DIY
Pinbusted or Pintrusted: Homemade Soda Stream Syrup

pin-busted

Time for another installment of Pinbusted or Pintrusted!

This time, we’re going to talk about the Soda Stream. How many of you have one of these nifty contraptions? Go ahead, raise your hand!

Our family got a very basic Soda Stream model at Christmastime, which included the carbonator with CO2 tank, one 1L bottle, and a sampler pack of flavor syrups. The system is very straightforward, and doesn’t even require electricity: Screw a water-filled bottle to the carbonator and depress a button on top to carbonate to the level you desire.

We tasted several of the sample syrups that came with the system and they’re pretty good. My husband noticed that all the syrups were surprisingly low-calorie and upon further investigation, we noticed that they all had sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda). The other flavors are more natural than the colas you would buy at the grocery store: sweetened with cane sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup.

Everything having that sucralose in it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s as if Soda Stream has some sort of drug deal with the company that makes/markets Splenda. I can’t stand the taste of it, and my kids don’t need it. Dave likes some products that have it; he claims he doesn’t taste the same metallic flavor that I do.

Homemade grape soda with grapes would be divine, but using unsweetened Kool Aid and adjusting it to your fancy is good for us too. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Homemade grape soda with grapes would be divine, but using unsweetened Kool Aid and adjusting it to your fancy is good for us too. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

I turned to Pinterest for homemade Soda Stream syrup ideas. I even set up a board. I had no problem finding classic recipes for ginger ale, cherry limeade, and root beer. I’m looking forward to trying the strawberry soda when I have fresh-picked berries!

I also found an idea for using unflavored Kool Aid packets with simple syrup to make mixes for orange and grape soda. Here is the pin, but the link is just to the picture of three bottles. The text has the quick and dirty instructions. I found the pin in reference to using the syrup for shaved ice, so I did some experimenting with the help of other shave ice syrup recipes, then adapted the recipe for Soda Stream.

Presenting…

GeekMom Patricia’s Homemade Kool Aid Soda Stream Syrup

  • One packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid (any flavor)
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • Airtight storage container

I use a one-quart Ziploc screw top soup container for storage.

In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar into the water. Remove from heat and slowly add the Kool Aid mix and allow to cool before transferring to a storage container. I was able to make about 16 oz. of syrup.

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate, that is the question. I figured I’d have to refrigerate it, but I had a hard time dissolving the syrup into the soda that way. It seemed better if I kept the syrup at room temperature, but I recommend using the syrup within a week or less.

I had to do some experimenting before I came up with an amount to add to the soda. I recommend 3 oz. for a half liter bottle of soda and 6 oz. for a full liter.

Don’t make a fizzy sugary mess! Add the syrup very slowly, and tilt the soda bottle before adding the syrup. You’re adding quite a bit of syrup, such that your soda may come very close to the top edge.

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The carbonated water WILL fizz when you add the syrup—be careful! If I didn’t have one hand on the camera I would have tilted the bottle. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

Pinbusted or Pintrusted? Trusted, but with caveats.

  • First of all, if you overheat the syrup, it could begin to gel, thus making it hard to dissolve in the Soda Stream bottle. Just heat the solution until the sugar dissolves, and that’s it.
  • Secondly, be care with the amount of syrup you have to add. If you aren’t careful it could overflow the bottle.
  • Finally, based on the fizzing that occurred when I added the syrup, I pondered whether the sucralose helps to control the fizz.

Do you have a Soda Stream? Do you have any homemade recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Patricia Vollmer

Patricia Vollmer is a geeky meteorologist mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 9 & 11. She is currently teaching mathematics at the United States Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, playing her violin, needlecrafts and exploring the world with her boys.

33 Comments
  1. rosebengal

    We have a soda stream and LOVE making our own syrups for it. We usually use fresh fruit (this year we’ve done rhubarb , strawberry and marionberry) but we also make our own tonic syrup (for gin and tonics, or just tonic and lime) and we’ve been doing some herbal syrups too like rosemary and thyme (which mix nicely with the fruit syrups). We tried rootbeer but it had tasted oddly like oregano… Any recipe for flavored “simple syrup” should work (Pinterest has an abundance of them) and you won’t have any trouble refrigerating them since you won’t have the wacky koolaid ingredients causing your syrup to gel.

  2. Great idea for an inexpensive way to make soda with my SodaStream! I’m just curious why you made a syrup first instead of just adding some KoolAid mix and sugar directly to a bottle of carbonated water.

