This week we are making traditional orange blossom water. You will need a distiller. If you do not have one, you can contact me and I might be able to find one you can rent, in case you do not want to buy one. I have always wanted to make orange blossom water but was always reluctant to buy a distiller. This year I did and I am so glad I did because making your own orange blossom water is very worthwhile. If you have any questions about the process, leave a comment below or email me at christina[@]afroditeskitchen.com and I will try to answer your queries.
11 cups of open Seville orange flowers (aka bitter orange or “kitromila”)
7 cups of water
3 young Seville orange leaves (see collage below)
you will also need:
a small (preferably dark) bottle – about 700ml (sterilized the same way you would a jam jar)
a distiller (contact Afrodite’s Kitchen if you need one)
a bag of ice
a rag cloth
Recipe / How To Make Orange Blossom Water
1. Pick your orange blossom flowers. Personally, I picked a large bag of open Seville orange (aka bitter orange or, in Greek, “kitromila”) blossoms. I picked them early in the morning when the flowers just opened. Flowers picked early in the morning produce more fragrant orange blossom water.
2. Prepare your distiller in accordance with its directions. Personally, I added the orange blossom flowers and water to the bottom canister. Then, I set the gas stove on the lowest setting possible. This is important, as the higher the heat, the less fragrant the orange blossom water. I added cold water to the top of the distiller. I also wrapped the mouth of the tap where the orange blossom water comes out and drips into the bottle with a rag – this apparently helps keep the smell concentrated in the bottle.
3. Follow the instructions of the distiller and wait. When the water in the top of the distiller became warm, I exchanged the water and/or added ice cubes. I found it easiest to add ice cubes rather than exchange the water. The reason you keep the water cool is for safety and also, if the water gets warm, this will also mean your orange blossom water will be less fragrant.
4. Continue to follow the instructions of the distiller and wait. Personally, after about 20-30 minutes, I started to see the orange blossom water slowly dripping out. I continued to watch the distiller for about 1 hour – until I had about 700ml of orange blossom water. Then I stopped.
5. Store your bottle outside for two days in the sun and then store in a dark cupboard until you need it. If stored properly, I am told that the orange blossom water will keep for up to two years. The smell will become stronger with time.