Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soda Siphon

soda siphon
For Will's birthday this year, I hunted down a soda siphon. Bought from our neighborhood's household goods store, or domači potreby, the siphon foams its fizz with one cannister of CO2 and some cold water. Our model arrived from Hungary, but Austria and Poland apparently make good siphons too. Wikipedia tells us that our neck of the woods was the center of the soda siphon industry before WWII, so a Hungarian sziphon seems just right.

I bought the siphon because I thought it would be an elegant addition to W's bar. When we started using it, we realized its other benefits. No more plastic bottles taking up space at home and in the recycle bin, and the soda chargers, or bombičky, come in sets of ten at 2 CZK a pop, and are returnable for a deposit and reuse. In Prague, you can order the chargers online or find them through, at their local distributors.

Our favorite mixes so far:

Caroline Collins
1 tsp raspberry syrup
1 cherry and a tiny twist of lemon
1 lowball glass
soda water to the top!

John Collins
1 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 oz bourbon
1 highball glass

Dissolve the sugar in your highball by mixing with lemon and bourbon. Fill w ice. Top up w soda. Stir and enjoy. The result tastes remarkably like the drinks my grandfather used to make!

In the picture behind the siphon is another favorite birthday present from this year. Back in August, my brother-in-law knew that my sister and I were searching lucklessly for wipe-off placemats that we liked. Creative fellow, he smuggled a laminator into their basement, cut up navigational maps from one of their favorite sailing trips, laminated, trimmed and gave them to us for our birthday. These are by far my favorite everyday placemats now, and C likes to pretend to sail her spoon around the islands at breakfast time.


Barrett Bonden said...

Improving the efficiency of your drinks cabinet is a first step on the way to Hell, a journey I can speak about authoritatively. I took it and so far haven't managed to return.

Two factors triggered my descent. One of my daughters gave me a cocktail shaker for a birthday present which cost, say, £10. That Christmas I decided to buy the things that go with a cocktail shaker: liquor to the value of £150.

The other factor was the rediscovery of a book I picked up in the USA Old Mr Boston's De Luxe Bartender's Guide. As a result Christmas now consists of a series of laboratory experiments. A cocktail is chosen, made and tasted and immediately I force the tasters into providing a numerical score out of ten plus a judgement phrase. These details dot the margins of Old Mr Boston. and include "salivatory", "medicinal" and "doesn't taste alcoholic (ie, dangerous)". Any reluctance by participants to contribute usually disappears after the second cocktail.

Only one cocktail scored a perfect 10/10. The KCB consists of ½ oz kummel, 1½ oz gin, ¼ tsp apricot brandy, and ¼ tsp lemon juice. The definitive judgement was "adult".

In your case it may be only a soda dispenser but make sure you avoid joining us in our personal Hell. Sorry about the length.

Julia said...

To quote Will, "Mr Boston is great!" I'd say that unless we add a few glass stirrers to the collection, his road is fully paved, now that we have the siphon.

We're going to have to try to find some kummel and try out that recipe. We do something similar at Christmas but focusing on homemade eggnog recipes. (Cocktail experiments happen year round, though using a less scientific process).

lenabee said...

Cannot wait til Christmas to try these out! Have been obsessing about the holiday anyway, while hanging out in the rain washing mortar endlessly from bricks...

So glad you like the mats!! Great photo!

Julia said...

Sounds like the ideal way to spend your holidays! Pictures?

countrypeapie said...

Lee has a soda dispenser, too, but it is nowhere near as nice looking! One of the reasons he got it was to save money. He uses it every day! And if hell has an open bar, I'll stand in line and hope I'm not bounced.

Love the placemats -- what a beautiful and unusual idea.

eurolush said...

All this talk of mixed drinks is making me thirsty.

I'll take a Tom Collins, right over here. You do need some practice making them with that new soda siphon, don't you?

I'm just here to help, really.


Very cool soda siphon. I see antique glass seltzer bottles around here a lot. Most of them are from eastern Europe--probably close to where you are.

The placemats are a great idea, too.

Julia said...

EL, drop by any time, Will's got the fixings for a Tom Collins and will stir one up for you! (Though I need to source red maraschino cherries - we can easily find green maraschinos, but they are just not right.)

Jennifer said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I can't believe I haven't found you before, we read some of the same blogs and there is the whole expat-mama thing. I'll definitely be combing through your archives!

Lucy said...

We used to have a metallic green one as kids, though we were a fairly low alcohol household, but we used to get cola concentrate and use it with fruit squashes, i think. It was fun! It would be even more fun now I know about alcohol...

Childhood pacemats stay with one, Caroline will remember sailing her spoon!

Julia said...

Lucy, what a super thought. I do remember the placemats of my childhood. Amazing how things like that loom large.

Will says to tell you he likes the siphon best for the everyday bubbly drinks he makes. The cocktails are great too but fizzy italian sodas have become part of his daily ritual.