DIY Soda Maker with the SodaStream

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SodaStream

My husband is famous for his '??special drink'?. He makes it all the time and the three of us (daughter included) have an average of three glasses of it a day.

Now before you go calling a bunch of letters (like DSS or AA), I'm not giving my child booze nor am I drinking in the morning. Although his special drink does sound like one of those mystery blue cocktails your local bartender is known for, it actually is a harmless and refreshing mix of 2:1:1 of sparkly lime water, OJ and ruby red grapefruit juice.

One way it's harmful though...Every week, I shlep seven two liter bottles to the recycling place. That'??s like a million'?¦or for those of you keeping score, 364'?¦bottles a year. Looks like our carbon footprint isn'??t as pretty as the one my Tsubo boots make in the snow.

There's this literal buzz on the SodaStream, at-home DIY soda maker. I thought this would be an easy way to have his special drink (along with others) without: 1. shlepping to the store all the time 2. lugging bottles home every grocery trip or 3. contributing to this world's plastic problems.

One bottle from them translates to 2,000 bottles and cans saved. And it's ridic in the easy department. So much so that I've had to convince our 5.5 year old (she wanted me to make sure the 1/2 was put in there) that this isn't her kitchen toy.

All you have to do is fill the SodaStream bottle with cold water. We use our Brita filtered from the fridge, but tap is just fine. Then attach it to the machine, buzz three or four times depending on your desired level of fizz....This is where I could regale you the story of how I forgot to attach the bottle and sprayed the entire kitchen after the first buzz...but I won't.

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After you unscrew the bottle, add your flavor, slowly tilt up and down, and you're done. They have over 60 flavors in regular, diet and all-natural. Our favorites are the lemon-lime (a "special drink" staple), diet pink grapefruit and Dr. Pete (you know, the other doctor's hipper cousin). There's even an energy drink option, so toss those Red Bulls ladies...or keep yourself calm with the caffeine-free green tea citrus blend. They recently introduced a few favorite names to their line'??Crystal Light and Countrytime Lemonade.

Our daughter and I were hooked from the get-go, but my Coke connoisseur husband was the last test on taste. SodaStream passed. Their cola tasted just like Coke. They also offer small bottles of MyWater Flavor Essences to mix in, but I haven't really found one that I've enjoyed as much as the flavors in the bottles.

No joke, it's like having a grocery store in your pantry. This came in tremendous use over the weekend during our daughter's "garden party"...once again, I have no idea why she called it that since we didn't wear white gloves and eat cucumber sandwiches. We had forgotten to buy soda and when three of the parents requested different types...Here you go...Coming right up A, B and C...buzzzzzz....Do you want ice with that?

The coolness starts with the SodaStream Carbonators. They're available in two sizes, to make up to 60 or 130 liters of soda or sparkling water each. A full, licensed one is included in every SodaStream soda maker kit. When it's empty, SodaStream takes it back to be cleaned, inspected, refilled and reused. You can exchange them online, or at select SodaStream authorized retailers like a Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target.

SodaStream offers a wide variety of styles and colors to match any kitchen décor, from space age to modern age and every classic kitchen in between. Sure, the buzzing noise freaks out our dogs a bit. (Read: They disappear when I even walk near the machine). But other than that...we consider this drinkmaker quite...special.

SodaStream is available starting at $79.95 at select retail stores for the main unit.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines.'?¨

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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