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Posted May 25, 2014 by Jennifer Lam (Jenius) in Product Reviews
 
 

Product Review: SodaStream Source + Three Homemade Cordial Recipes

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Sparkling water used to be a luxury reserved for dining out, but in the past few years, a noticeable portion of my grocery budget seemed to consist of cases of imported sparkling water. At home, we eliminated store-bought bottled still water thanks to our trusty BRITA filter jug (I’ve never been fond of the taste of tap water straight up), so I was most excited to finally get my hands on a SodaStream. Would carbonating my own water quench my thirst with the same refreshing and palate-cleansing notes of bottled sparkling water?

sodastream-5

Well, after a little experimentation, I’ve fallen in love with the SodaStream Source. If there’s a kitchen appliance I use as frequently as the kettle, this would be it.

The new minimalistic design of the SodaStream Source is glossy and sleek. It slips right into the dark hues and modern lines within my kitchen and now has its own spot on the marble bench.

SodaStream isn’t just good for fizzy water – although there’s nothing quite like coming home to a chilled glass of sparking water flavoured subtly with a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint from the balcony garden. I’ve been making an entire range of homemade cordials that take effervescent water to the next level. The recipes are below in this post but before we get carried away, let’s talk about the technicalities of the SodaStream Source.

Getting Started

The appliance is essentially ready to go straight out of the box. If you’re like me and don’t like to read instructions, you’ll be inspecting every panel and crevice to work out where the CO2 gas cylinder (included in the starter pack) is fitted. After an impatient search, we resort to the starter manual and realise the gas slots in from the bottom. The SodaStream Source is quite tall which makes the lift slightly awkward to maneuver, but that’s as complicated as the ‘installation process’ goes.

Settings

To carbonate water, remove the cap from the 1 litre PET bottle (included in the starter pack) and position it into the loader tab, then snap-lock it by pushing up and back. There are three settings – you simply press down the carbonating block and release after the desired LED indicator lights up. The first light is for mild fizz, the second light is for medium fizz (my preferred fizz) and the third light is for high fizz.

Once the water has been carbonated, you push the carbonating block up and release the bottle by pulling it forward. At this point, a small burst of CO2 and misty smoke circulate the tip of the bottle, giving a sense of satisfaction that you’ve done something more scientific than push a plastic block down for a few seconds.

Refilling

The 60L gas cylinder is fairly accurate in making approximately 60L of sparking water. SodaStream’s gas refill/exchange system is conveniently available online or at retailers such as Woolworths, Coles, Kmart, Big W, Myer, Target, IGA, etc. See the store locator for the full list. The refills are $58.90 but $28.90 is refunded when the cylinder is returned, so you essentially only pay for the gas, which is $30. You’ll be delighted to know that this exchange system is well implemented – when I presented my empty cylinder, all the sales assistants knew exactly what to do.

What you should know

You can only use the SodaStream to carbonate water – flavour must only be added after carbonation.

sodastream-6

I just love the gourmet sodas trend at cafes and restaurants at the moment as they contain much less sugar (and taste way better) than commercial soft drinks. Having recently paid $7 (lychee and Thai basil soda at CHISWICK Restaurant) and $10 (lemongrass and rosewater at Spice Temple), I’ve been finding inspiration for new cordial flavour combinations everywhere.

To make your own cordials, the two main ingredients you’ll need to add to your pantry are:

  • Tartaric Acid – a natural fruit acid found in grapes, bananas, tamarind, etc. This adds a tart, sour taste
  • Citric Acid – a natural conservative and can be used to replace lemon juice in recipes, or to add citrus tang

sodastream-1

As you can see, I’ve been a bit obsessed with homemade sodas. Here are three of my most favourite flavours so far -

Pomegranate Cordial
A delicate aromatic syrup, best combined with sparking water
Print

950 calories
234 g
0 g
2 g
3 g
0 g
613 g
21 g
224 g
0 g
0 g

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
613g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 950
Calories from Fat 17

