Like my mother before me, I am absolutely addicted to kitchen gadgets - helpful small appliances that make your life easier and, in some cases, more fun. The kids and I have been playing around with our new Bonne O Sparkling Beverage System to create healthier alternatives to soda pop.
We tend to get takeout food on most Friday evenings in order to celebrate the upcoming weekend and give Mom and Dad a break from cooking. Some of that takeout food comes with pop, and even when it doesn't the kids always ask if they can have pop. We all know that soda pop is just bad for you. Period. (Don't kid yourself that diet is any better!) Regular consumption of pop has been linked to overweight, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other serious illness. Plus, who knows what kind of chemicals they put in there? It's clearly not what we want for our children or ourselves.
I think it's the sparkly sensation of soda pop that makes it feel so special. And the Bonne O system creates that sparkle, that fizzle, that fun, without all of the chemicals and sugar. It's not just great for our weekend parties either - sparkling our water in the Bonne O with fresh fruit has been inspiring us to drink more water - a healthy, purifying habit that we all need help keeping.
For those times when nothing but soda will do, you can create bubbly, festive alternatives with the Bonne O. After you make the wee ones their drinks you can even sparkle Mom's cocktail or wine! For our last takeout food night, we decided to make Bonne O's recipe for Lemon & Lime Infused Ginger Ale. Not only does this "soda" call for all-natural ingredients, but you also get an immunity boost from healthy, fresh, natural ginger root. You can find the whole recipe here, but essentially it calls for making your own ginger syrup (easy peasy) which you can then store in the fridge to re-use another time. We grated up a whole big chunk of fresh ginger root, boiled it with water and sugar and then strained the resulting ginger-flavoured liquid into a jar.
I cut up slices of fresh lime and lemon to put in the Bonne O bottle.
Here are the ingredients for our Lemon & Lime Infused Ginger Ale all ready to go. For this recipe you need: cold water (from the fridge), cold ginger syrup, lime slices and lemon slices and a carbonating tablet.
My daughter was eager to demonstrate and I think that speaks to the fact that this appliance is really fun and easy for kids to use. She is 11 but even small children could help by dropping lemon and lime slices in the bottle and starting the sparkling process.
When we first got the Bonne O, I felt like there were a lot of steps to sparkling a drink. But we tried it out one or two times and then we were all completely comfortable with the process. It's really not very involved. First of all, the liquids must be cold to effectively carbonate, so it helps if you plan ahead by keeping a jug of water in the fridge. We did experience a couple of times when our drinks were not fully carbonated and that came from my lack of patience in waiting for water to chill. Put your homemade or store-bought syrups in the fridge too. Then, when you're making your drink, be sure to fill both the flavour chamber and the bottle all the way to the top. Put the carbonator tab into the right chamber (identified with a picture) and make sure the machine is closed. Then you are good to go! Just press the button.
For the Lemon & Lime Infused Ginger Ale, fill the flavour chamber with ginger syrup and place a carbonator in the carbonation chamber. Place lime and lemon slices in the bottle and fill the bottle with cold water. Close up the Bonne O and press the button to sparkle your drink.
Then comes the hard part - waiting for your sparkling, shimmering, delicious beverage. Okay, it takes about 4 minutes, so it's not that hard. Plus it's fun to watch the syrup fill your water and the water fizz up.
Helpful Hints When Using Bonne O:
- Use VERY COLD liquid
- Fill both the bottle and the flavour chamber to the top
- Use half of a carbonating puck for a gentle fizz
- After sparkling your beverage, open the lid slowly over the sink (to protect your clothing)
- Allow fruit to infuse for a couple hours after sparkling to develop a deeper flavour
A key advantage of Bonne O is that the system is tank-less, so you don't have to haul home those tall canisters. Bonne O sparkles everything from water to juice to tea to cocktails and wine. Come summer, I will be adding fresh herbs grown in pots on my back deck to my Bonne O sparkling water - mint, basil, lemongrass - the possibilities are endless. And I'm thinking fresh, sparkling cucumber water is next.
My favourite way of using our Bonne O so far is simply adding some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and fresh-cut fruit to the bottle. Add pure, cold water to the flavour chamber and a tab to the carbonation chamber and switch 'er on! That's it. Bonne O gives your water a gentle sparkle that makes it fun to drink. I like to keep the whole bottle by my side to inspire me to drink more water throughout the day. Of course, I am challenged to give up the bottle once my little girl gets home from school!
The makers of Bonne O suggest using frozen fruit for year-round convenience as well. Because frozen fruit is softer, more colour and flavour will be infused in your sparkling water too.
The Bonne O sparkling beverage system retails for $169.99 CAD and is available across Canada at thebay.com, Home Outfitters and Crate & Barrel.
Find tons o' inspirational recipes on the Bonne O website.
Have you tried Bonne O? What sorts of things would you like to add to your sparkling water?
*I received a Bonne O system for review purposes. All opinions are authentic and my own. Thank you for supporting the awesome companies that partner with Woman in Real Life.