Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Is the Spärkel Beverage System the New SodaStream?

For quite a while now, there has really been only one at-home water carbonator on the block. While there are other companies and brands out there, SodaStream is as synonymous with its product as Kleenex is with tissues or Jell-O is to gelatin desserts (or shots, whichever).  Now, though, a new product has come out that is looking to give SodaStream a run for its money.

Spärkel

Spärkel is a carbonator-cum-ingredient-infuser that does what a SodaStream does, but in a slightly different way. If you’re not familiar with SodaStream, you basically take your bottle of water, and use carbon dioxide, delivered through a small tank, to carbonate it. Instead of using the CO2 tank, however, Spärkel carbonates water by using a packet of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate blended together to generate CO2 in the water.

To carbonate, you first pick one of five levels of carbonation (Spärkel delivers up to 80 PSI), then you put the packet’s contents into a sealed chamber with water (not the water you’ll be drinking). If you’re planning on infusing your water with anything – fruit, perhaps, and mint are both good options – you add the flavoring and cold filtered water to a specially designed (and dishwasher-safe) bottle.  Next, you hold down the handle and the carbonation is infused through the bottom of the bottle into the water you’ll be drinking. The carbonation infuses the flavor and makes your water bubbly to your specifications in about 90 seconds. Once you’re done, you simply dispose of the leftover CO2 granule residue via an easily-removable tray. When you’re ready to make another bottle’s worth, simply add more of the mixture, more water, and you’re good to go.

Spärkel

The biggest difference, obviously  – and the one that Spärkel hinges on — is the use of granule packets compared to a CO2 tank. Instead of dealing with replacement tanks (whether in person or online), Spärkel’s system reduces the amount of time spent getting new carbonation gear as well as the waste generated from the process (shipping and handling, gas to get to the store, et cetera). A standard Spärkel system comes with 10 packs (one bottle per pack), but you can get 90 packs for $50 on the Spärkel site.

Another fun side to the Spärkel system – and one we enjoyed testing out – was that, unlike SodaStream, Spärkel encourages the carbonation of liquids such as wine. (We tried it with a rosé and with a Sauvignon Blanc, with solid results both times.) The brand says you can carbonate your spirits as well, but we’ll let you try that one yourself – fizzy whiskey did not and still does not sound good to us (adding soda is what we prefer).

Spärkel

The Spärkel Beverage System will run you $100 for the system, one bottle, and ten packets. It is currently sold out on the official site but can be found for other prices on Amazon and elsewhere.

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
Don’t skip this step for summer barbecues: How to clean your grill’s exterior
Know how to clean the outside of a grill so your burgers don't disappoint
Male chef grilling and barbequing in garden. Barbecue outdoor garden party. Handsome man preparing barbecue meat. Concept of eating and cooking outdoor during summer time.

Even if you don't like cooking, you'll jump to man a grill to show off your barbeque skills. But what about the cleanup after? Scraping off the food is the easy part, but when was the last time you cleaned the rest of the grill? If you have no idea, to the point you aren't sure if you ever have, put the tongs down and listen. Here's how to clean the outside of a grill so it lasts more than a few summers.
How to clean the outside of a grill

It doesn't matter what kind of grill you have; you need to know how to clean the outside of it, and you actually need to do it.
What you'll need

Read more
33 easy and delicious recipes any man can make
Breakfast, mains, sides, and more. Simple recipes to whip up
Close-up of a man holding frying pan with fresh vegetables and a wooden spoon

Being able to feed yourself is important, but being able to make a meal is impressive. Whether from an online recipe or a cookbook, these days, cooking has become a necessity and, like anything, the more you do it the better you become.

Whipping up a dish from scratch can sound daunting, and even with the help of a recipe app, it can take a lot of effort. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that it’s cheaper, healthier, and fun. From a simple savory breakfast to a sexy night in, give takeout a break and try one of these easy recipes every man should know how to make in their lifetime.
Breakfast
Frittata

Read more
The best fried chicken recipe you will ever make
This is simply the best, and you can stop looking for this recipe now
Eating fried chicken

As you know, we love all things fried chicken. It’s the ultimate comfort food no matter the day of the week, no matter the weather. We just can’t get enough of that golden brown and delicious chicken. Keep reading, and you'll find the best fried chicken recipe ... hands down.
The history of fried chicken

Europeans were the first to fry up chicken during the Middle Ages. Fried chicken was considered an expensive delicacy until after World War II and was only served for special occasions. Scottish immigrants were the ones who introduced fried chicken to the U.S., but they didn’t use any seasonings until West Africans added spice blends into the recipe. Since then, it has been a staple in Southern cooking.

Read more