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I’ve liked Ninja products since I first tried an early version of its slow cooker, and I’ve come to appreciate its interesting tweaks to existing product categories. There are plenty of fizzy drink makers to choose from, so I was curious what Ninja’s Thirsti had that was new. I took it for a thorough test drive, staying nicely hydrated.
What We Like
Three levels off fizz
Automatically dispenses one or two flavors
Flavor intensity control
Dispenses still water as well
What We Don’t Like
Flavor pods aren’t refillable
Third-party flavors don’t exist yet
One major selling point of the Thirsti is its ability to add flavors to each glass as it dispenses the fizzy water. With most other soda makers, the flavors are added separately.
The flavoring process is simple. Pods fit into the machine, which can hold either one or two at a time. Then, the intensity of the flavor is chosen for each pod—and yes, you can add flavors from two pods to make your own custom flavor. The Thirsti came with a starter pack of flavors, and more are available. There are four different drink lines: "Splash" is unsweetened with fruit flavors, "Vitamins" includes vitamin B, "Hydrate" has electrolytes, and "Energy" has caffeine.
It's worth noting that the double-flavor option is only available for the 12- and 24-ounce drinks. The machine dispenses six ounces at a time, with a slight pause in between, and there’s an audible notification when the process is done, so you know it’s safe to remove the glass.
Indicator for cold water
Water fizzes best with cold water, and the Thirsti lets you know when the water is chilled enough. The removable water container can be kept in the fridge between uses to keep it cold, or ice can be added along with water for a quick chill without taking up space in the fridge. A disk at the bottom of the container turns blue when the water is cold enough.
So many options
Besides offering to flavor your drink with one or two flavors, this also offers three different levels for the fizziness of the drinks. Oh, but that’s not all. Unlike fizzy drink makers that create fizz in a special bottle, this automatically dispenses six, 12, 18, or 24 ounces of fizzy water directly into your glass. The area for dispensing the water can accommodate short or tall glasses, so there’s no need to hold the glass while it dispenses. The 12-ounce size was perfect for my favorite glass, plus ice to keep the drink chilled.
There’s even more to customize. This will also dispense still water, in case you want a cold drink with no bubbles. And of course it can be used for unflavored fizzy water, so you can add your own flavors. Personally, I’m fond of squeezing in a wedge of fresh lime or some other citrus.
One final note…
While the Thirsti is light enough to be portable and the removable water container is easy to remove and fill, it does require power to operate. So, while you can take it outside if you’ve got an outlet or safe extension cord, you won’t be taking it backpacking or camping when you’re roughing it.
Price at time of publish: $180
The Thirsti has some interesting new features, and the button-press operation makes it simple. Just set it up and press Start—no need to pull a lever and hope that you’re adding enough fizz. The only downside is that while the pod flavors offer some interesting options, they’re not unlimited. Of course you can always add your own syrups, flavors, and fruit juices without using the automatic flavor dispensers, but that’s not as much fun. If you’re shopping for a new fizzy water maker, the Thirsti is definitely worth a look.
Size: 13.976 x 8.76 x 16 inches
Weight: 8.5 pounds
Type of CO2 Canister: Screw-in
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie has been known to be thirsty, and has used and tested a wide array of fizzy water makers over the years, including old-school soda siphons and brand new automated units. Besides writing about drinks, she has written a cookbook, “Make Ahead Bread,” that makes breadmaking at home easier for folks with tight schedules.
Read the original article on The Spruce Eats.