My favorite gear
for flavored sparkling water
This is an economical model and Amazon's best seller. It uses BPA-free plastic bottles. Click below for extra bottles.
Also available: extra plastic bottles
This is the one I have. It's pricey, but I love the glass bottles. I bought extra bottles so that I always have full bottles of chilled water in the fridge ready to be fizzed.
Also available: extra glass bottle
This makes short order of mashing herbs & fruit for flavored sparkling water.
This is a great cookbook with over 200 recipes for a variety of carbonated soft drinks. It's a helpful companion to have with a SodaStream.

Naturally Flavored Sparkling Water

Flavor bottled or SodaStream carbonated waters with fruit, herbs, & honey syrup for a healthy alternative to sugary sodas.


Do you like your water fizzy or flat? I like it both ways, but since we bought a SodaStream machine for making carbonated water at home I've come to love fizzy water more and more. There's something about those bubbles that makes it more refreshing to me. King-Man and I most often drink our fizzy water plain over ice, but I also like to add a little flavor or sweetness to mine sometimes. At last, I have a healthy way to do just that. In today's post, I show you how to use natural ingredients to add fruity flavors to sparkling waters.

I gave up soda awhile ago, so I didn't need the carbonated water to help me get over a soda addiction. But, if you're hooked on soda and would like to wean yourself off of it, this post just might help you. Sparkling waters are a healthful alternative to sugary sodas.

Carbonated water is just as good for you as plain water. You may have heard and read about a variety of health concerns about carbonated waters that are floating around the internet--claims that it leeches calcium from your bones, erodes enamel on your teeth, and even causes cancer. I find it difficult to navigate all of the conflicting information I read. So, I was happy to find a reputable source, Scientific American (their Nutrition Diva is a diet and nutrition myth buster) that concludes carbonated water is every bit as good for you as flat water. None of the scary claims about it have science backing them up. Yay. So, if you prefer your water fizzy, then go ahead and drink it that way. The important thing is to drink water--it's important for your health in whatever form you like it. 

Carbonated water may have some additional health benefits, in fact, like soothing upset stomachs and heart burn, and giving you a fuller feeling (so you eat less).

Kinds of fizzy water. You can carbonate your own water at home with A SodaStream machine (explained below), or purchase bottles of fizzy waters. Most of them are similar and all fall under the banner of "Sparkling Waters." There are sparkling waters that come from the ground naturally bubbly. Perrier and Pellegrino are two popular (albeit expensive) brands; their sparkling mineral waters come from specific locations in France and Spain. They naturally contain gas that produces bubbles. Seltzer water is widely available in stores and is plain water that has gas bubbles added to it. Club Soda is similar to seltzer but is high in sodium, so I choose to stay away from that for frequent drinking. Tonic has both sweeteners and bitter flavors added to it.

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Make your own fizzy water with a SodaStream to save time & hassle, Mother Earth, and maybe money.
(Just so you know, I have no affiliation whatsoever with SodaStream...I simply use and like their product.)
In case you're not familiar with this popular gadget, I'll give you a brief run down. There are several models of SodaStreams available with prices ranging from $80-ish dollars to $180-ish dollars (June 2013 pricing). I've seen good prices at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Amazon. SodaStreams are really easy to operate and require no electricity or battery. It literally takes seconds to carbonate a bottle of water. There is a gas canister that has to be replaced periodically; one canister lasts for the equivalent of 150 cans of soda. Old emptied canisters can be traded in for full replacements at half the price. I swap mine at a local Bed, Bath and Beyond. Here's what I like about my SodaStream.

  • Convenience. This is huge for me. We can make a fresh bottle of carbonated water whenever we like. No bottles to buy or haul home. 
  • Environmentally sound. Sparkling waters purchased in single use bottles contribute to land fills big time. Even if you recycle your bottles, it takes energy and resources to recycle them. Unless you're fortunate enough to live near a natural source of sparkling water (like France or Spain), there is considerable energy consumed in exporting and shipping the bottled waters. All of that is avoidable when using a SodaStream.
  • Healthy. This is true for me because I tend to drink more water when I have easy access to the fizzy kind. Drinking water is good for me, drinking more of it is even better. If you are replacing sugary sodas with this fizzy water, it's a huge health leap.
  • Economical? Truthfully, I'm not so sure about this one. It depends on the price of the model you get and how much water or soda you are replacing that you would normally purchase in bottles. I haven't done the math. I do know that it would take a while for a SodaStream to pay for itself. If you Google it, you can find others who have taken the time to do the math. Some have found SodaStreams to save money and some haven't.

How my SodaStream works. I purchased the "cream of the crop" model that uses glass bottles. I generally prefer glass over plastic, but also like that these are dishwasher safe and look attractive on the table for serving. However, the more economical machines that use BPA-free plastic bottles, work well, too. Here's how mine works (pictured below)

  • Fill the bottles  with regular water (filtered, if you prefer) and chill in the fridge.
  • Open the Sodastream and insert a bottle of chilled water; close and slide the lever to lock it.
  • Hit the button on the top until it makes a noise; mine usually takes 3-4 pumps.
  • That's it! Remove the bottle, pour, and enjoy your fizzy water.

view on Amazon: 

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  • The water will keep it's fizz for 2-3 days (maybe up to a week), if you are careful to screw on the cap tightly and refrigerate it.
  • You can only carbonate plain water--you can't add carbonation directly to flavored waters. That's because there's a chance that the water will rise up into the SodaStream mechanism when you're adding the gas; if the water contains other ingredients, there's no way to clean them out. So, any flavors have to be added after the carbonation.
  • SodaStreams makes a wide range of syrups that can be added to the carbonated water; many of them mimic popular soda flavors. I prefer to make my own syrups so that I can use healthy ingredients.

