The pics above are actually from our Italy trip last June, where we found a restaurant that did the same thing. This was the most elegant presentation I've yet seen, and one that I wanted to try to recreate at home. Alas, I had no good home solution to do the carbonating.
BUT, today I want to share with you a new fave product, with which I believe I've finally found the answer (so far) to accommodating my love of fizzy water at home (and office), while keeping waste down to a minimum. I was over at Green Depot a few weeks ago and picked up this slim, Sodastream sparkling water maker. The intro pack comes with gas carbonator, two bottles and the thing that holds them all together ($99).
The carbonators last a long time (110 liters - we haven't gone through ours yet) and they are returnable for refills so that you can close the loop and minimize waste. I've been testing them in the office where all of us drink a lot of this stuff.
So far so good! I've finally got a solution that will allow us to replace all the glass sparkling water bottles we used to go through, which have since been replaced by plastic sparkling water bottles. Now all I have to do is find an elegant carafe. >> SodaStreamUSA.com >> Sodastream at GreenDepot >> AT on: Letting Go of Bottled Imported Mineral Water >> How To: Make Soda Water at Home