Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Let me get this out of the way. I kind of love this thing.

Yes, I'll be objective, but ... I've been using the Drinkmate just about every day since I got it. And I don't see any sign of stopping.

The Drinkmate is a product that carbonates water, just like all those other products that carbonate water. But the big difference is that the manufacturer says you can use this device to carbonate things other than water. In fact, they say you can use it to carbonate pretty much anything, as long as it isn't "pulpy." I guess that means you'll need to use orange juice without pulp.

I've mostly been using it to carbonate water with ginger flavoring in it. It's refreshing and crisp and not sweet. I'm not a huge fan of super-sweet drinks most of the time, so this is perfect for me.

It uses a large 60-liter carbonation tank rather than the single-use little cartridges. It comes with a smaller 3-ounce tank, but the larger ones are available in stores, or from Amazon. I actually found them at my local Ace Hardware, so that's really convenient.

This thing is easy to use - just press the button on top to send carbonation into the liquid. When it's at capacity, you hear it hiss a bit. Or you can make your drink less carbonated, if you prefer.

There's a screw-on top that you can use to store the bottle in the fridge. I usually end up drinking it all in a short time, so I really don't know how long the carbonation lasts. I'd guess you wouldn't have any reason to make it in advance though, since it's so quick to make a batch.

Who's it for: People who like fizzy drinks but maybe don't want all the sugar. Or folks who want to create their own flavors or have fizzy water for cocktails.

Pros: It's easy to use, doesn't require power. Not huge. You can buy a spare fizz infuser, so if you lose it or your dog chews it, it's not tragic.

Cons: The 60-liter gas canisters aren't super cheap - probably less expensive than soda, but still not super-cheap.

Wishes: Spare bottles are about $20 for two, which is kind of spendy.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

GIR Bottle Stoppers

Oh, these crazy folks at GIR. They keep coming up with new gadgets. This time around, it's bottle stoppers. But with a twist.

No, not with an literal twist. There's nothing twisty about them actually.

But the design of the GIR bottle stoppers is different.

Most bottle stoppers tend to be tall. They stick up above the top of the bottle. So when you put that 3/4-empty wine bottle back in the fridge, you have to do a little fridge Tetris to find a spot where it can stand up straight.

Wait - you have enough space in your fridge so you don't have to move stuff around? Huh. I'll have to try that some day.

Even if you don't need short stoppers, these are cute. Different looking. Squeezy silicone. Fun colors.

A set of three of these would make a cool gift along with a bottle (or three) of wine, or they'd be good for stocking stuffers.

I really like 'em, particularly the pointy one. It's just so fun looking. These fit well on all the bottles I've tried them on and they're easy to get on and off.

Who's it for: People who need stoppers.

Pros: They look really cool.

Cons: Of course you could just jam a cork back into a bottle.

Wishes: Sparkles! Okay, I don't really need sparkles. But the holidays are coming, so ...

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Halo Pizza Wheel

I've written about pizza cutters before, but this one caught my fancy. It's similar to some I've used, but with one difference - the "halo" that flips from being a protective device to being another way to hold the cutter.

The really interesting thing is the way I naturally used the cutter when I wasn't thinking about it. When I use a regular pizza cutter - which, honestly, I use more often on biscuit dough, pasta dough, and similar items than I do on pizza - well, anyway, with a regular cutter, I tend to position myself so the cutter it to the right (I'm right handed) and I'm sort of looking at the left side of the cutter as I cut.

Needless to say, this isn't the best way to get a straight or accurate cut.

When I grabbed the "halo" part of the Halo Pizza Wheel, I positioned it right in front of me, since I as using both hands. And I tended to look down from above it, which meant I was seeing both halves of what was being cut.

When I'm cutting a pizza, this isn't a big deal. But when I'm cutting pasta dough and I want even strands, it sure as heck makes it easier to do a straight cut if I'm right behind the wheel.

Of course, if you'd rather hold onto the housing of the pizza wheel rather than the halo part, you can do that, too.

Who's it for: People who want to cut things using a wheel-like device.

Pros: Works well, large wheel, easy to take apart to clean. Halo protects the blade in storage.

Cons: Including that halo piece, it's rather large compared to my other pizza cutters. It still fits in a drawer, but it takes up a bit of room.

Wishes: Could it make a vroom-vroom noise? No, I guess not. Honestly, though, I wish the packaging had instructions for disassembly. I figured it out, but some folks might want a little more guidance.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.