Today our friend Christine is taking over and will be teaching you how to make hydrosols! We already made a batch and love them! Enjoy!
Although we seem to be enjoying an Indian summer this year, cooler temps will soon replace the warmth and the first frost will follow.
When I look around the garden this time of year, I think of it as one more chance to collect health-attracting ingredients to be used in the kitchen now or preserved in some way for the seasons ahead. A fun way to use my herbs as fall approaches is by creating hydrosols!
You may have heard of these as room sprays, skin fresheners or used for wellness purposes. My favorite use is in the kitchen and to entertain. Just as they freshen up a room or your complexion, they complement the flavor profiles of healthy mocktails! In some cases, they can even drive your flavor profile! Just as basil or oregano changes a tomato sauce, so do these herbs in a healthy drink.
Spray hydrosols over the top of the finished mocktail before serving or to freshen up a drink half-way through.
Use to spray inside the glass before pouring mocktail inside and taste as the herbs “wrap” the flavors together.
Wondering about the process? It’s simple, easy and can be achieved in barely any time at all. The water used will steam your herbs. The steam collects on the lid of the pan and condenses due to the use of ice cubes. Because the lid is upside down, the steam transforms back into a liquid. The liquid then drips down into the glass bowl. This is your hydrosol!
-5 cups fresh seasonal herbs or flowers (untreated rose or geranium are a great choice)
-Ice, enough to fill 4 sandwich-sized baggies.
-1 medium size pot
-1 inverted lid
-1 glass bowl that will fit inside the pot
-1 large glass jar and small 2-4 oz glass spray bottles
1. Place herbs in pot and add enough water to just cover the herbs.
2. Place the glass bowl in the center of the pan and gently move the herbs or flower petals around to the outside of the bowl. The bowl needs to stay up and out of the water the herbs are in so it can “catch” the herbal or petal waters as they condense.
3. Place the lid upside down so it is inverted over the pot and set heat to a low flame. The water in the pot should simmer but not boil.
4. Place 2 baggies with ice on top of the inverted lid. Once the baggies of ice melt during the steaming process, remove them and replace with two more bags of ice.
5. Steam for 20-25 minutes.
6. Place in jar and transfer to spray bottles as needed.
Have fun and share your mocktail experiments in the comments below!
Christine Dionese, co-founder of Garden Eats is an integrative health & food therapy specialist, wellness, lifestyle & food journalist. To balance the more serious side of her work, she loves to concoct, write about and connect people through food & drink. You can check out her latest work at The Chalkboard Magazine, Poppy & Seed and Rochester’s Boomtown Table. Christine lives, works and plays between Southern California & Upstate New York.
Author- Christine | Photography- Caitlin