Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peppermint Hydrosol

There's a little peppermint bush in my yard, one that I've seriously neglected over the years, that, after a bug crawled up my bum, became the subject of my next --uh-- current distillation venture. Picked and cleaned about two pounds of the stuff, washed off the little white spider who was literally hopping mad that I brought him indoors, and ungraciously flipped me the bird when I helped him outside courtesy of a four-of-hearts playing card pretending to be a magic flying carpet. Spiders are grumpy tenants.

Having learned my lesson in previous distillations with regard to heat levels under delicate fresh botanicals, after two hours of low heat, the graduated cylinder began to slowly fill. With oil.

Imagine my surprise. I was after hydrosol; oil is a bonus, and so much from such a small amount of raw material, too. Well, it's just a milliliter, and before you laugh, consider the other distillation experiments I've conducted these past few years -- like the ambrette seed project. There were gallons (ok, may A gallon) of hydrosol, and nary a ml of oil in sight. Think there were little glossy droplets of ambrette slipping and sliding through the hydrosol, but nothing that could be gathered. And the recent cucumber hydrosol distillation produced no oil, and I would have had a stroke if it had! Cukes got no oil, man.

I'm thinking of making a blended hydrosol with the cucumber and peppermint ~ something really cooling and fresh for summer.

And, no, I haven't made it out to the farm to get the lemons yet. I had a bag in my hand and decided to put them back because I didn't ask to take them. And I need to get to the olive distillation, but those can wait. The lemons can't. They're dropping and are begging to be reborn as oil and hydrosol. I can hear them screaming in their high-pitched, squeaky puckered-lip voices, "Save me!"

Ok. I didn't have much coffee this morning . . .


  1. What is it with those little white spiders? I chase them out of my tomatoes and artichokes every afternoon when I go out there to inspect, and in the mornings when I water. They give me an awful lot of lip, but it's not like there's a lack of green things for them to congregate on and around.

    You're inspiring me on the mint. I have a chocolate mint that I'm thinking of just putting in one part of the yard and forgetting about other than occasional watering. With any luck it'll quadruple in size.

  2. I actually like spiders, but that little guy almost got a one-way ticket to bug heaven. Talk about attitude.

    Ooh, chocolate mint! Now that's something I'd love to distill.

  3. Sara - chocolate mint????? I thought I was crazy about mints, but mine has not survieved over the years. Yuppppp - the only person in history who have managed to kill of menthas;-P

    Justine - cucumber and mint hydrosol sound to good to be true, I am so in awe of all your destillates:-D

  4. Wolfie,

    I've killed my fair share of mints too, so don't feel so bad.

    The cucumber mint hydro smells nice, but it really charms skin. I use it in the morning to wash my face and my skin afterwards feels soft and smooth. It's especially nice for under eyes.

    I'm in the process of procuring violet flowers for a little violet hydrosol experiment. I'll keep you updated.

    I do so love making these fragrant botanical waters.



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