Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homemade Floral Waters

Floral WatersFloral waters will not have a very long shelf life if an alcohol is not added to them. Floral waters made only with water and not the added alcohol will grow mold and collect germs and bacteria. The alcohol acts as a preservative and therefore will have an indefinite shelf life. The alcohol also works to preserve the scent of the floral water.

The base liquid for all floral water is the same. This is made by adding an equal mixture of distilled water and vodka. Alternatively, you can use ethyl alcohol instead of vodka. By far the vodka is cheaper and won’t leave your floral waters smelling like booze. If you choose to use vodka (my preference) select one that is at least 60 proof, no less.

InstructionsBasically, you are making a weak tincture. You can make your floral water with one single herb or flower or a combination. The size of the jar you make your floral water in decides how much fragrant water you will get in the end. If you just want a small amount use a small jar. For larger amounts use a bigger jar. Select your herbs or flowers and place them in a glass jar, one that has a screw on lid. Fill the jar halfway with your selected plant material. Fill the jar with the liquid, leaving about one inch of room at the top of the jar for shaking.

Now you will have to allow the contents to blend and the natural oils and fragrance of the plant material to be released. Shake the jar daily. The floral water is ready when it reaches your desired level of fragrance. Once it’s ready, strain out the plant material and store the liquid in its final storage bottle. Some people like to place the jar in a cool, dark place for several days. I prefer to set the jar outdoors in the sun. The option is yours. I find that the sun extracts more of the oil from the plant and the water picks up the fragrance much more quickly. Again, this is just my preference.

Some suggestions for floral waters
Rose petals for rose water
Lavender blooms for lavender water
Rue stems and leaves for rue water
Basil plants and leaves for basil water
Fresh lemon peel for citrus lemon water
Fresh lime peel for citrus lime water
Fresh orange peel for orange water
Honeysuckle petals for honeysuckle water

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