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 2g
3%

Saturated Fat 0g
1%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 21mg
1%

Total Carbohydrates 234g
78%

Dietary Fiber 7g
28%

Sugars 224g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
30%
Calcium
5%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pomegranate arils (equivalent to 1 large pomegranate or 2 small)
  2. 2 tsp tartaric acid
  3. 1 cup raw sugar
  4. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. To prepare the pomegranate, roll it on a bench top to loosen the seeds. Cut in half and using the back of a spoon, knock out the seeds, discarding any loose membrane.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan on low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the syrup.
  3. Strain to remove the seeds and store in sterilised bottles.
  4. Homemade pomegranate cordial soda with SodaStream Source
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 250ml of cordial
beta
calories
950

fat
2g

protein
3g

carbs
234g

more

I Ate My Way Through http://www.iatemywaythrough.com/

Kaffir Lime and Ginger Cordial
A fragrant and refreshing syrup, best combined with sparkling water
Print

483 calories
129 g
0 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
607 g
18 g
105 g
0 g
0 g

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
607g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 483
Calories from Fat 4

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 1g
1%

Saturated Fat 0g
0%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 18mg
1%

Total Carbohydrates 129g
43%

Dietary Fiber 8g
30%

Sugars 105g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
130%
Calcium
11%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Ingredients
  1. 4 limes
  2. ½ cup raw sugar
  3. 6 kaffir lime leaves
  4. 3cm ginger knob
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 1 tsp citric acid
  7. 1 tsp tartaric acid
Instructions
  1. With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from the limes. Thinly slice the kaffir lime leaves, combine with ginger and zest, add sugar and bruise the ingredients using a pestle and mortar to extract the fragrant oils.
  2. Juice the limes and add the juice, water and sugar mixture into a saucepan on low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add citric acid and tartaric acid and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the syrup.
  3. Strain and store in sterilised bottles.
  4. Kaffir lime and ginger homemade soda
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 250ml of cordial
beta
calories
483

fat
1g

protein
2g

carbs
129g

more

I Ate My Way Through http://www.iatemywaythrough.com/

Lemongrass and Rosewater Cordial
An exotic rejuvenating syrup, best combined with sparkling water
Print

500 calories
132 g
0 g
1 g
4 g
0 g
733 g
19 g
109 g
0 g
0 g

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
733g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 500
Calories from Fat 8

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 1g
2%

Saturated Fat 0g
1%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 19mg
1%

Total Carbohydrates 132g
44%

Dietary Fiber 9g
38%

Sugars 109g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
297%
Calcium
11%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Ingredients
  1. 2 lemongrass stems
  2. 4 lemons
  3. ½ cup raw sugar
  4. 1 tsp citric acid
  5. 1 tsp tartaric acid
  6. 1 cup water
  7. 6 – 8 drops of rosewater
Instructions
  1. With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from the lemons. Thinly slice the lemongrass (use only the white part of the stem), combine with the zest and sugar and bruise the ingredients using a pestle and mortar to extract the fragrant oils.
  2. Juice the lemons and add the juice, water and sugar mixture into a saucepan on low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add citric acid and tartaric acid and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the syrup. Add rosewater if desired.
  3. Strain and store in sterilised bottles.
  4. sodastream-14
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 250ml of cordial
beta
calories
500

fat
1g

protein
4g

carbs
132g

more

I Ate My Way Through http://www.iatemywaythrough.com/

Once you’ve made your first batch of cordial, you’ll see how ridiculously easy it is. Adjust the sweetness and tartness to your own taste and make the most of whatever is in season – there are endless variations! Remember the syrups don’t contain any nasty preservatives, so they’re best used within 4 – 6 weeks and must be stored in the fridge. Dilute with one part cordial and five parts sparkling water.
I Ate My Way Through received the SodaStream Source as promotional consideration, but as usual, opinions are our own


Jennifer Lam (Jenius)

 
Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Having grown up in a family where food was always at the centre of all celebrations, family events and milestones, Jen is obsessed with capturing irresistible flavours and stories from myriad cultures. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering people to have good food and invigorating adventures - because life is too short for mediocre meals or dull travel. Her hobbies are breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's globally curious, passionate about female entrepreneurship, is a soy chai latte fanatic, and loves vintage, dressmaking and photography.