American households have a rich tradition of buying kitchen devices and tools that no one ever really uses. You see them on bridal registries and gathering dust in cabinets or on countertops everywhere. Why, in my parents’ home alone, there is at least a deep-fryer, a dehydrator, and a George Foreman grill that never see the light of day. (To be fair, the Foreman would probably be much more useful if they didn’t have a giant propane grill in the backyard.) At one point in the past, they also owned an ice cream maker. Not sure where that one ended up, but it is firmly entrenched in my mental list of non-active kitchen gadgets. However, none of these, in my opinion, is quite as silly a purchase as the sparkling water maker.
Is it amazing you can make your own carbonated beverages at home? Yes. But unless you’re a serious cocktail enthusiast, like my friends over at Home Speakeasy (and maybe not even then), or an environmentalist-sparkling-water-fanatic, there’s probably no reason to pay $130, $150, or $200 (Yes, that’s right, Williams-Sonoma stocks three different SodaStream models. What’s the difference? No idea!) to put bubbles in your tap. Most folks need a sparkling water maker like they need a fancy wine aerator, an electric juicer, or a chocolate fountain. Which is to say, not at all.