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I'm loving at-home soda machines like the Karim Rashid-designed, limited edition Genesis Machine SodaStream for stylish homemade sparkling beverages.

Photo Blog Making Soda Water Drink Lime

Sparkling water and “seltzer” can be used interchangeably. Originally seltzer was a German brand of sparkling water, but has now become a generic trademark to mean sparkling water, just like Kleenex is to tissue. Basically, all you really need to know is that both are bubbly.

Photo Blog Making Soda Water Drink Cola

The soda kits are fun and good-looking, too. And I like the idea of cutting down on plastic water bottles while turning boring old tap water into palate-pleasing fizzy water. I especially enjoy making my own soda pop when the feeling strikes, including old standbys like cola and ginger ale, plus new-fangled faves like diet pink grapefruit, green tea pomegranate peach and the Karim Mix of elderberry blueberry.

You can buy the kits and snappy water carafes online or at kitchen shops like Williams-Sonoma.

Photo Blog Making Soda Water Restaurant

It's on-trend, too. Restaurants like Le Café at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Victoria’s Spinnakers, Toronto’s Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Charcut Roast House at the new Hôtel Le Germain Calgary (above) are all serving up environmentally friendly, reusable glass bottles of house-filtered bubbly water.

The bottom line: it’s tasty, chic and we love the make-your-own aspect of this refreshing new trend.

Speaking of which, the Grocery Innovations Canada trade show recently wrapped up in Toronto, and the following products won bragging rights as the 10 innovations for 2011, SodaStream being one of them. These products were judged on most unique, most buzzworthy and best consumer response.

1. P.U.C. Pretty Unique Cheese

2. The Bean Ladies’ Roasted Soy Beans

3. McNairn Packaging’s Cupcake and Muffin Baking Cups

4. Juan Valdez Premium Colombian Coffee

5. Cantrell Industries Inc.’s Power Soak System

6. Caledon Farms’ Liver Sprinkles

7. Deep Blue’s Fishcakes

8. In Cuisin’s Mashed Potatoes

9. Vins Culinaires Culinary Wines

10. SodaStream

Put your soda to the test in one of these delicious drink recipes — just in time for holiday entertaining!

Photo credits:
1. ©istockphoto.com/Chris Elwell
2. Mirror.co.uk
3. Charcut Roast House

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