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Over the past year or so, Sean and I have started drinking a lot of La Croix. I’ll blame it on our trip to South Carolina last summer—we drank a lot of La Croix then, and kept up the habit when we got back.
I liked the idea of getting our own water carbonator to replace our La Croix habit, but I always assumed the only option was SodaStream, which I was 100% uninterested in purchasing.
Then a few months ago, after a comment from my sister about the environmental impact of purchasing all those La Croix cans, I did some digging and found different water carbonator to try: Drinkmate.
The concept of water carbonators is pretty straightforward: you put water into a bottle, connect it to the machine, and force CO2 from a canister into the water to carbonate it.
You can add in juices like lime juice and lemon juice to flavor your carbonated water like La Croix, too! Or, if you’re a soda drinker, you can also get syrups to make their own sodas. (I’m not really a soda drinker any more, that’s not anything I’m interested in.)
There are three main things I was looking for in a water carbonator. In order to be worth the purchase, it needed to:
- Eliminate the need for individually packaged cans of carbonated water
- Be cheaper than La Croix after you factor in the cost of CO2 canisters
- Not be made by slaves in occupied Palestine
I looked at some comparisons online and one non-SodaStream option that kept coming up was Drinkmate. I did some quick calculations, and when you factored in the cost of the CO2 canisters, it would be cheaper to make the same quantity of carbonated water that you would get from La Croix!
Plus, it’s an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company, which means it isn’t made with slave labor and I can support a local company! A win-win.
We ended up ordering their Drinkmate Countertop Ultimate Bundle, which includes the Drinkmate Countertop appliance, three CO2 canisters, a 1-liter bottle, and a 0.5-liter bottle.
I of course broke the bottom piece of the 0.5-liter bottle within the first few weeks, but it still functions just fine!
You simply fill it up to the max fill line with water, attach the Fizz Infuser, and connect it to the machine.
Then push the bottle back in place and press down on the carbonator button to add carbonation to your drink! Easy peasy. Since it’s all pressure-based, you don’t even need to plug it in.
And to be honest, I’d be totally happy if that’s all it did. But Drinkmate has actually one-upped SodaStream: you can carbonate any drink that doesn’t have pulp. You don’t have to stick with water.
Naturally, as soon as Sean and I learned this, we went out and got a box of rosé to try it on.
You don’t have to fill the bottle up to the max fill line. I may have wanted to, but I took these photos on a Monday evening and I have some boundaries.
The wine carbonated just like the water did! They require slightly different amounts of carbonation, but the machine makes a (moderately terrifying) sound when it’s at max carbonation, so you know when to stop.
Then simply let out the pressure and you’ve got sparkling rosé!
Overall, we really like the Drinkmate machine. We only have two complaints.
The two bottles (1 liter and 0.5 liters) that were included with the Ultimate Bundle weren’t enough. Ideally, we’d have 6 bottles total: 4 of the 1-liter bottles (two for each of us), in two different colors so we could tell them apart, and 2 of the 0.5-liter bottles for non-water drinks like wine or vodka-water combos (hello homemade White Claw!). This is obviously a fixable issue that we plan to address soon!
The other problem: we’re going through CO2 canisters faster than expected for two main reasons.
First, when we made our initial calculation, we weren’t taking into account things like sparkling wine. We either need to increase our budget for CO2 if we’re going to continue making sparkling wine, or save it for a special occasion.
And second, we’re actually drinking more sparkling water than we were before. People like to finish an entire serving of something, whether it’s a 12-oz can of La Croix or it’s a 1-liter bottle of homemade seltzer, which means we’re drinking more water in a single sitting.
I don’t actually consider either of these things bad; they’re just things we didn’t consider when we made our initial calculations. After all, we’re finding joy in the little things (like making our own sparkling wine), and we’re drinking more water than we were before. Someone try to tell me to stop.
By the way, if you use my referral link, you can get $5 off your first order of your very own Drinkmate! (I’ll also get $5 toward my next purchase, which would be much appreciated!)
I highly recommend one if you’re in the market and would use it often. But remember, the most sustainable option is the item you already have, so don’t buy it if you just want to replace your perfectly-fine SodaStream or if you’re totally happy drinking flat water! You do you.