 

2 Methods for Adding Natural Flavors to Sparkling Waters 

Method #1. Make Fruit & Herb Honey Syrups. These contain nothing but fruit, herbs, and honey. They add both flavor and sweetness to sparkling waters. Use a little or a lot...however you like it. Recipes and step-by-step photos for these syrups are detailed in my previous post:

view how to make
8 Natural Fruit & Herb Honey Syrups

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Here's how to use these syrups to make your own flavored sparkling water by the glass. I'm using a blueberry sage syrup in the photos below.

  • fill a glass with ice, pour in sparkling water almost to the top, add 1 or more tablespoons of flavored syrup (to taste), stir, and enjoy!

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Here's how to use to use the syrups to flavor a whole bottle of sparkling water. I'm using strawberry basil syrup in the photos below.

  • Start with a chilled bottle of sparkling water (buy it or make it with a SodaStream)
  • Add syrup--start with 4 tablespoons per bottle, and add more if needed.
  • Cap the bottle and rock it gently from side to side until completely mixed.
  • Pour and enjoy! The bottle may be capped and refrigerated for at least 2-3 days.

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You can make any of my 8 syrup recipes or create new flavors of your own and enjoy an endless variety of flavored sparkling waters. Here they are using my 8 syrups. Every one is so uniquely refreshing. 

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Method #2: Use fresh fruit and/or herbs with no additional sweetener. If you prefer to stay completely away from sweetened water, this method is easy and tasty. There are endless fruit/herb combinations--use whatever suits you. I'm using a combination of raspberries and orange slices in the pictures below. 

  • Muddle fruit and/or herbs in the bottom of a glass, add ice, then pour in sparkling water to the top. Stir gently and enjoy.
  • Unlike the syrups that completely dissolve into the liquid, this method results in bits of fruit floating around in the sparkling water. If that bothers you, an alternative is to add a small amount of 100% fruit juice to the sparkling water instead of fruit.

View on Amazon:  beverage muddler

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Here's a glass of sparkling water with muddled blueberries and sage. You can see that there are visible bits of blueberries in the water.

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For recommendations for more fruit and herb combinations for naturally flavoring sparkling water, see my previous post:

view Naturally Flavored Waters

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Me? I use both methods for flavoring my sparkling water. The "no sweetener" method with muddled fruit & herbs is great for more frequent drinking, since it is 100% good for me.

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I also love using the syrups when I'm in the mood for a hint of sweetness in my water. Even with the honey in these syrups, the flavored sparkling waters are very low in calories; mine usually are around 30-40 calories per glass. That's a small fraction of the calories in a typical soft drink.

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Fun gift idea: A Soda Stream machine plus a few homemade syrups would make a great gift...who wouldn't love that? In my previous post with the syrup recipes, I also include some printable labels you can use for the syrups. Consider giving this unique gift for Father's Day, a housewarming gift, graduation gift (these would be great to have in a dorm room), birthdays, or holidays.

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I keep a few of the honey syrups in my fridge so that I can enjoy a variety of flavored sparkling waters at a moments notice with no trips to the store required. If you're a fizzy water fan, you might want to give these a try.

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Make it a Yummy day!
Monica 

For 200 more recipes for flavoring sparkling waters
and 
creating all kinds of carbonated sodas, I recommend:
HOMEMADE SODA Cookbook
 click here to view on Amazon
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Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Fruit & Herb Flavored Sparkling Water
By Monica
Ingredients
  • CHOOSE FROM:
  • fresh fruit -- try citrus, berries, melons, peaches, mangoes, pineapple and more
  • fresh herbs -- mint, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, dill, lavender and more
  • fruit & herb honey syrup -- recipe at www.theyummylife.com/Fruit_Herb_Honey_Syrups
  • sparkling water -- bottled or made with a SodaStream
  • ice
Directions
To flavor a glass of sparkling water with fresh fruit and herbs:
--add desired combination of fruit and/or herbs to bottom of drinking glass; press and twist with muddler or handle of wooden spoon to release flavor. Add ice, then pour in sparkling water to the top. Stir gently to combine flavors.
--possible fruit/herb combinations include raspberry & lime, pineapple & mint, watermelon & rosemary, blackberry & sage, ginger & lemon, strawberry & basil

To flavor a glass of sparkling water with Fruit & Herb Honey Syrups:
--fill a drinking glass with ice, pour in sparkling water almost to the top, add 1 or more tablespoons of flavored syrup (to taste), stir to combine flavors.

To flavor a whole bottle of sparkling water with Fruit & Herb Honey Syrups:
--to a chilled bottle of sparkling water, add flavored honey syrup; start with 4 tablespoons per bottle, taste, and add more if needed. Cap the bottle and rock it gently from side to side until completely mixed. Cap and store in refrigerator.
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Posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Tags: Beverages








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