Everyone has a SodaStream story to tell, or at least so it seemed when I unboxed the latest electronic Revolution model at Herald HQ.

Memories of long, hot summers and jumpers for goalposts circulated round the office as everyone got a bit nostalgic for their favourite 1980s kitchen gadget.

I felt a bit left out. The only time I'd ever seen a SodaStream was at a friend's aunt's house where it took pride of place on her worktop. None of us was allowed to touch it and we were ushered out before the fizzing could commence.

Setting up the Revolution I felt out of my depth, so I recruited the only other SodaStream virgin I could find for some moral support. Between us we attached the gas cylinder, filled the water bottle and plugged it all in.

Nervously, my assistant touched the recommended third-highest fizz setting out of the four available options. We waited, then - disaster. As the fizzing started we discovered the bottle wasn't attached tightly. Half a litre of water shot out of the top before we could pull the plug. A rookie error, but one that is easy to make when the brief instructions seem to assume prior soda-fizzing knowledge.

With our bottle refilled and water carbonated we took the final step, adding flavoured syrup to the bottle. Our review pack came with Highland Fizz, an interesting, clear syrup that left my colleagues divided: did it taste like Irn-Bru or bubblegum? Either way it was tasty and refreshing.

Warning labels remind users they should only attempt to add fizz to plain water. A search of the web suggests things can go explosively wrong if these warnings are ignored.

One band of brave internet rebels has ignored these warnings and begun to dabble with carbonating white wine and cocktails – with mixed success. White wine, it seems, can be lightly carbonated without much fuss but try to add fizz to a margarita and you can expect an explosive mess.

The Revolution is well built, works quickly and efficiently, and requires virtually no maintenance. Yet it's tough to recommend.

If the SodaStream could reliably add bubbles to other drinks then it might be an interesting gadget. As it stands it's a cheap way to make water fizzy and the economic argument doesn't stack up.

Ignoring the purchase price, the gas tank costs more than £10 to refill and, optimistically, makes 60 litres of fizzy water. Those same 60 litres of water would cost half as much to buy ready-carbonated at the supermarket.

There may be an environmental argument – less water transported by truck means fewer CO2 emissions – but that feels like a stretch once you factor in the electricity used and the energy involved in returning and refilling the gas canister.

Positives Fun, clever and attractively finished.

Negatives More trouble and expense than fizzy bottled water.


Twitter: @grant_gibson