Go Try It

September 24, 2005|By Cox News Service

The Soda Club

What it is: -- Machines and supplies to make carbonated beverages at home.

How it works: -- Soda Club drink syrups come in bottles that hold enough to make 12 liters of soda. You'll also need canisters of carbon dioxide. Each canister carbonates about 110 liters of soda. You have to ship the old canister back to Soda Club when you order a replacement.

What it costs: -- The syrup and carbon dioxide to make one liter of Soda Club soda cost about 42 cents to 50 cents, depending on the flavor. You can order a starter kit for about $140, which includes shipping. That gives you the soda machine, which has a three-year warranty, two carbonating canisters and enough syrup for 120 liters of soda. New bottles of syrup are $2.99 to $3.99.

Flavors, nutrition: -- Soda Club syrups come in more than 25 flavors, including an energy drink and eight diet flavors (sweetened with Splenda). Beyond basics such as cola and lemon-lime, there are "gourmet" flavors like Mango Orange and Cranberry-Raspberry. While its ingredients are similar to those of grocery store sodas, Soda Club says its drinks have about one-third as much sugar and are lower in sodium.

How to order: -- Soda Club is often marketed through fairs and festivals. You can also order online at sodaclub.com (retail outlets are also listed there) or by calling 888-SODACLUB.

The bottom line: -- Whipping up a liter of fresh soda in less than a minute is convenient, but you have to order and wait for supplies. As for taste: a bit like fast-food and restaurant-fountain sodas - a little inconsistent, but acceptable.

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