Kitchn Love Letters

This Luxurious Find Is My Secret Weapon for Making Fancy Cocktails at Home

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kir royale in multiple glasses on a table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

I love seltzer perhaps a little too much. In fact, I rarely go a day without cracking open a can after a meal, while I’m working at home, to top off a DIY cocktail, or whenever the mood strikes, really. But after one too many trips to the recycling bin, I realized there had to be a better way to feed my seltzer obsession. What if I could make it myself instead?

Enter: The Aarke Carbonator III, an easy-to-use, compact, luxe kitchen appliance that allows me to make my own custom bubbly concoctions with the simple pull of a lever.

Straight from the box, my Aarke looked like a piece of modern, chic barware. This was certainly not anything remotely similar to the clunky plastic seltzer makers I’ve used in offices or in my home in the past. The third iteration of the carbonator is the sleekest and most sophisticated yet, with a number of upgraded functions including a stainless steel precision nozzle to control the spray and bubble size, a more efficient carbonation system that uses less gas per serving, and a pressure release valve for a quieter sound that signals when the water is carbonated. The Aarke III also comes in an array of beautiful colorways. I have the copper finish, which looks right at home atop my bar cart, but the brand also offers black, white, sand, matte black, silver, and gold. They’re all stunners.

Credit: Aarke

After carefully popping the CO2 cartridge into the shaft and placing the drip tray into place, I was ready to get started on making my very own bubbly beverages. I simply fill up the PET bottle with cold filtered water, place the bottle into the socket, screw it in using a counterclockwise motion, and pull the valve downwards to begin the carbonation process. Once I hear a persistent buzzing sound from the valve, I know my water is beginning the carbonation process. I personally love that I can control the degree of carbonation by pulling down the lever as many as three times. Level three is perfect for the big, bold bubbles I crave if my stomach is feeling unsettled, while I’ve found level two to be ideal to top off gin- or vodka-based DIY cocktails on the weekend. Oh, did I mention it’s also incredibly fun to use? I feel like a seltzer-making genie every time I hear the bubbles.

I’d be remiss to not also mention the new range of Flavor Drops and Drink Mixers that Aarke now offers. I’ve personally played around with the Black Raspberry and Citrus Twist Flavor Drops to add a pop of refreshing flavor to my seltzer, and I have added a splash or two of the Yuzu Basil Drink Mixer to my DIY gin-based cocktails. Not only do these nonalcoholic drops and mixers add a punch of fresh, bold flavor to otherwise boring seltzer, but they open up the possibilities for endless DIY craft cocktails in the comfort of my own home. Just add a slice of lemon, grapefruit, or a fresh rosemary sprig garnish. Boom!

So, whether you’re tired of the store-bought seltzer cans piling up in your recycling bin, looking to up your hydration game in the new year, or just love the idea of making deliciously bubbly craft cocktails at home, once you try the Aarke III, you’ll seriously never look back.