A black soda syphon can add an elegant sophistication to any social gathering – it has been the drinks maker of choice for over 100 years.
The syphon when used with disposable CO2 canisters will add a welcome sparkle to simple tap water; can then be used as a mixer for a multitude of alcoholic or virgin drinks and cocktails. The high-gloss design complements both the colourless water that it dispenses and also the radiant cocktails that it can create.
The design points to adult sophistication but the syphon can also be used with cordials to prepare children’s drinks. Simply use seltzer instead of plain water with orange squash, Ribena etc. for a cheap but thrilling beverage.
For cocktails then a squirt of fun from this device could pep-up any number of drinks. Take a tour through the world of mixology and see for yourself. Remember the soda syphon does not simply add fizz but also flavour and tang to any drink. This – alongside retro-tastic after eights – will impress friends and strangers alike.
Easy to use measuring device prevents spillage
Pressure tested valves and threads
Safe and convenient pressurization system
Super-shiny black finish
Reflective and easy to clean
Works with 8gm CO2 chargers
Chargers are not included and must be purchased separately.
Black Soda Syphon
The History of the Soda Syphon
To begin with, are we talking about soda syphon or soda siphon? Let's just say both are okay and it really just depends on which side of the pond you take your seltzer, I'll fix my colours to the mast and say that for Cheeky Monkey then it is always going to be “syphon”, as to whether the gas comes in chargers, cartridges or cylinders..... that is another debate for another day!
The origin of soda water is in the spa towns of Europe, places where the well heeled could visit to “take the waters”, places where mineral rich and occasionally naturally carbonated waters would bubble out of the ground. These were places for the health-seekers and the Georgian equivalent of the new-age holistic healers, the spa waters were not drunk for the taste of pleasure. For those that wanted to enjoy the restorative powers of the minerals but could not afford the trip to Bath,Vichy or Evian – the poor man's seltzer was just bicarbonate of soda and water, hence the name “soda water”. A slight variant included tartaric acid too, the method was to firstly dissolve the tartaric acid into a glass of water and then add the bicarbonate of soda immediately before serving so the effervescence would continue as you drank. The health giving soda waters certainly don't have all of the benefits that their proponents claimed, but they would at least have settled a dicky tummy and provided relief from wind by providing an excuse to belch.
The notion of fizzy drinks and sweet soda waters as drinks for pleasure didn't occur for some years after the original discovery of carbonation.
Joseph Priestly, the chemist was the chemist was the first to notice that CO2 could be dissolved in water, he simply did it by holding a bowl of water over the top of a reaction vessel that produced Carbon Dioxide in 1770. This would have carbonated the water to the extent that it would have tasted of tangy carbonic acid – but would not have been fizzy.
The next stage in the story of Soda Water was the idea of using a closed, pressurized system so that the reaction vessel was connected to the water to be carbonated, this allowed the water to reach a high pressure equilibrium. Once the vessel was opened then the water would remain fizzy for a few hours. This process was invented in the 1780s.
From this point over the next 30 years various methods were used to create and bottle effervescent waters. The most common method was to bottle the carbonated water and then serve it with a powder of soluble minerals to replicate the taste of natural spa water. Many apothecaries had their own blends of minerals – mainly sulphate and phosphate salts and organic acids.
The next big leap in the development of soda waters was the invention of the soda syphon in a guise that is very similar to what we now know. The use of a trigger release and a bottom feed pipe made it possible to dispense small quantities of soda water without the entire mixture being reduced to air pressure and going flat. These were sold pre-filled, so although they looked similar to our soda syphons it wasn't possible to simply pop in a CO2 charger and fill it up again.
Then came the soda fountain. The fountain was a machine that could carbonate water in quantities large enough to support a retail establishment but small enough to not need a factory and multiple outlets. The device was really not very different from the 1783 machine invented by Jonathan Schweppe (yes, that one sssssschweppes!). The machine had a reaction vessel where sulphuric acid and limestone could be reacted in a (hopefully) controlled fashion connected via a filter to a vessel where the water solvent was kept. It was just a matter of using the reaction to pressurize the system and agitate the water until it reached equilibrium with the pressurized CO2 gas. The fizzy water could be pumped directly into glass, in much the same way as the soft drinks dispensers work in a modern bar. These fountains spawned the Soda Bars that spread across America and later to Europe. This was also when the use of soda become a source of pleasure and not just a form of medicine.
The soda water produced from these fountains needed to be flavoured and the knowledge of pharmacists to use herbs, bitters and organic materials for flavour put them in a position to steer the direction of soda flavours. Think of the “traditional” types of soft drink flavours, root-beer, burdock, sarsaparilla and ginger ale – all very medicinal tasting bitters. The use of flavour syrups was soon to follow and would have not been to dissimilar from the Monin syrups we now sell, although perhaps less fruity.
It is possible, indeed easy, to recreate some of the early soda recipes using either your own creations of simple syrups or making a speed infusion of more hardy bitters with a whipped cream dispenser and charger – as described in the recipes on our blog.