Thursday 24 January 2013

The Joy of Soda

The old-fashioned soda siphon was a thing of beauty. Elegantly shaped, made of impressively thick and heavy glass - engraved with fancy patterns and the maker's name - it used to be a fixture in every drinks cabinet and on every bar (not to mention essential kit for soda fights at the Drones Club). In my boyhood I thought it a very wonderful thing, partly because of the huge deposit payable and reclaimable (recycling paid then) - if you happened to come across an empty soda siphon and took it to the off licence, you would be handsomely rewarded. And if you got the chance to use the thing - what larks! A press of the lever and that sudden exciting gush of fizzy water... (We made our own amusements in those days.)
But the classic soda siphon has long been a thing of the past. Pubs now squirt fizzy water from multifunction bar hoses, and those of us who like a splash of soda in our whisky or brandy when drinking at home have to make do with the bottled stuff, which invariably goes flat long before it's finished. Or so I thought, until - clapping my hand to my brow - I realised that I could just buy a soda siphon online. Not the elegant glass artefact of old, but a serviceable siphon nonetheless, squirting fresh fizzing soda every time. I bought myself one recently - black it is - and it's become one of my life's little pleasures. Once I'd given up on the wholly impenetrable instructions for putting the thing together - even the pictures made no sense - I soon had it working, and it's never let me down since. It stays full of fizz to the last squirt, and when it runs out it's the work of a moment to refill it, screw in a new metal slug of CO2 and start again.
Jeeves - my usual B & S, if you would!


  1. Probably should be filed under 'old wives' but it has worked for me since before the cat was spayed. You simply insert a metal (not silver) tea-spoon into the neck of an opened bottle of fizz, handle first (obviously!). The fizz remains, in or out of the fridge, for about 3-4 days. Many moons ago my wife and I used to drink like a hose in reverse, and we hardly ever needed to put this to the test; these days we use this quirky method regularly. Explanation? The only reasonable one I heard, was that the spoon-handle in the neck chilled the air around it faster than the air in the rest of the bottle - inhibiting the escape of gas. Even if this is bonkers, it makes a gas story (as we used to say in Erin), and is useful for cutting the ice at cocktail parties we are no longer invited to.

  2. Fascinating Mahlerman - I must try that with a bottle of Mrs N's Prosecco...