In my online meanderings, I recently came across “The Missisipi Distiller,” a device for extracting essential oils from plants. My immediate reaction is that for $200, there is potential to make some very cool flavoured cigars or other concoctions. From the manufacturer:
Designed in Barcelona, Spain, the still’s copper frame is engraved with Missisipi Destil Co.–an honest, if poorly translated attempt to pay homage to the distilling heritage of the American south. Simply steep fragrant plant leaves (such as lavender, peppermint, or thyme) in a pot of water, pour the strained liquid into the cucurbit, and place the oil lamp under the cucurbit. As the water boils, steam extracts essential oils from the fragrant liquid and fills the vessel with oil vapor. The oil vapor passes from the cucurbit through the swan-neck tube and, once it reaches the water-filled condensing pot, it is cooled and converted into a concentrated liquid. The aromatic oil is deposited into a cooling cup for use in perfumes. The alcohol burner, cucurbit, condensing pot, and collection cup are made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass–the same glass used in laboratory beakers. The distiller is mounted on a walnut base and its frame is made from five copper plates secured in place with copper rivets.
I’d be interested to know if anyone has used a machine like this in making aromatic cigars. It’s fairly common for people to grow, ferment, and roll their own tobacco, but what about flavoring? Or perhaps such a distiller could be put to more, how do I say this…, creative use?