Fizzology with Josephine Sondlo

Meet Josephine Sondlo, dubbed the best bartender in the Nordic Region, and owner of hip bar Afterglow on Södermalm in Stockholm. With a soft spot for sparkling drinks, she’s the mastermind behind our delicious fizzy summer cocktail recipes.

We asked her for her top 5 tips to keep in mind when making cocktails – or mocktails – with sparkling water.

1. Handle the fizz with care

My most important tip for home bartenders making sparkling cocktails is to treat the bubbles gently.

Tilt the glass slightly, like when pouring beer, to keep the carbonation from dissipating. And try to avoid too much pulpy or sugary syrups – the fizz won’t stick.

2. Always go sparkling for welcomes

Sparkling cocktails are not only delicious and refreshing, but they also stimulate your appetite.

The Italians love fizzy apertivos for a reason: when bubbles burst on your tongue, they make you salivate and awaken your appetite. The tickling sensation is both pleasant and refreshing.

3. Carbonation adds complexity

Adding carbonated water to a drink increases acidity, balancing sweetness and stretching out the flavours.

The bubbles popping will provide a drier feel and help aromas rise to your nostrils from the back of your mouth, creating a more intense and complex experience.

4. Cold water is key

For the best carbonation, use very cold water. The colder the water, the better it retains the bubbles, so I always refrigerate my water before carbonating.

When mixing, ensure the sparkling water is extra carbonated, as it will be diluted in the cocktail. Always pump a little more than you would for drinking water.

5. Fizz has its own flavour

The balancing of flavours is an essential bartending skill, and carbonation adds more than just bubbles. It makes the water taste slightly acidic and salty.

This can make cocktails more refreshing, but be cautious with tart and bitter flavours, as carbonation can amplify them.

– Josephine Sondlo

Try Josephine’s refreshing summer recipes with your Aarke Carbonator and Drink Mixers.

And, if you’re in Stockholm, pop by bar Afterglow on Erstagatan – you’ll get the opportunity to taste some amazing cocktails firsthand, and to check out Aarke’s old office and workshop right across the street.

This is where our founders and a team of engineers designed and built our very first Carbonator ten years ago.