This is pretty much the coolest thing on the planet (aside from Eloise and Ripley, that is). What this little do-hickey does is carbonate water, to which you add syrup for flavor. You fill the bottle with tap water, screw it onto the Soda Stream and add gas until it farts three times (which is quite entertaining for the teenagers of the house).
We spend a lot of money on pop in this house. Yes, I know it's unhealthy, but I just can't give up my Coke. I'm rarely home, so any Coke drinking I do happens at work - any pop at home disappears. The kids and their friends can kill a twelve-pack in a day, which adds up quickly.
After I saw this at Julie's, I made up my mind that I wasn't buying any more pop for the house. It wasn't going to happen. One bottle of syrup is about $6.00 and makes the equivalent of thirty-three twelve-ounce cans of pop. The calorie difference between commerical soda and soda made at home is huge! Each serving has 35 calories compared to the 100+ calories in commercial soda. The reason for the difference is that the Soda Stream syrup is made with half sugar and half splenda. I have no beef whatsoever with high fructose corn syrup, in fact, I really, really love it. I don't really like the taste of splenda, so the "cola" flavor doesn't work for me at all. However, the kids don't care about the taste. If they want to drink a pop, they can just make it, 'cause this mommy hasn't bought a single case of it in a month!
They've got a fairly large selection of syrups, both caffeinated and non. So far, my favorite is the cranberry-raspberry syrup. RockCrawlinChef is partial to the lemon-lime, and the kids like the cola.
I do have a crazy idea, though, of buying a thing of Coke syrup and trying it out with the Soda Stream. Wish me luck with that one.