DIY Floral Hydrosol: Make This Surprisingly Easy Flower Water at Home

What is a Floral Hydrosol?

Hydrosols are fragrant waters infused with the subtle aroma of flowers and other aromatic plants. Hydrosols are created during the steam distillation of an essential oil. Though mild and delicate in comparison, hydrosols have many of the same therapeutic properties as essential oils and can be used safely on the skin and even ingested.

Hydrosols are sometimes referred to as flower waters, but not all flower waters are true hydrosols. If you purchase a “flower water,” read the label carefully to make certain it’s not just water with a synthetic fragrance added. Better yet, the recipe below uses rose, chamomile and lavender to make a refreshing and rejuvenating DIY Floral Hydrosol at home.

Hydrosols have a myriad of uses from skincare to the kitchen – they make a hydrating toner for your skin or a lovely cooling spritzer on a hot day. You can also enjoy the therapeutic properties of a hydrosol on your skin by incorporating it in your DIY creams and lotions. This Green Goddess Green Tea lotion  includes a helichrysum hydrosol to soothe inflammation and rejuvenate mature, sun-damaged skin. Pure organic hydrosols can be used in any recipe calling for a floral water. This delicate Rose Syrup is made with rose hydrosol and honey. Drizzled over fruit or ice cream, its unforgettably delicious. Up the ante on your cocktails with this Rose hydrosol infused dreamy Damiana Rose Cordial recipe.

DIY Floral Hydrosol Recipe

Step 1: A Homemade Still for Making Hydrosols

You will need:

Enamel 21.5 Quart Canning Pot with a Lid
Two small heat resistant glass bowls
A bag of ice

To set up the still, place the canning pot on the stove, with about 12 cups of pure filtered or distilled water. Invert one of the small bowls and set it in the pot. Place the other glass bowl on top of the inverted  bowl. The lid of the canning pot placed upside down on the pot will be used as a “condenser” allowing the aromatic vapors to condense and drain into the bowl. Once the distillation process begins (see below), a bag of ice cubes placed on top of the inverted lid will help cool and condense the aromatic steam. Putting the ice cubes in a plastic bag makes it easier to remove the melted ice (i.e., the bag of water) and add more fresh ice to the top of the pot as needed.

Step 2: Floral Hydrosol

This floral hydrosol with rose, lavender and chamomile is a sweet-smelling and revitalizing  toner for all skin types and a refreshing facial mist on a warm summer day.

4 ounces dried rose buds
4 ounces dried lavender flowers
4 ounces dried chamomile flowers
12 cups pure filtered or distilled water

Add the dried flowers and water to the canning pot and allow to steep for at several hours. Place the canning pot on the stove top, add the inverted glass bowl and the set the other glass bowl on top as described above. Place the lid on the pot and bring the contents to a low boil. Turn down the heat to a very low simmer. The heat should be just enough to keep the contents steaming. Invert the lid on the canning pot and set a bag of ice inside the inverted lid. Inside the pot the aromatic vapors will condense on the inverted lid and drip in to the bowl. This is your hydrosol! With the quantities used in this recipe, you can expect to get 10 to 12 ounces of hydrosol.

Pay close attention to your steaming pot and turn off the heat once most of the water has evaporated. Allow the hydrosol to cool. Next, pour the hydrosol through an unbleached coffee filter that has first been rinsed with hot water. Filtering will remove any plant matter or volatile oils that have collected in the hydrosol. Bottle, label and enjoy! Use within six months and store in any excess in the refrigerator when not in use.

Once you’ve made this hydrosol you’re going to want to make hydrosols with all the other aromatic plants you love. Consider orange or lemon peel, lemongrass, pine, peppermint, rosemary or yarrow. The possibilities are almost endless. I’d love to see what you come up with and how you decide to use your hydrosol. Be sure to snap a picture of your hydrosol in action, post it on Instagram or Facebook with #nectarherbandtea.


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