    • Patricia Vollmer

      Hello and thanks for reading! I go through the trouble of making the syrup first because it’s quicker to dissolve than the crystals: have you ever added sugar to cold iced tea and there’s always some granules at the bottom? By melting the sugar first, you avoid that.

  3. I was searching for alternative syrup since I don’t like the after taste of Splenda and found this! Awesome, thanks so much! FYI: I also thought about using syrup for making sno cones! I have to play around with how much to add though.

  4. I also received a soda stream for Christmas. They must have an interest in Splenda corp. I have a citrus grove (6 trees) with Meyer lemons blood orange limes satsu,a grapefruit pomelos and peach and plum. and i use part of my cousint 50/100 ft garden and grow 90% of my greens and tubers. For the past few years I’ve been juicing my crop and freezing it in round ziplock containers. I’ve used the juice to cook goose. Finding I can reduce my juice into a simple syrup I often add natural flavorings like puréed cherries peach. Experiment till you find your perfect flavor. I stopped drinking store bought sodas since. NO TOXIC SUCRALOSE!! I read that the chemical eats away at the lining in your colon and eats away at the brain putting tiny holes throughout the grey matter turning it into a kind of Swiss cheese! SO GREAT FOR YOU KEEPING IT OUT OF YOUR CHILDRENS DIET! I’ll keep you guys posted on any new ideas and try to get a recipe up for everyone to see.

  5. The aftertastes to artificial sugars (splenda, aspartame..) aren’t tasted by everyone apparently. I read that somewhere, once. I taste it, though and hate it so.

  6. Hi to the mom who gave the soda strem recipes; just so you know, Splenda/sucralose is one of the best low cal sweeteners which is derived from sugar itself, non-chemical, safe for children and recommended by doctors as safe and used by diabetics; used by women who are pregnant ect……
    The amount of sugar you are using in your recipes is extreme and could cause diabetes in children and adults; never drink your calories; no matter what natural sugar you are using once any sugar including large amounts of fruits enters the body it is automatically converted to fat and stored in the body as fat; two teaspoons of sugar is 12 grams of fat; I can’t imagine letting my kids drink 2 cups worth of sugar and not for myself either.
    Healthy Mom,
    Carrie

    • Carrie, regardless of your facts, artificial sweeteners taste like f**k. If we didn’t want to drink our calories we wouldn’t be here learning how to make SUGAR SYRUP. Enjoy your life. Die young. Stop abusing your children. Your punctuation is also sh*t. Thank you.

  7. Carrie – Two teaspoons of sugar contains 0g of fat. Also, by her recipe, she is using 3oz of syrup for 1/2 litre of soda, or 1.5oz for 8 ounces of soda. By my calculations, that’s about 257 calories per 8oz glass. A lot of calories? Sure. But I highly doubt she’s letting her kids drink six glasses of it a day.

    P.S. I’m not a mathemetician, so sorry if my arithmetic is off. Still, it’s not as much sugar as you’re making it out to be. And no fat.

  8. Personally I am glad that they are using Sucralose instead of aspartame.
    And as you said, some of them DO contain cane sugar so those are more natural.
    All in all, giving your kids the koolaid mix that you make is giving them more calories than they need and you may as well just be making a jug of koolaid instead of using your soda stream.

  9. Carrie,

    Sucralose is made from sugar, yes… But they make it by adding chlorine molecules to sugar molecules.

    I don’t know about you, but I prefer to cut down on the amount of chlorine I drink. Besides, it tastes nasty.

  10. Thank-you for pointing that out, Nix. Sucralose STARTS from sugar but they change it by adding chlorine. Yuck. I’d rather my children had real sugar than chemicals. Aside from that, I don’t like the taste of Sucralose. Thank-you, Patricia for the recipe.

  11. Most people on low-carb diets prefer sucralose as aspartame reportedly hinders the fat-burning process. A natural alternative is stevia. You can buy stevia in liquid and crystallized forms in the supermarket. I order bulk natural stevia leaves online, as well as bulk loose tea. Combine a few tsp. of tea (or a few teabags) and about 1/4 tsp. stevia leaves with just enough water to cover and allow it to steep for a few hours. Fill a glass with ice, top with sparkling water and add strained tea/stevia to taste. There are lots of natural tea options such as china black tea, green tea, and/or my favorite, dried hibiscus flowers. You can also add dried mint leaves or dried herbs and a squeeze of lemon or orange. We’re all used to the taste of sugar and nothing else tastes as good, initially, but I found that I quickly adapted to the taste of stevia.

