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Distillation of ethereal oils is made with different pressures and temperatures than distillation of alcohol. So when distilling spirits out of mash directly most of the tastes get lost. I wonder if it could be an idea to distil the natural oils and flavours of fruits (ingredients) before fermentation and add those components later to the product to conserve a stronger taste of the ingredients used.

Has somebody tried that out?

  • Are you talking about Esters? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester – farmersteve May 14 '18 at 16:03
  • My Dictionary translated as "ethereal", what Wikipedia translates as "essential", but also writes: "Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove". The group of essential oils is wider and does not only include Ester, but also different types of Alcohol, Terpene and Ketone. Well, I am no chemist, for further information, please check Wikis. – Salt May 14 '18 at 16:26
  • I simply wanted to point out, that ingredients often contain more substances that vaporize under different conditions than alcohol and might get lost in distillation, unless being extracted separately. – Salt May 14 '18 at 16:26
  • I know what you are trying to get at. I worked for a water beverage company for a while and watching the chemists put together a flavored water drink was eye opening. Part of the problem is that what people think something tastes like is different to what they are used to tasting artificial flavors. Plus, economically, much easier to manufacture a flavor that is color stable and won't separate or settle with time. Think about the "oils" you are talking about. Some may dissolve and some might separate. It's all very complicated and I am not a chemist in any way... – farmersteve May 14 '18 at 18:01
  • Yes, very sad that people prefer stable but artificial taste instead of nature. I made the same experience with sparkling orange lemonade. Made with fresh orange juice is very much different to supermarket standard products. Nevertheless, wine (at least good one) does not need artificial supplements and what would be so bad on recommending a period in which a spirit is best with its taste? – Salt May 28 '18 at 12:05
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Actually, yes. Though usually not with essential oils. In most cases, as an infusion.

For low-alcohol beverages: punch, some dry-hopped beers, vermouth

For spirits: liqueur, gin, rumtopf, Chinese paojiu

Compound gin is an example where essential oils might be used.

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