Some food, some drink.
Keeping it gassy: Review of the Jokari Soda Dispenser
Abstract: As much as I love my late-afternoon cocktail, it pains me when I have to pour out a flat mixer. Given that increased consumption really isn't a prudent option, I've been looking for something that keeps the bubbly in my soda longer. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I discovered the Jokari Soda Dispenser hanging around in the soda section, so I decided to give it a go.
Purpose: To fuel my gin+tonic habit, I buy
cheap tonic water. The cheapest two liter sets me back a
whopping 80 cents. Over the three days that the bottle remains
drinkable, I'm usually lucky to finish half. Keep in mind, the
clock's ticking on the drinkablity of the open bottle over those
three days whether I use it or not. Still, when the next cheapest
liter of tonic is usually a dollar, it still makes sense to
buy the cheap-o big bottle, even if you did dump half of it. Just
the same, wouldn't it be better if I could minimize the waste?
On a recent trip to the grocery store, I noticed a red contraption resembling the business-end of a seltzer bottle hanging in the aisle next to the two liters. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Jokari Soda Dispenser. For about seven bucks, here's a device that purports to keep that soda fizzier longer. I started to do the math in my head – Ok, not really. I suck at math. What I could figure out (without having to count on my fingers) is that in the best possible situation, this thing would need to keep seven liters of cheap soda fizzy to justify its existence, and another seven to pay for itself if I insisted on buying cheap.
Well, this wouldn't be the first time my id spoke louder than my ego; I love me a fizzy drink. So, I bought the Jokari and tested it thoroughly – ahem... for science!
Observation: It's a moot point to try to use this on a fresh bottle. Pour that first glass, and then promptly cap with the Soda Dispenser, taking care not to over-tighten. After 30 minutes or so, pressure will have built up sufficiently in the bottle so that you can successfully dispense. You'll know you're pressurized, as the bottle again feels unopened when you give it a squeeze. On dispensing: for maximum fizz in your glass, always dispense with the button fully-depressed. That said, instructions state that one should give the bottle a gentle shake before dispensing - don't do that. Granted, the soda will come out gangbusters, but it almost always ended up in a flat drink, even with fresh soda. After running three two-liter bottles through the Jokari, I began to observe patterns:
- First, duration of storage seemed to have little effect on fizz loss. On the extreme end of my observations, a bottle with two drinks dispensed used five days after it was first used, seemed to have plenty of fizz, or at least significantly more than one would expect from a five-day-old bottle.
- Second, anything dispensed from the last half of the bottle always seemed to be less fizzy than the first half.
- Third, whenever I opened up an allegedly flat bottle to dispose of it, the entire bottle came back to life. You'll probably be able to get two or three drinks from your soda swan song, but any extra won't survive the night I'm afraid.
- In an effort to be thorough, I also tested the Jokari with a one-liter bottle. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dispensing hose reached all the way down to the bottom of the bottle. However, this did absolutely nothing for performance, as I never seemed to have enough pressure to fill more than one glass at a go.
Results: Originally, I was going to try to test the Soda Dispenser daily, taking notes, observations, etc. What I quickly found out was that my schedule doesn't really account for rigorous testing, and my method was suffering for it. The silver lining to all of this is that I discovered that usage of this gizmo is really what dictates expectations. Here's a cost/benefit run-down:
- Keeps soda fizzier longer than a conventional top
- Allows for 'time-shifting' of two-liter consumption
- Good if you know it's gonna take more than two days to drink a whole bottle of soda
- The 'uncorking' for the last drink usually lets you squeeze one or two more decently fizzy beverages
- No way to re-pressurize after use
- Only good for one or two drinks at a go
- Less effective on the last half of the bottle, regardless of bottle volume
- Directions on the package don't accurately explain best-use practices
So, on my short list, the pros are on-par with the cons. Does the Jokari Soda Dispenser keep your soda pressurized? Sure; however, there's really no way to add pressure back to the bottle, and as the
available room in the bottle increases, overall pressure suffers.
This however doesn't explain why the last bit in the opened bottle
gets fizzy again. If I was gonna guess (which I am), I'd say that
the rapid change in pressure as the bottle is opened excites the gas
in the solution, giving the soda that last blast of fizz. This also
explains why the soda is totally worthless shortly after its
Would I buy the Jokari Soda Dispenser again? Things work marginally better now than they did when I wasn't using it, so “probably”. It'll take me much longer than I first anticipated to get my return on investment, but that's ok; it's paid for. For those times where I don't feel like powering through a bottle of tonic in a couple of days (and render myself totally worthless and silly every evening), I can now change things up from day-to-day with regards to that post-work cocktail.
Notes: In case you missed it, you can buy a two-pack of the Jokari Soda Dispenser from Amazon, and test it for yourself.