If you’re anything like me, well first off, I’m so, so sorry. But if you’re like me you appreciate sparkling water, especially now that it comes in a plethora of delicious artificial flavors. I’m not a snob, either. I like the LaCroix, the Bubly, StoreBrandica — it’s all delicious.
But, it’s also a bit spendy. It hurts me every time I spend $6.99 for a pack of (8) 12oz cans of water. Yes, they are usually painted in pretty colors, and come with pre-dissolved carbon dioxide and 3 drops of chemical flavoring; but it still feels like I’m paying a lot for something so very simple. (If you add the 10 cents per can for the Michigan deposit, it’s even worse, because I’m nowhere near responsible enough to take my empties back to the store. Seriously, if you’re a Boy Scout troop or a Little League team doing a fundraiser, stop at our house. We have 537 bags of empty cans piled in the back room.)
So anyway, in an attempt to Hackzor The Planet, I bought a Soda Stream machine (The “Source” if it matters, but I think they’re all exactly the same thing, I’m not sure why they have so many models. THEY DO ONE THING.) I figured if I could make my OWN bubbly water, I might be able to find flavors and stick it to man! Actually, I don’t know if a man owns LaCroix and/or Bubly. But saying, “stick it to the person” seems less revolutionary and more pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. But yeah, I bought a Soda Stream machine and a set of (3) reusable bottles. Because I love the planet. Of course those bottles are made of plastic, so maybe I hate the planet and just want to save money? I dunno, it failed anyway (he foreshadows like a BOSS).
I tried to find “flavor drops” that would make my homemade bubble water taste like something other than salty fizz. (Also why does carbonated water taste salty? There’s no salt… There’s carbonic acid, but why does that taste like salt? Shouldn’t it taste… acid-y? Or carbonic-y?)
So, flavor drops. The only thing I could find was some co-branded thick goo from the Bubly company, which you add a surprisingly large amount of to your freshly carboned water. It’s supposed to be just like the cans you buy at the store, and with the cost of those little bottles of goo, it certainly should taste like Bubly, because it costs just as much. Also, they only come in the lamest of flavors. And I didn’t want Bubly, I wanted something different. And cheaper.
Then I found these Capella brand drops, which come in a crazy variety of flavors. They seem perfect, so I bought a LOT of them. If you go directly to their website (instead of that Amazon affiliate link), they have even more flavors. Some sound better than they taste, and some taste exactly like you’d expect. My favorites are the gummy bear flavor and the Swedish Fish flavor. (I think they’re called something similar to the brand name, but not exactly so they don’t get sued — but that Swedish Fish flavor is pretty gnarly to drink in bubbly water.)
Unfortunately, every flavor adds a sort of “waxy” flavor to the water. Waxy might not be the right word, but they don’t seem to have the same sort of delicious flavor that store-bought cans have. I know they’re artificial, but the store brand flavors seem more “real” somehow.
And that’s when Hank Green ruined my bunny slippers.
I’m a fan of John & Hank Green. That’s no secret. Anyone in Nerdfighteria worth their salt is familiar with the podcast they do together, “Dear Hank & John.” I’m even a $5 Patreon supporter, so I get a *bonus* podcast every time they record an episode. Totally worth the price on the tin. Anyway, during one of the episodes, Hank was talking about how he also enjoys LaCroix-ish things. Like me, he has tried to make his own concoctions from home. (OMG we’re so alike, we should totally be BFFs… just sayin) During one of the episodes, Hank said that he adds some orange juice concentrate to his SodaStreamed tap water. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that fruit juice of any kind is just sugar water, and it’s not, “good for you” in any significant way. But still, it sounded like a pretty great idea.
And so I bought some orange juice concentrate. And I did it with aforethought, y’all. I got pulp-free, because while Fizzy Floaters might be a great band name, chunky bubble water sounds pretty gross. I also bought the kind that comes in a plastic container. Not because I hate the planet (although we established above that maybe I do…), but because I didn’t want the cardboard to get weird and soggy. Anyway, I put the plastic, pulp-free concentrate container in the fridge so that it would be pourable. The next day, along with my cup of coffee, I decided to prepare an all-natural carbonated bottle of slightly orange-y water. Unfortunately, Hank did not specify how much concentrate he adds to how much water — but I thought this was a, “less is more” kind of situation. I didn’t want carbonated orange juice, I wanted carbonated water with a refreshing hint of citrus. So after making a bottle of plain bubble water, I slowly poured a tiny bit of the concentrate into the bottle.
Now, I’m not sure if you know how science works. I thought I did. And Hank is “The Science One” when it comes to the Green brothers. But in some sort of Mark Rober inspired reaction, my innocent bottle of sparkling water turned into a fountain of citrus and shame that makes Mentos and Diet Coke look about as exciting as those weird ash-snake firework things that come in the cheap 4th of July fireworks packs. The explosion that took place on my counter hit the kitchen ceiling. Much like an untethered rocket ship, the bottle of fury fueled by some sort of zero-point energy launched its frothy exhaust into my pouring hand, which shot the mostly full container of concentrate against the side wall of the kitchen. It had enough force behind it that it bounced off the wall, and came back (still about half full) to hit me square in the chest and get further accelerated by the now spinning bottle of fury on the counter.
Further experimentation should be done, because I think the OJ concentrate combine with the freshly carbonated water created some sort of Jesus-level loaves and fish situation. That single 20oz bottle of water somehow left about 5 inches of angry standing water in our entire kitchen. The rest of the orange juice concentrate dumped directly on my slippers and my cup of coffee somehow poured itself *into* one of my slippers during the 7 seconds of chaos.
So yeah. That’s how Hank Green ruined my bunny slippers. And I have no idea if his Molotov Cocktail of Doom actually tastes good, because all of the ingredients were now a permanent part of my kitchen decor.
The moral of the story? Um… I dunno. Stock up on LaCroix when it goes on sale?