Lemonade Distillation (Archive 2016)

   Here in NZ winter citrus grow in abundance in my garden. One citrus I planted 4 years ago in my converted paddock is 'Lemonade", which is a hybrid citrus. It is a cross between a lemon and a sweet mandarin (Citrus limon x. reticualta).  Some authors refer to it as C. limon x sinensis (here) It is a popular citrus in NZ and in Queensland. This is the first year I have had an abundance of fruit. I  use the juice to make either home-made lemonade or a version of lemoncello which I  enjoy over ice. This is the first time I have been able to distil the fruit for hydrosols. In aromatherapy most citrus fruits are expellar pressed after squeezing for juice. the essential oil is present in little oil sacs just under the rind- clearly visible here on the photo of the orange. Some citrus are steam distilled for essential oils which helps minimise phototoxicity. Essential oils are also produced from blossom (orange blossom or neroli) and the leaves and twigs (petitgrain). However for my purposes I only distil for the hydrosols, and leave any essential oil in solution in the hydrosol. For this exercise I did a double co distillation to try and 
  condense the wonderful aroma of the lemonade rinds. It has a sweet soft aroma, with a slight freshness due to the lemon cross. After squeezing and freezing the juice for later use I filled my small copper alembic still to the brim with the fruit and covered with 2.3 litres lemon geranium hydrosol which has a sweet honey aroma. (I actually overfilled with fruit so had a lot of still debris to filter out). I distilled for around 40 minutes and extracted off  2000ml hydrosol (extremely cloudy- see photo). I then redistilled this once more by itself with no fruit with a final result of 800ml of condensed lemonade and lemon geranium hydrosol (still some cloudiness but I could clearly see essential oil the hydrosol.
1st distillation- a lot of still debris
2nd distillation, still essential oil present.

The aroma is just lovely- a crisp, but sweet mix which make a nice refreshing spritzer to use during the day. One of my favourite ways of using my aromatics is to mist on my hands during the working day to freshen them up and inhale. this is especially energising during intense thinking or computer work. this would also make a nice addition to a facial toner. A single distillation would be perfect to use in home made soaps.

Simple "Poo Pourri" Recipe
"Poo Pourri' is a concept of spraying an aromatic into the lavatory before you go. The aromatic molecules leave a film on the water and help prevent odours escaping. This is a great trick to sue if you are using shared facilities, visiting friends or public loos! In a small spray bottle (100-200ml) add 95 mil aromatic hydrosol such as lavender or rosemary. (Normal water can also be used but add more essential oils). Add in 2 mls of glycerine or olive oil to disperse the essential oils and then add  3 mls of essential oils (e.g lemon, lavender, pine, clove, eucalyptus).  A dash of vodka also helps preserve the hydrosol and help with dispersion. the oils do not need to be a therapeutic grade. Shake before use and spritz 2-3 times before going. Easy!
Enjoy! Wendy

Posted: Tuesday 4 January 2022