Few things are better than a cold, fizzy drink on a hot summer day, and Michigan-based iSoda wants to make sure your thirst stays quenched with a new carbonator that promises to bring the bubbles to any beverage you like. Dubbed the iSoda Drinkmate, the countertop contraption will sell later this year for $99.
That's a similar pitch to the Yves Behar-designed SodaStream Mix , due out in 2016. That high-profile product boasts high-end features like Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen, and will allow you to customize the carbonation intensity for the specific beverage you're brewing up. No such bells and whistles with the Drinkmate, though at $99, it stands to serve as a bargain in comparison with the Mix, which doesn't have an MSRP yet, but seems likely to cost at least as much as other top-of-the-line SodaStreams -- which typically retail for around $250.
Like the Mix, the Drinkmate's key selling point is that it's capable of carbonating just about anything. Booze is high on the list, with iSoda claiming that it makes a mean bellini, and that it's particularly good at rejuvenating a growler of craft beer that's gone flat. Kid-friendly drinks like sparkling juice or fizzy lemonade are another supposed specialty.
The iSoda Drinkmate is available in black, white or red, and needs no batteries or electricity in order to bring the fizz. It also looks relatively compact, though we'll have a better idea of how much countertop real estate it takes up once we get our hands on one.
The Drinkmate promises to work with most of the popular carbonation canisters on the market, and also comes with its own 14.5-ounce carbonator -- good for about 60 liters worth of beverages, and refillable wherever Drinkmates are sold for $15. The bottle is less interchangeable, as iSoda uses a unique, patented "Quick Connect" design that promises to lock into place with a simple quarter turn.
iSoda cautions that it might take more than one cycle to carbonate certain beverages, and that you'll need to keep an eye on foam levels as you experiment with different drinks. In the event of an overflow, you can clean the fizz infuser by running it under cold water.
The Drinkmate should be up for sale by September of this year on iSoda's website and on Amazon, too. iSoda's also promising expansion into retail outlets by the end of the year, though no specific partners have yet been named.