Distillation Is Used to Craft Unique Flavors
Distillation is a technique for extracting liquid components. This involves heating them up to their boiling point before they evaporate and condense back out into another substance – during this process, distillers may incorporate botanicals at various points along the process to add distinctive flavors.
Distillation apparatus that were completely sealed would need to operate under significantly greater pressure than atmospheric, which could easily cause it to burst. Therefore, some way is left open to allow atmospheric air in, typically via inert gases like nitrogen or argon; this also serves to avoid moisture entering and spoiling your product.
Distillation produces vapors which contain more of one component than another based on relative vapor pressures (Raoult’s law). A column can further enhance separation by increasing surface area over which condensate and vapors interact.
Reactive distillation is an alternative method that can produce high purity components by treating the reaction vessel as a still. This approach works especially well when dealing with lower boiling-point reactants.
Many of the techniques bartenders utilize in their craft revolve around distillation. Agitating drinks by stirring with a spoon, for instance, is seen as a form of distillation since it helps remove impurities from liquid and create a smoother texture. Muddling is another distillation method; fruit and herbs used in a cocktail’s flavoring are crushed using a muddler before being mixed with distilled alcohol to complete its taste profile.