Making Hydrosols on the Stove

Learn how to use a simple stovetop method to make fragrant rose water that can be used for a refreshing spritz on a hot day.

| July / August 2018

If you’re interested in making your own hydrosols, you can start with a simple stovetop method. After you fall in love with the ancient alchemical process, you may consider graduating to a still, which can be made from copper, glass, or stainless steel and will result in a more efficient distillation. Copper is the top choice for many home distillers, because the metal binds with sulfur and yeast to form a sweeter hydrosol that doesn’t need to age before being used.

For this recipe, use a 12-quart lidded saucepan and a convex lid (a glass lid is ideal, so you can see what’s going on inside the pot). You’ll also need 2 small, sturdy, heat-safe bowls, such as ramekins or ceramic or glass cereal bowls — if you only have a single bowl, a heat-safe glass measuring cup will work well for the second bowl. This recipe is specifically for making rose water, but you can use this method to create hydrosols from a wide variety of fresh flowers or herbs, such as orange blossom or lavender.

• 6 cups fresh rose petals
• About 6 cups water
• Large resealable plastic bag filled with ice cubes, plus more ice cubes as needed

1. Gently shake the flowers to remove any dirt or insects.



2. Place 1 heat-safe bowl upside down in the center of the saucepan.

3. Arrange the rose petals around the sides of the bowl.






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