Oh Bubbles! Soda Maker REVIEW
PAT PILCHER gets all fizzed up with Oh Bubbles! At last, healthy and environmentally aware soda for the 21st century.
A while back, I wrote about how we decided to reduce our plastic consumption and how surprisingly easy it was to do. Since then, one of the areas in which plastics have proven particularly hard to eliminate has been carbonated drinks. There’s nothing quite like a cold fizzy drink on a stinking hot day, but most come in plastic bottles.
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It isn’t hugely surprising to find that the soft drink industry is one of the biggest plastic polluters around. Environmental advocates, Oceania estimates that a whopping 20 to 34 billion plastic PET bottles are produced and sold by the soft drink industry, with many ending up in the ocean each year.
That’s a massive amount of plastic, but then I really do like icy cold fizzed up water on a hot day… what’s this thirsty geek to do??
Oh Bubbles! is a Kiwi/Italian take on the DIY carbonated drinks genre, consisting of a slick carbonation machine for adding fizz to drinks and a huge range of uniquely Italian soda syrups. The review machine I tested had a neat looking woodgrain finish, but they’re also available in a range of finishes that’ll look great in most kitchens. The machine is tall and narrow – a good thing as bench space for gadgets in most kitchens is scarce – in order to accommodate a Co2 cylinder. The SodaStream machines of my childhood wouldn’t win any beauty prizes, but the Oh Bubbles machine looks decidedly stylish.
Unlike SodaStream, the Oh Bubbles machine can carbonate any beverage as long as it’s cold. I remember adding extra fizz to already flavoured drinks with the SodaStream machine as a kid. The results were spectacularly messy. Soda bottles became fizzy missiles that shot across the kitchen, spraying sticky raspberry red or cola coloured mayhem everywhere. This is not a problem with the Oh Bubbles machine, with which I was able to add fizz to cold tea, coffee and even wine or beer with no fuss or mess.
The syrups I tested consisted of Sorrento Lemon, Blood Orange, Tonic and Italian Gascoza. There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold San Pellegrino Limonata or Arancia Rosso on a baking hot Mediterranean day. My first gulp of Sorrento Lemon transported me back to the bay of Naples. I was hooked.
Unlike the soda syrups of my childhood, Oh Bubbles syrups are made in Italy and have real fruit in them and less sugar (and calories). This not only makes them healthier but tastier compared to Coke or Mountain Dew. If you don’t like flavoured fizzy drinks, there’s no denying that there’s something really refreshing about chilled soda water. As it has zero calories, it is also an ideal aperitif and a great thirst quencher.
The fizz I get with the Oh Bubbles machine is both nose tickling and brilliant. Two short toots on the machine gave drinks all the gas they needed. A gas bottle typically lasts 2-3 weeks (depending on how many drinks you make). Oh Bubbles also runs a gas bottle subscription service where they will pick up and replace empty Co2 cylinders so you can keep making cool drinks all summer long.
Perhaps the best thing about the Oh Bubbles solution was that I only needed the one 1L bottle that came with the machine. This effectively reduced the amount of plastic soft drink bottles in our trash to zero. Being eco-conscious also saved me a bundle of money. With syrups costing around $24 each, I could make 7-9 litres of soda, saving a pile of money too. My inner scrooge approves.
If you like cool soda and want quality Italian soda instead of the sugary awfulness of commercial soft drinks, you owe it to yourself to check out Oh Bubbles. Their eco cred, superior taste, and money-saving smarts see them earning an effortless 10/10.
Head to www.ohbubbles.co.nz and Use the discount code WITCHDR at the checkout to get a cool 15% off your own Oh Bubbles machine, accessories, and flavours (excludes gas refills).
Offer is valid until March 4, 2022