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Drinks Recipes Science Sweets Technology

How To Make Your Own Orange Soda Without SodaStreams Or Sparkling Water

Is summer complete without soda to beat the sun? We’re gonna be sippin’ on a lot in this hot weather, so we should consider how it’s made and where the soda can come from, especially if there’s a way to make your own from scratch.

Today, soda is typically made via industrial processes that bubble carbon dioxide through water. Tons of it is consumed around the world, as major brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the like have made carbonated beverages immensely popular.

However, it is possible to create your own natural form of carbonated soda at home, and it’s a pretty straightforward process. Foodbeast Chris Abouabdo was able to use the “ginger bug” method on our Twitch streams to make his own fizzy orange soda without using sparkling water, SodaStream machines, or any other technology.

Before getting into the method, it should be noted that there are other ways of getting natural “soda water.” Several springs, especially in areas that have or have had high volcanic activity, may have enough carbon dioxide naturally dissolved inside that it may be fizzy upon drinking. Chemist Joseph Priestley later came up with a method to naturally impart the gas into the water, the basis of how the industry makes soda today.

The “ginger bug” method is a third, separate method that would be more akin to how beer gets it fizz. By fermenting ginger with sugar, microbes naturally present in ginger ferment it to produce carbon dioxide, with negligible amounts of alcohol produced. The result is a refreshing sparkling beverage that anybody can drink and enjoy.

A ginger bug does take a couple of days to make on its own, and you can then add whichever flavors you like. After another couple of days of fermentation, the soda is ready to chill and serve.

It’s a more intensive and longer process than sticking water and a capsule into a SodaStream then adding your own juice, or just even grabbing a bottle or can from the fridge. For those looking to make their own soda from scratch, however, this is one of the few ways to do so.

To see the process in full, you can view the above video or check out our stream on Twitch, which breaks down the process in detail.

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Drinks News Packaged Food

Pepsico Just Bought SodaStream, A Sparkling Water Rival, For $3.2 Billion

The battle for the top spot in the soft beverages industry just got a little more lopsided, as Pepsico just bought one fast-rising competitor SodaStream in a bold move.

sodastreamPhoto: Wassersprudler // Wikimedia Commons 

In a press release, Pepsico unveiled that they paid $3.2 billion for the at-home sparkling water maker that’s made their new owner a common target over the years. In the past, SodaStream targeted Pepsico and other beverage giants on their heavy use of plastics. Now, Pepsico is utilizing SodaStream’s strength to their advantage as they aim to both reduce plastics and move into healthier beverages.

Both sides will benefit from the new acquisition, which is expected to complete in early 2019. Pepsico wants to reduce their environmental footprint and reduce plastics, and SodaStream appears to be a part of that new strategy for them. They have tested out products with the sparkling water machine in the past, so reintroducing those could be part of their plan.

As for SodaStream, they will get a massive boost in distribution as a result of their new owner, meaning that they can rapidly scale who and what their product goes to. That means that you can expect to find more SodaStream machines and products in stores, while seeing a drop in plastic bottles used by Pepsico products.

The transaction also brings into question the future of soft beverages. As sparkling waters continue to dominate the market and soda continues to drop, Pepsico’s acquisition could be a telling sign that making full-sugar sodas may no longer be feasible for the industry’s giants. Only time will tell if that ends up being the case, however.

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Alcohol Drinks Now Trending Technology What's New

SodaStream Turns Sparkling Water Into Wine With New Alcohol Concentrate

SodaStream literally shook up the soda industry when it first debuted. Its machines, which you can use to make your own sparkling water or soda, became insanely popular as an alternative to store-bought cans and bottles. Now, SodaStream is looking to invade a new industry with a product that can be utilized to turn sparkling water into wine.

sparkling water into wine

Photo courtesy of SodaStream

Their invention, called “Sparkling Gold,” is an alcohol concentrate that can be added to sparkling water to transform it into a wine that the company says “resembles a fruity Riesling.” You don’t need to have a SodaStream machine to utilize it, so you can put one part of the Sparkling Gold into five parts of Perrier, Topo Chico, or whatever other sparkling water you’ve got on deck if you don’t own the machine.

