We had a great workshop on Sunday with Jill & Charlie from Alembic Stills.  We distilled alcohol from home made wine, Charlie’s new plum wine & our very old crabapple & date wine. The latter was very dry & was transformed into a delicious Brandy, which came out at 60% alcohol, & was then diluted down. I’m so glad we hadn’t thrown it away. This means we can turn our spray-free fruit & organic sugar into alcohol we can use to make tinctures, very exciting.

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Jill arrived with a huge basket full of Rosemary, which she pulled off the twigs. We processed this two ways, into a Hydrosol & also using steam distillation, by adding an extra piece to the neck, called a column, this has a grid in it, where the leaves sit. This gave us a seperated  mix of hydrosol & a tiny bit of essential oil.  We also made Clary & White Sage hydrosols, the White Sage is divine, really clean & pungent.

Geoff & I got a 5.5L Alembic Still with an onion head & we are excited at the new possibilities for working with our herbs & also making extracts we can add to our ointments. Of course there are all sorts of details & precautions to take , to get just the right results. First thing we have to do is to clean it with a rye flour slurry & then we can get going.

If you are interested in attending a workshop, contact Charlie & Jill at alembics.co.nz