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Lots of people like to experiment with their meals, combining different spices and ingredients to create brand new recipes. However not a lot of people think to bring this ingenuity into making drinks. It may seem like a simple matter of pouring alcohol and some juice into one container and stirring. The reality, however, is that it takes a little bit of knowledge and the right equipment to create just the right alchemy that gives you the best of both worlds.

One simple tool that can help as you try to craft your own unique flavors is a soda maker. This straight forward device is most widely known for making soda water by shooting jets of carbon dioxide into the liquid. This turns regular tap water into the kind of fizzy, bubbling drink you might serve at a party. By using the right syrups and concentrates the device can also be used to make homemade sodas. Obviously, this small household item has a lot of potential in the hands of an amateur mixologist, allowing you to blend your favorite alcoholic drinks with a wide variety of different materials to craft a unique flavor all your own. Soda makers are relatively cheap and readily available so they’re a great investment whether you’re trying to cultivate your own brand or simply want to provide guests with a unique flavor at your next party.

If you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration before developing your new concoction here are some popular recipes that can be mixed up using a soda maker and some simple ingredients. Just place all your ingredients into the soda maker bottle and then attach it to the device. Then pull the lever and watch. But don’t open it right away, remember this is still a carbonated drink. Vent the gas inside the container slowly or else your tasty new treat will be spraying itself all over the kitchen.

You can recreate the popular Hemingway with just 1/4 a Cup of water, 1 1/2 Cups of squeezed grapefruit juice, 2 lemons worth of juice, 1 limes worth of juice, 2 shots of gin, and 8 drops of some liquid stevia.

If you want something cool, sharp, and refreshing try making some Bourbon Lemonade. This fizzy variant of a popular cocktail contains 1 cup of water, 4 lemons worth of juice, 2 shots of whiskey, as well as 8 drops of stevia.

Stevia is a sweetener made popular because it’s lighter and less sugary than many of the alternatives. Concentrated syrups can be a bit too thick in texture and heavy in taste for the your average home soda maker so it makes a great replacement ingredient that you can swap in to lighten a drink you think might be too rich. It also cleans easier, meaning you don’t have to try and scrub left over syrup gunk out of your container every time you mix up a new drink.

Here are a few tips for those still just starting out with their experimentation. Try to stick to the basics at first and load your fridge or cooler with reliable ingredients. Get four liquors, such as vodka, whiskey, rum, and tequila. Then get four mixers like, pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, and grenadine. Then you can fool around with combinations and portions until you get a sense of what tastes good. But don’t forget to stock up on ice and garnish materials as well. Once you have a solid understanding of the basics you can try introducing more exotic materials. Maybe keep your scope small however, until you’re sure about what you’re doing. You don’t want to invite a bunch of friends over to show off your skills and then assault them with some sort of bizarre chocolaty concoction you dreamed up just last night.

In general, lighter drinks respond better to the carbonation process than heavier ones do. If you have your heart set on a whiskey or bourbon, consider decreasing portions. You might get less drunk, but the point of mixing up drinks this way is taste, right?

While there are better tools available for professional drink mixers, a simple soda maker is a great choice for amateurs who are just starting to experiment. They are small in size, relatively cheap, and extremely easy to operate.

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