SodaStream claims that their sparkling wine creation rivals some of the best out there in terms of flavor. An independent market research study revealed that 76% of tasters liked Sparkling Gold as much or more than Moët and Veuve Clicquot. That’s some pretty high praise for some bubbly that started out as a concentrate.

Currently, Sparkling Gold is only available in Germany, and the only way to get it is through their German online store. It comes in 200 mL bottles that are good for 12 glasses of sparkling wine each. The concentrate is a limited-edition item, so those hoping to score some will have to act fast to snag a bottle or two.

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Drinks News Products Technology

How SodaStream Used ‘Game of Thrones’ To Launch MASSIVE Growth

A couple of years ago, carbonation machine maker SodaStream was struggling. Their stock had tumbled to half of its value, and sales were far below what was anticipated. Things weren’t looking good for the company, who had positioned themselves as an alternative to sodas like Pepsi and Coke.

Fast-forward to today, where SodaStream just announced record growth in the final quarter of 2016. According to Food Dive, sales of the machines went up 22% in November, and operating income went up a staggering 206 percent. Repositioned as an alternative to bottled water and/or sparkling water, SodaStream has become incredibly successful in recent months.

What was the secret to them doing so well these past few months? A wildly successful, no-holds-barred Internet campaign in which SodaStream launched an aggressive attack on the bottled water industry.

SodaStream teamed up with hit show “Game of Thrones” to create funny and creative ads against the usage of disposable sparkling water bottles that feature “The Mountain,” a strongman character beloved by the “Game of Thrones” audience.

All of the adverts attacked the usage of plastic bottles in one creative way or another, developing one clear and decisive message that SodaStream got across:

“F**k plastic bottles.”

These viral ads were successful not just because of their humor, but because it positioned SodaStream as the alternative to bottled sparkling water — something that contributes to the disposal of over 1 BILLION plastic bottles every single day. According to the videos, a single SodaStream bottle will save four thousand water bottles over the course of a year.

Messages like these contributed to the growth of SodaStream and the impressive numbers it displayed at the end of 2016. It made SodaStream not just an ideal product for sparkling water enthusiasts, but also one for environmentally-conscious consumers.

The videos were conceptualized and produced by SodaStream’s creative ad agency, Allenby Concept House. The agency, known for “out-of-the-box” thinking, developed the entire campaign for SodaStream to position itself as an eco-friendly product. And boy, did those videos work.

Their brutal attack on the plastic bottle industry was so harsh that the International Bottled Water Association even sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company regarding their campaign. SodaStream, of course, rejected the letter, which delighted many of the consumers in its new target audience.

The resulting spike in sales and revenue led to some great benchmarks for the sparkling water brand, including getting to ZERO bank debt and nearly getting to 1 million units sold in just December of 2016.

The campaign has no signs of slowing down, as SodaStream’s CEO recently continued his attack on bottled water with a letter denouncing Pepsico’s newest brand, LIFEWTR, in which he called bottled water the “biggest marketing scam of all time.”

As this campaign continues, it’ll be interesting to see how and if the success SodaStream has had from it so far continues to grow.

And hopefully, we get more hilarious commercials featuring “The Mountain” to watch as well.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Miracle Machine Promises to Turn Water into Wine

waterwine

You can probably thank the failed economy and the growing sentiment that wine-tasting is complete and utter bullshit for this one. Proving that the world is ready to move into the next stage of home-brewing, someone actually invented a machine that makes wine out of water.

It’s called The Miracle Machine (of course) and it’s basically a Sodastream for wine.  Like its under-21 counterpart, the Miracle Machine uses water, yeast, grape concentrate, and finishing powder packets to create decent DIY-quality vino, virtually out of thin air. Just connect the machine to its corresponding iOS or Android app, input all the ingredients, and, in true miracle fashion, wait three days for your wine to rise triumphantly from the ashes of discarded flavor packets and tap water.

There are currently six wine types programmed into the Miracle Machine App: Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Chardonnay, Oregon Pinot Noir, a Tuscan blend, Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc, and a red and white (blend?) from Burgundy. Each type is expected to keep for up to one to two weeks and taste completely pre-aged and ready-to-drink.

