There's nothing like pampering your guests, in my opinion, than asking them if they want tap or sparkling water with dinner. It's a question you might normally associate with eating at a restaurant, the first interaction with your server that sets the tone for your upcoming meal. While water preference might be frivolous, it's exactly that small option at the beginning of a meal that makes it so comforting. It's a simple detail in home entertaining that I've come to love.
Outside of entertaining, I drink an inordinate amount of seltzer. I've had my soda carbonator for four years now, and I've haven't had any problems with it (so far). Yes, there is a up front cost, but the amount of sparkling water I make and drink at home versus buying has made up the initial investment.
My single complaint is that the older molds, like mine, make a very loud "THHHWAAT' sound when you are carbonating liquid. It's definitely not the most pleasant sound when guests are over, but not a big deal.
→ Product Review: SodaStream Fizz Home Drinks Maker
Here are a few ideas for entertaining with a soda carbonator:
1. Simple, Fancy Sparkling Water Presentation: Sure, you could definitely just serve the sparkling water in the plastic containers that usually come with the carbonator, but it's also easy (and elegant!) to use flip-tops bottles too.
2. Sparkling Herbal Water: Infuse your water with herbs the night before your party, let it get cold in the fridge, and then carbonate it! Simple and refreshing – you can't go wrong.
3. Fruit Sodas and Fizzy Wine: Have you ever tried carbonating white wine? Or making your own fruit-infused sodas? There's not a lot of great SodaStream hacks that I know of, but this one seems awesome.
4. Carbonated Water for Cocktails: Instead of buying club soda for cocktails or punches, I always use my SodaStream. Some cocktails to try include the classic Screwdriver, a Peach Lambic and Rye Sangria, and a Spiked Blueberry Basil Lemonade.
→ Don't want to buy a SodaStream or other soda carbonator? Try this DIY: Build Your Own Seltzer Maker