Sometimes, just sometimes, you hear a phrase that brings back memories and if you’re of a certain age the title of this entry probably brought back a flood of memories for you. Yes, I’m talking about Soda Stream!
From the conversations I’ve had over the past few weeks you possibly fall into one of two camps. You either had a Soda Stream or you were friends with someone who had one.
Interestingly, so far, I’ve yet to find someone who had one but everyone seems to have had a friend who did. Far be it for me to suggest that people were only befriended for their Soda Streams but as a kid I think the only reason I stayed friends with a classmate was because his mum would always say those magical words when I used to visit his house, Would you boys like a Soda Stream? and off we would rush into the kitchen to make our own individual little bottles of fizzy pop.
As we grew older I realised that even Soda Stream wasn’t enough to keep our friendship alive, especially not after I caught him kissing Arlene one lunchtime. Yes, even as a nine year old my heart was being broken by a girl and no amount of fizzy pop would make up for the sense of betrayal I felt. After all, I had told him I wanted to marry her and then he went and kissed her!
But I digress, that was 1980 and little did we know what life lay in store for us. Fast forward to 2010 and Soda Stream is back. The machines themselves may be a little fancier looking but they’re still getting busy with the fizzy with a whole new range of flavours to complement the classics from way back when. The reason I know this is because I attended a tasting session in London’s Soho House basement bar where the good people from Soda Stream were asking for thoughts on what flavours they should bring to the UK market.
Of the flavours I thought I’d like, those I recalled from childhood memories, they proved not to be as good as my memory suggested and instead I found myself preferring some of the newer blends. Of course I still loved the Cherry flavour, only now they call it Cherry Classic but the lemonade didn’t taste as lemony as I thought it did and whereas on paper the Green Tea and Berries sounded awful, it was delicious and would have to be the first one on my shopping list after the Cherry, closely followed by the Pink Grapefruit that was just the right mix of sharp and sweet.
Now, while the machine of the 80’s was a white, yellow and red affair there are now no less that 5 different styles of drinks maker with one to suit every budget, from £49.99 to £149.99. Gone are the small glass bottles, now they’ve been replaced with 750ml plastic variations, much better for sharing or if you’re really thirsty for hogging to yourself.
Likewise the range of flavours far exceeds those from days gone by. As well as the Green Tea and Pink Grapefruit there’s Passion Fruit and Mango, an energy drink in the style of Red Bull and a Strawberry blend that not only smelled like Bird’s Angel Delight, it tasted just as bad but I seemed to be the only person who thought so with all of the girls claiming it as a favourite.
I wonder how long it will be before we see the return of other classic brands from the 70’s and 80’s. I’m thinking specifically of things like Shake n Vac, Trio biscuits and Um Bongo fruit juice. All products that had catchy jingles and slogans and were a sign of sophistication for 10 year olds the country over. Quite why Soda Stream disappeared from the UK I don’t know but it seems it never went out of fashion in other parts of Europe like Germany, where Cherry is a very popular flavour and of course the USA, who are partial to more than a glass of Green Tea.
Whatever the case, Soda Stream is back and I hope it’s here to stay, especially as I can now buy one of my own instead of befriending someone who will only go and kiss the girl of my dreams thereby making me choose between Cherry pop and true love…everyone knows Cherry pop will always win out in the end!