Recently, I became a big fan of sparkling water. I had previously had a lot of issue with drinking sparkling water due to the taste of the carbonic acid but one day, I decided on a whim to try sparkling water again, and I fell in love. Specifically, I enjoy lightly flavored, or essenced, sparkling water. I still drink still water when it’s just water. Quickly, flavored sparkling water became my main beverage with me primarily drinking various flavors of La Croix. I was going through a lot of waste drinking all those canned beverages, and I expressed frustration with this fact to my mother during one of our conversations. She immediately told me not to buy any beverage systems, and that she would do the research and get me the best one for Christmas. To say I was excited would be an understatement. Come Christmas I open a new Spärkel machine, a few boxes of the carbonating powders, and a bag full of sachets used to help flavor the water.

What is the Spärkel though? It’s sort of like a SodaStream, but rather than using a canister of CO2, it uses some powders (probably citric acid and baking soda, or similar) to create CO2 and pumps the CO2 into the bottle. Another special thing about this device in particular is that they advertise it as something that can carbonate any beverage, not just water, which I have independently verified to the best of my ability. I’ve been using this thing twice or thrice a day since Boxing Day, and have carbonated everything from Gatorade to tequila though I wouldn’t recommend carbonating everything.

Mostly, I throw one of their branded sachets into the bottle, fill it with water, and let it rip and get a delicious strawberry watermelon or pink grapefruit sparkling water. However, I’ve also taken a note from WaterTok and have a few different flavored Torani and DaVinci Gourmet syrups. I’ve been using them to create weird soda concoctions like a kid making a “Suicide” at the fountain in a McDonald’s. I’ve done a couple obvious fruit combinations, but possibly one of my favorite combos has been rose and strawberry syrups together. It’s bright and sweet thanks to the strawberry, with a floral tone that helps to keep it grounded.

I have been telling people that my Spärkel is my favorite thing I own, and it’s no lie. This machine gets more use than nearly anything else I own. I’ve not been incentivized to write about it in any way, I just truly love this thing and it’s on my mind a lot. If you have the ability to get one of these, or already own a device that can dispense carbonated water, I highly recommend picking up a Butter Rum syrupo from DaVinci Gourmet and making your own butter rum soda at home. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it’s to die for.