Catch The Miracle Machine on its soon-to-launch Kickstarter page or watch the promotional video here.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Starbucks Testing Carbonation Options in Select Locations

handcrafted-sodas

Starbucks has always been known to let customers have it their way. Whether you’re ordering a simple tall coffee or something more complex like a grande double shot upside down iced caramel macchiato, your Starbucks barista just stands there with a smile, asks your for your name, and moves onto the next unnecessarily complicated request. Besides being able to substitute various milks and syrups the coffee chain has been allowing the carbonation of their drinks at certain locations.

The carbonation process involves a Sodastream-esque device that baristas have available to them behind the counter. Originally the chain was testing their “handcrafted sodas” such as Golden Ginger Ale, Spiced Root Beer and Lemon Ale in select Starbucks locations. As odd as it sounds, since soda testing began Starbucks lovers have been asking baristas to turn their favorite coffee and tea drinks into something lighter and more refreshing using the carbonation option. The only drinks that the company is having a hard time carbonating is their espresso and Frappuccino menu items.

Though it’s still in the testing stages for now we could very well see carbonation as a new ordering option available nationwide, assuming customers respond to these drinks positively. CEO Howard Schultz calls recent tests “very encouraging” which might explain why Starbucks has already made a move to trademark the name Fizzio in anticipation of moving forward carbonation plans, whether it be in the form of their sodas or continuing on with in-store drink modifications.

H/T + PicThx Quartz

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Hit-Or-Miss

Genius Invents ‘Just-Add-Water’ Beer, It’s About Damn Time

beer-water

Beer just got a lot more portable.

What if I told you lugging a 12-pack through the woods or across the beach could be a thing of the past? Making bro dreams come true, Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has developed a beer concentrate that’ll whip up a 16oz ale, just add water! Oh, and CO2, because flat beer is not the business.

In what can only be described as an on-the-go sodastream, Pat’s has designed an easy-to-use carbonation system that will have you chugging down a cold frothy beer in minutes. Simply add your pouch of beer concentrate to your Carbonator, fill the plastic bottle with 16oz of water and get to shakin’. The secret is in the Eco2Activator powder, a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid that gives the drink it’s bubbly nature. The powder is housed in it’s own compartment so it won’t mess with the flavor of your brew.

The aptly named “Hybrid Brewing Technology” is a unique brewing process creator Pat Tatera uses to create his beer concentrate. This secret process involves creating the beer without the water, rather than trying to pull the water out of an already brewed beer. The result is a beer syrup that combines successfully with water to create a full bodied brew.

Don’t expect to find these packets at your local Bed, Bath and Beyond. Due to the high alcohol content, the Pail Rail and Black IPA concentrates will be sold for $9.95 (4-pack) at liquor stores starting in September.

Portable Carbonator $29.95 @PatsBCB

H/T + PicThx Gizmag

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Technology

Frou Frou Home Living: SodaStream & Samsung Unveil Fridge With Sparkling Water Dispenser

sodastream-fridge-sparkling

For $3899 you can purchase SodaStream’s newest toy: A fridge that dispenses sparkling water straight into your cup. We know what you’re thinking, “Gosh, that’s something the inner Parisian in me has always wanted.” Yes, you’re welcome, but really, you have SodaStream and Samsung to thank. The two companies teamed up to create the built-in water carbonator, which dispenses sparkling water in the same way as regular water and ice.

Like the original, smaller  SodaStream model, the fridge comes with three different levels of carbonation and is powered by the same exchangeable 60 liter bottles of CO2.

“The future is clear – there will be no more need to buy, carry, store and find a way to dispose the billions of plastic bottles and cans to enjoy fresh, delicious fizzy drinks at home.  The days of this old habit are numbered, as our technology is beating a path to a cleaner, less-expensive and healthier future for consumers and the planet,” Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO, wrote in an email to Forbes.

Judging from Birnbaum’s visions of carbonated grandeur, we’re going to guess that he isn’t a fan of Diddy and Mark Wahlberg’s new “AQUAhydrate” line.

H/T Forbes + PicThx YumSugar