I have been trying to cut out the pop/soda/soft drinks in my diet. They get expensive to drink regularly, use multiple temporary containers, and they just are not good for you. A couple years ago I got a soda stream. The syrups have no sodium and less sugar than regular commercial drinks. They have even come out with some "natural" versions. I like them, but still you have disposable containers that you have to go shopping specifically for. They are getting more readily available, but in limited selection and not in grocery stores. 
    The alternative is to make my own syrups in diet and regular and keep them in my reusable flip top bottles. Vanilla or Cream Soda went over very well. I also like to add fruit juice, citrus wedges, or any combination of those. Housemade sodas are the new trend in some restoraunts as well. I also use any of those creations as a cocktail base.
Iced teas and iced coffee are also a common soft drink alternative. When I want something special I like to make a bubble tea with tapioca. You can see a descriptiona and recipe here. http://whatscookingamerica.net/BubbleTea.htm 
    I like to make different versions. Peppermint seems to be our favorite. I use mint green tea and favor my pearls by adding extract and sugar when cooking them. Yesterday my son used a citrus tea and we flavored the pearls with homemade lemon extract. We could have used lemonade instead of milk, he wanted milk.
I made an earl grey tea with vanilla pearls from my homemade extract. 
    I do realise that water is best. I also drink water from my filtered pitcher, but sometimes you want a sparkle or flavor or both.

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