. We love our SodaStream. It's a magical device that turns run-of-the-mill tap water into a delicious carbonated drink.
In fact, we love our SodaStream so much, it got us thinking. What other beverages could we fizz up? Could we use our SodaStream to breathe new life into a flat bottle of Coke?
Would it magically turn our wine into delicious sparkling? And -- perhaps the most important question of all -- COULD WE MAKE FIZZY SPIRITS?
One afternoon my colleague Cayla and I decided to find out.
Disclaimer: In no way did SodaStream know of or support this article.
Do NOT try this at home.
1. Water -- the test
In the name of our very professional experiment, Cayla and I decided it was important to do a test run with water. We were concerned we would have to fill up the soda stream bottle to the suggested "maximum" line every time, which would go through quite a lot of potentially expensive ingredients.
So first up, we made a bottle of soda water how we ordinarily would in the office -- by filling it up to the line with cold tap water and putting it on maximum fizz. As always, the result was perfect. Instant soda water. Delicate bubbles. Effervescent, if you will.
Then we tried filling the SodaStream bottle only half-way -- the question being, would we still get maximum fizz with less water?
The answer was no. No we didn't. It was still fizzy-ish but not as good as our first attempt.
From this experiment we concluded, in order to get the best fizzy result, we would need to fill the entire SodaStream bottle to the "maximum" line and not a millilitre above. This was a terrible mistake.
2. Apple juice.
When brainstorming this story, it was generally agreed upon by most people in the office that fizzy apple juice would be pretty delicious. After all, it already exists -- but could we make it ourselves?
The short answer is yes. Yes you can. However, apple bubbles are going to spew forth everywhere and coat your entire counter, kitchen, and colleague (sorry, Cayla) in admittedly delicious liquid.
You may have thought we realised that perhaps we were over-filling the SodaStream bottle, but the answer is, no, we didn't.
Tasting note: 9/10. We likened it to non-alcoholic apple cider.
Level of mess: 11/10. Apple juice just went nuts in the SodaStream. We don't know why. But it was BUBBLY. If making this at home -- which you absolutely shouldn't -- we would suggest filling the bottle only halfway. Also, stand back.
2. Flat Diet Coke
We were pretty excited about this one. After all, how annoying is it when you leave a glass of DC (or any other carbonated drink, for that matter) for too long and come back to find it flat? What if the SodaStream had the power to RESURRECT FLAT DRINKS FROM THE DEAD?
Once again -- same deal. We filled the SodaStream bottle (a bit lower this time, maybe three quarters full) and chose maximum bubbles.
And were pretty much immediately convinced we had changed the face of the planet forever. Our flat Diet Coke TOTALLY re-energised. In fact, it went a bit Apple Juice on us and overflowed (just a little though).
When we poured it into our glasses, it looked exactly like Diet Coke should. we had done the unthinkable. We had brought flat DC back from the dead.
Then we tasted it.
It was like the flattest of flat drinks you could ever imagine. Even tap water would have more pop. It was like the "bubbles" were some cruel mirage which you could see with your eyes, but not taste with your tongue.
Tasting note: Like Coke that had been left out overnight at a party. Flat as a tack. 3/10.
Mess factor: 5/10.
This was an exciting one -- the main question being, could we create sparkling wine out of an ordinary bottle of Chardonnay?
We were so confident in our abilities we immediately got out the champagne flutes.
And how did it go?
Put it this way. If we thought fizzing apple juice was hectic, we hadn't seen anything yet.
Wine went ballistic in the SodaStream. So much so, that when Cayla tried to take the bottle off, it pretty much shot off like a rocket, hurting her finger in the process, before spraying stuff everywhere like an out-of-control fireman's hose. The mess was quite spectacular.
Tasting note: Like really flat sparkling wine. Can be likened to when you have left your glass unattended for half the day at the races.
Mess factor: 15/10. Ridiculous.
4. Coconut water
Fizzy coconut water? YES PLEASE.
At this stage Cayla and I were considering abandoning the experiment due to 1) it turning out to be surprisingly dangerous and 2) having to repeatedly clean up the kitchen was getting a bit old.
But in the name of journalism we decided to persevere, only from this point onward we would only fill up the SodaStream bottle a quarter of the way. This was an extremely important development.
So, coconut water. Did it fizz? Yes it did. An entirely appropriate amount which saw both Cayla and I unharmed, and the kitchen un-drenched.
Nothing sprayed anywhere or did anything apart from gently bubbling into a tasty effervescent drink. By far the most well-behaved beverage in our experiment thus far.
Tasting note: Freaking delicious. Bubbly tropicana. 9/10.
Mess factor: Mess free!!
And here we come to the moment we've all been waiting for, folks. Is it possible to create carbonated vodka?
YES. YES IT IS.
And it is the stuff of dreams!
It's exactly how you would imagine it tastes -- like a vodka and soda, but like someone took the soda out and left the bubbles in.
How is this not already a thing? Even if it went "flat" -- wouldn't it just go back to being normal vodka? How do we not have fizzy gin already? I mean, fizzy martinis! Think of the possibilities!
Tasting note: Alcoholic fizzy heaven.
Mess factor: We had this down pat by now. No mess to be seen here.
And in case you were wondering -- fizzy coconut water and fizzy vodka make a pretty delicious combo.
In the words of Cayla, "I only want to drink this for the rest of my life".
Thanks a bunch, SodaStream. It's been wild.