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The Soda Siphon
Let’s take a minute to talk about seltzer — simple, carbonated water. It used to be (in major cities, anyway) that every week your seltzer man came knocking with his delivery of blue, green, and clear, old bottles, triggers at the top, all a-fizz with old-timey effervescence and charm. You’d give him back your empties and he’d clink off down the stairs to the neighbors’; you’d pay your bill at the end of the month. Lovely.

Seltzer, you see, is really useful stuff, doubly so in warm weather. Soda makes refreshing drinks that are larger in volume and lower in proof — a good combination on a hot day. A few tall brandy-sodas by the pool leaves one feeling refreshed and pleasantly buzzing; spend your afternoon belting back martinis to beat the heat, though, and, well, you may be spending the night on that beach chair.

To this end, the re-chargeable soda siphon is indispensable. Plastic bottles are expensive for what they are, and rarely do I use an entire liter of the stuff in an afternoon, leaving me dumping 50 cents of soda down the drain when I find it flat three days later. Our next option, the Soda Stream, also lets soda go flat; plus, it costs $100 and looks ridiculous. Unless you are directly descended from the Brady Bunch, just leave that mess alone.
This leaves the rechargeable soda siphon, which is quick, easy, and cheap. Mine is made by ISI; has a one-liter capacity; and cost about $45 (which is recouped after about 60 uses, by my math). If you buy the CO2 chargers in bulk, you can get them for 15 to 20 cents each. (All CO2 is the safe to consume, so you don’t have to buy “soda chargers” in particular.) The soda inside stays pressurized until the bottle is empty, and it’s handsome-looking and a fun party piece. Lovely.

Drink well.

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