We know that the SodaStream Genesis works well as a source of carbonated drinks. We know that it’s more economical if you use your own flavours. And we’re an Australian site. Clearly, there was only one thing to be done: use the office SodaStream to make a Vegemite-flavoured beverage. It’s time for Sodamite. (Be careful how you spell that.)
Is this project madness? Possibly. But we’ve already manufactured our own bacon milkshake. The bar has been set. So we set out to see if you could make a Vegemite-flavoured soft drink, and what it would taste like.
The first step is to convert Vegemite into a flavouring syrup, since in its native form it’s too thick to dissolve in any sort of liquid. The solution seemed obvious: nuke it in the microwave. Warning: after you do this, your entire kitchen will smell like the world’s biggest Vegemite sandwich. Not everyone will enjoy this.
Even after melting, the Vegemite still seemed too thick for use as a flavouring, so we added some hot water and mixed it together. I’m not going to lie: it looked revolting. But so do many of the official flavouring mixes SodaStream itself sells. Sometimes you just have to get through it.
With our Vegemite prepared, we carbonated a chilled bottle of water using our trusty SodaStream machine.
Then it was time to carefully pour in the flavouring mix. Some SodaStream flavours seem to produce more violent reactions than others, so as a precaution, we decided to carry out this process in the kitchen sink.
In our limited experience so far, we've found the cola variant to be the most likely to cause the bottle to overflow with fizziness, but Vegemite takes things to a whole other level. As soon as we added it, it began foaming violently. I suspect the saltiness might have something to do with it.
Despite this challenge, we kept adding flavouring until we'd used most of it. Despite the heavy bubbling, the actual volume of liquid in the bottle didn't reduce that much.
And now it's time for the taste test. It always seems to be my job to be the first one to drink these concoctions. Then again, I'm usually the one who comes up with the idea.
So what does fizzy Vegemite water taste like? Not bad enough to make me hurl, but certainly not good enough to make me ever want to manufacture it again. I like savoury drinks (V8 vegetable juice is a perennial favourite), but carbonation doesn't add much to the experience. The colour isn't hugely appealing, but you could say that about lots of popular drinks.
Our night editor Elly was rather less impressed. Her initial comment was "that's not too bad." But then she realised that there was some still-dissolved Vegemite floating on the edge of the glass. Her final verdict? "It's like drinking a glass of poo."
Gizmodo editor Alex was even less keen, spitting his mouthful straight back into the sink and saying something unprintable. We didn't photograph this because there's a chance you're reading this after eating a meal.
Our headline is not a lie. Sodamite is a taste sensation. But it's a sensation you may not wish to experience. At least not without adding some vodka.