“Can I carbonate drinks other than water?” says the FAQ on the SodaStream website. The answer is straightforward: “No. In the SodaStream home soda maker, just water should be carbonated. You risk ruining your soda maker and generating a huge bubbly mess! If you carbonate liquid other than water in your soda machine, the money-back guarantee and the warranty are null and void.”
What a quandary. I adore my SodaStream and don’t want to jeopardise it. Or even myself. But I also have a strong desire for a bubbly margarita. What should I do? First, some research.
It’s hardly surprising that I’ve fantasised about carbonating booze or something other than water with the SodaStream. Indeed, Heston Blumenthal demonstrated last year on his British TV show Heston’s ’80s Feast how to fool a group of bankers into thinking they were sipping premium Champagne by carbonating cheap, plonky wine using a SodaStream. But, of course, he used the outdated model from the 1980s rather than the new sleek one with the severe warning.
Carbonating something other than water can cause your SodaStream to blow its top. However, there have been stories of malfunctioning SodaStreams exploding with only water in the bottle, resulting in terrible, if not fatal, consequences. So, after carefully analysing all of these facts and warnings (and waiting till my better half, who loves SodaStream as much as I do), I make a pitcher of spiked lemonade. (Baby takes a step.) First, a hard lemonade. Margaritas after I finish this with all of my body parts.) I next pour the concoction into the specific plastic bottles that should never contain drunken lemonade and screw it into the apparatus. Also, pray.
I didn’t hit the button with zeal and tantalising anticipation like I do while making seltzer. Instead, I squeezed it gently and gradually, anticipating the dreaded buzz. I still have all of my digits. This time, the bottle exploded, splashing sticky citrus all over the counter. Whatever – this has occurred with water before.
Nonetheless, I did not tempt a third. Perhaps I cheated myself out of a perfectly enticing sipper. I’m satisfied with my selection. However, I received a bright, effervescent, and alcoholic beverage. It was beautiful.
I’ve yet to brew a bubbly margarita with my SodaStream. Instead, however, I prepared a frothy iced green tea. (Others who have experimented with rogue SodaStream carbonation have told me that the sugarier the drink, the more likely it is to burst; my iced tea was infused with mint but unsweetened.) So, while the possibilities aren’t limitless, they are expanding.
If you want to experiment with your seltzer maker, my advice is to proceed with caution. I’ve heard stories about messed-up explosions and bleeding injuries. But I’ve also heard of convincing, excellent fake champagne. And I’ve enjoyed my own pleasant, sparkling water. So, if you want to go down the road of rogue carbonation, go with caution. I suppose the question is, do you feel lucky?