Former Chicago Home + Garden editorial assistant Corina Quinn, now associate editor at
La Cucina Italiana, is our guest blogger today.

If you’re a soda drinker, an at-home carbonator can save money and trips to the store for re-stocking, not to mention eliminate the constant refuse of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Making your own sodas also allows you to skip the high-fructose corn syrup present in most commercial brands. And if you like to cook, the idea of crafting your own pop admittedly has a retro, homemade-pie-crust appeal to it. Some I saw at the Housewares Show recently: SodaStream offers six models of electronic carbonators that look like a cross between an espresso maker and a juicer. The models vary in the quantity they produce (i.e., single bottle to two carafes) and level of accoutrements (an automated gauge that measures your machine’s gas levels is a coveted luxury in the home carbonation sub-culture). Separately, SodaStream offers an extensive line of syrups and flavors so you can mix your favorite soft drinks. Machines range from $80–$200; soda mixes $5–$10. In addition, iSi was touting its Twist ‘n Sparkle, a BPA-free bottle that automatically carbonates any liquid poured inside it. The bottle’s “sparkling wand” fits inside its chamber and charges the contents with carbonated buzz. The process takes one minute, and the bottle is reusable and recyclable—great for a smaller serving whipped up on-the-go. Starter set of bottle, carbonating wand and 3 soda chargers is $50, What a gas!