Ninja Is Releasing a New Kitchen Gadget — and It's a Must For Seltzer Lovers

POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras
POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras
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This past year, the Ninja Creami took TikTok by storm. A kitchen gadget that lets you create ice cream recipes out of anything? It isn't hard to see the appeal. Now the team at Ninja is releasing a brand-new kitchen product that may prove to be just as popular as the Creami — and POPSUGAR got an exclusive sneak peek.

Ninja's latest release is the Ninja Thirsti Drink System. As you might guess from the name, the Ninja Thirsti lets you create beverages in much the same way that the Ninja Creami lets you create ice cream. Meaning, the drinks are hyper customizable — and almost as fun to mix up as they are to drink.

"Creami worked so well because we gave the power to the consumer. Choose your ingredients — anything — freeze it, and then creamify it," Neil Shah, the EVP, chief commercial officer of SharkNinja, tells POPSUGAR. "You're not going to be bound by what we tell you is the right flavor — you have the power. And I think we're taking that approach and bringing it to the beverage business."

The Ninja Thirsti drinks are water-based. You can choose between sparkling and still, but if you go for the former, you can also create the exact level of carbonation you want. You can add the flavorings of your choice, even combining flavors and adjusting the flavor intensities to create your perfect sip. You can choose the size, from a six-ounce refresher all the way to a 48-ounce big gulp. You can even choose the function, creating a "plain" water (flavored or unflavored), a vitamin-infused water, a hydrating electrolyte water, or a caffeine-infused energy water. Because while there are so many different water options on the market, from infused waters to functional waters to electrolyte powders, "there's no one option that is right for everyone. And more importantly, there was no one option that was right for the whole family," Shah says. Until Thirsti.

In short, the Ninja Thirsti feels a lot like having a better-for-you soda fountain on your kitchen counter. And POPSUGAR got the chance to test out the Ninja Thirsti before it hit the market. After spending days coming up with fun flavor combinations, playing around with different bubble intensities, and feeling more hydrated than I have in weeks, I can confidently say Ninja made another winner.

How to Use the Ninja Thirsti

Setup is incredibly easy, thanks to the quick-start guide and stickers that clearly guide you through the steps.

First, you'll unpackage the machine. Then, you'll screw the CO2 canister into the Thirsti. From there, you'll need to rinse the machine. To do that, you'll run 12 ounces of still water through the machine and toss it out. Now your Thirsti is ready to use.

To make drinks, you'll press the "bubble" button to select still, lightly carbonated, classically carbonated, or heavily carbonated water, and "size" to choose how much water you want. You can choose up to 24 ounces, but you can always run a second cycle for a 48-ounce drink; after that, you'll need to refill the water canister.

To add flavorings, you can insert two types of Flavored Water Drops at a time. They're all free of artificial flavors and colors, and they come in "Splash" (just flavorings, no sweeteners), "Vitamin" (with vitamins B3, B6, and B12), "Hydrate" (with electrolytes), and "Energy" (with 50mg of caffeine per 12 ounces). By pressing the "1" and "2" buttons, you can decide if you want to add one or both to each drink, and you can decide whether you want a lightly or more-intensely flavored drink — Ninja calls it "classic," or "bold," flavoring.

It sounds like a lot, but it's super intuitive. The following GIFs demonstrate how to select carbonation, size, and flavoring combo — and then show the machine in action, creating a vitamin-energy combo (a delicious mix of the orange tangerine and peach mango Drops that Shah tipped me off to).

POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras
POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras

What I Like About the Ninja Thirsti

I love seltzer, so I was all about Ninja Thirsti's sparkling water functions. I've used at-home seltzer makers before, and I was curious to see how Ninja aimed to improve upon the existing options in the market. They did it by creating so many ways for users to customize their drinks — you can choose how bubbly you want the water to be, how you want it to be flavored (or not), and how intensely flavored you want it to be.

Yes, other seltzer makers give you control over carbonation and sell flavoring add-ins, but where the Thirsti stands out is the ease of use and standardization. The machine carbonates your water and adds the flavorings for you; all you have to do is push a couple of buttons to indicate your preferences and hit start. That means once you figure out your favorite settings, you're guaranteed to get the same drink every time, with little room for user error.

After plenty of experimenting, my (somewhat dull) drink of choice became 12 ounces of classic fizz seltzer with a light hit of mango flavoring. (Sometimes I add another six ounces of lightly carbonated water, no flavoring, on top for an 18-ounce drink that I swear is an exact dupe for La Croix.)

POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras

I also love that the Thirsti lets you make drinks directly into your favorite glass, water bottle, or pitcher, no additional bottles required. You're supposed to fill the canister with cold water — you can just add ice — which means you can start sipping immediately without having to add ice to your seltzer or wait for a bottle to chill.

Shah highlighted another benefit: if you're someone who often opens a can of seltzer, sips it for a while, then forgets about it until it's warm or flat (*raises hand guiltily*), the Thirsti's six-ounce option is the perfect size for you and helps minimize waste.

And, of course, your Thirsti drinks can be built upon. The quick-start guide suggests some Thirsti recipes that walk you through adding different juices and garnishes to create various mocktails — and it stands to reason that you could sneak in something harder, too.

What's Worth Noting About the Ninja Thirsti

As a NYC apartment dweller, the first question I have about any kitchen appliance is: how big is it? The Ninja Thirsti is roughly 4.5-inches wide, 14-inches deep, and 16-inches tall — so it has a footprint, although not a huge one.

As I began to play around with the Thirsti, I quickly noticed that once you put in your selections, it takes a minute or so for the machine to actually complete your drink. I mean that literally: it takes a minute or two, depending on the size of your drink, which are dispensed six ounces at a time. Considering the fact that once it's done, your drink is cold and ready for you to sip, the time didn't bother me. In fact, I ended up liking it. It made creating a drink feel a little indulgent, and it's fun to watch the machine at work. (My favorite part? When the level in the water canister drops as your drink gets portioned out.)

POPSUGAR Photography | Mirel Zaman
Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras

The last thing worth noting is that the Flavored Water Drops do come as pods, and they're the only way you can flavor your water through the machine; you can add juices, herbs, cut fruit, or anything else to your water after it's made. That isn't particularly limiting. Right now, Thirsti offers more than 20 Flavored Water Drops, and thanks to the combine feature, you can use them to create thousands of different flavors of water. Each pod should make between 17 and 20 12-ounce drinks.

Who Is the Ninja Thirsti Best For?

Anyone who likes flavored water, sparkling or still. The Ninja Thirsti is an especially good option for families, since it frees you from having to buy multiple different types of flavored drinks.

Is the Ninja Thirsti Worth the Splurge?

If you're a flavored-water or sparking-water lover, absolutely. The Ninja Thirsti lets you customize your drinks and does away with the need for bottled water — and could even help anyone who's trying to kick soda, too.

Additional Details

  • Size: The Ninja Thirsti is roughly 4.5-inches wide, 14-inches deep, and 16-inches tall.
  • Flavorings: There are 20+ types of Flavored Water Drops across four lines: eight of Splash (just flavoring), five of Vitamin (containing vitamins B3, B6, and B12), four of Hydrate (with electrolytes), and three Energy (with 50mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving). Each Drop refill is $7.
  • Carbonation: The Ninja Thirsti uses its own CO2 canisters that can be refilled via the mail. Refills are $42 for two 60L canisters.

Where Is Ninja Thirsti Available?

As of today, the Ninja Thirsti is available for preorder ($180). But soon, it will also be available at major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Kohls.