  12. Rachel, I think you missed her point. Sure sugar has no fat, until the body turns it into fat at an accelerated pace for storage. Most people are fat because of sugar, not animal fat. Animal fat does not flow in lumps to your thighs and stick there… It gets processed with everything else and absorbed. The body then either uses it for energy or stores it. The body, when in glycolysis, typically burns in this order: alcohol, sugar, fats, proteins. If there is leftover sugar, it gets stored as fat. Sugar=fat unless you have great metabolism, or burn it all off as you take it in.

    • Patricia Vollmer

      Good dialogue about sugar vs. sucralose. The bottom line for my motivation for this post was that I don’t care for the taste of Sucralose. It leaves a metallic taste in my mouth that I don’t get from sugar. My sons don’t drink soda much at all — once a week at most. It was an experiment for my family that technically is successful, but is most definitely a “sometimes food”..

  13. I’ve been trying it out as well. I’ve been doing it with pure sugar, so far I haven’t had it overfizz on me if I cool the syrup in the fridge first and poured slowly. Now if only I can figure out how to make homemade Soda flavors.

  14. Great dialogue! I’ve just purchased my 14th bottle of flavored Stevia drops. Stevia is the ONLY natural sweetener, as it is an herb that just happens to be sweet. It is very expensive, but it goes a long long way. I purchase mine from a Vitamin store online – our local health food marts sell it for $14 – $16 a bottle (1 oz). I love taking charged water and a few drops of Berry or Root Beer stevia – yummy! Warning – it has to be pure stevia – many brands have added sweeteners, which defeats the purpose! You’ll know, for the most part, by the price. :(
    Personally, I believe sugar is the worst thing for us – it is “killing” us, in so many ways, as many mentioned above. I’m not versed enough to explain, but it is behind all the cancer and diabetes we are seeing today. Thanks for this article and all the input!

  15. Not sure I agree with all the scare on Splenda. There is some research that indicates it is bad for you but at the same time its often exaggerated. Seems to me the dangers of too much real sugar are just as bad. I have used it and it tastes fine to me. As with anything else, moderation is the key.

    If you are totally frightened of Splenda, you can try Saccharin which is in Sweet and Low. It’s a very powerful sweetener compared to the same amount of sugar. Used by diabetics for years. No indications of danger unless you are a male rodent.

    The easiest soda to make on your own is a lemon-lime (sprite type) soda. The flavor of natural lemons and limes is pretty strong but actually requires very little in a soda and very little sweetener to take off the sour edge. Lemon juice is extremely cheap too.

    • The point isn’t a ‘scare’ on artificial sweeteners, or being ‘frightened’ of them, it’s that for some of us, artificial sweeteners have a bad taste/aftertaste. If they don’t bother you, great, enjoy!

      Personally, I buy flavored syrups at world market or whole foods. I find that a single ‘serving’ as listed on the bottle is enough to flavor 750ml of fizzy drink. And I highly recommend the pure fizz soda makers, as they are designed for adding the flavor to the water before you carbonate, so you don’t lose fizzieness when flavoring!

  16. About the sweetener used in the products. I would guess the reason is because the sweetener allows for less syrup volume for more servings in a smaller bottle. You need much more sugar for the same sweetness.

  17. If you’re worried about calories and whether sucralose, aspartame, or Kool-Aid is toxic, I don’t think Soda Stream should be your choice beverage. Stick with the polluted tap water.

    We have a Soda Stream and I can’t stand the aftertaste of the Splenda. I found a guy in Pittsburgh that makes and sells syrups online. pittsburghsodapop.com

    I’ve been searching forever to find a good black cherrry like the corner store used to make. Hopefully this guy’s syrup will fit the bill!

  18. Are you sure this recipe is typed correctly? It seems that the amount of sugar and water should be flipped. It seems like it would be impossible to dissolve 2 cups sugar into 3/4 cups water.

  19. you stated : Dave likes some products that have it;( he claims he doesn’t taste the same (metallic) flavor that I do).

    BECAUSE I HAVE THE SAME METALLIC TASTE YOU DO, But the comments went to basically the flavors or how to make flavors. Do you think that is natural? I don’t.

  20. Hylianux

    I see on the sodastream videos that they add the syrup BEFORE adding the carbonation… They say you add the syrup, close the bottle, and shake it around to get it well-mixed, then add your carbonation.

    I’m wondering if it makes any difference to add it before or after with these homemade recipes…

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