In the last weeks, I have looked into the concept of simple distillation apparatuses. Not the decorative ones (which are nice and maybe even functioning- but not really made for real use) - but for hobbyist stills like the AirStill.
Let’s have a look at following video:
There is a lot, what you can learn out of the video... first and foremost: if you can make vodka in small scale, out of dextrose and special ingredients- which results in such a clean and pure product (given that it is true), and the bottle cost in the UK (where you have rather high overall prices) less than £1.00... what does the production of a commercial vodka cost??? A fraction of £1?? (Ok - plus tax... but still!!!).
Anyway- the video also gave me a lot of question marks: if you are going to the pain, of doing your own distilled alcohol, why are you using flavorings? I pretty much believe, that the spirit flavorings will be anyway useless. At this point there are a lot people, who want to tell you, that it is possible to reproduce flavors with aromas (...) - but at least for people with an average to good palate will subject this.
But the real question is, why don’t they just infuse some (homemade or commercial) vodka and re-distill it? With real botanicals? Beside of the fact that I most countries distilling of fermented alcohol is likely very illegal, it would also give the opportunity to make some unique gins and home-“hot-infused-vodkas.
I even argue, that this rather inexpensive appliance could be used instead of rotovap in about 65 to 75% of all cases (in all cases, where you want to distill and where the ingredients are not extremely temperature sensitive).
If I would live in a country, which would not be very strict with these types of topics (when it comes to alcohol etc.) the AirStill would be on top of my wishlist... I’d a lot of ideas, how to use it without “making my own alcohol” but just redefining and flavoring stuff...