Let me introduce you to our beautiful artisan made copper alembic pot stills; Ebenezer, Edith and Hephzibah.

All three were lovingly handmade in Portugal by true craftsmen.

We have always used this type of still. There are far more technologically sophisticated stills available but these copper pot stills are perfect for distilling wonderfully pure hydrosols and we love them.

Let’s take a dive into the history of the still and the art and science of distillation.

The first known stills date back over 3000 years. Early evidence of distillation was found on Akkadian tablets dated c. 1200 BCE.

It appears that these early stills were most often used to extract hydrosols and essential oils for perfumes and cosmetics but there is also evidence of the distillation of fermented juices for alcohol production.

The term “alembic” is derived from the Arabic word “al-anbiq,” which means “the vessel.” The earliest known written record of the alembic still dates back to the 8th or 9th century, when it was described in the works of various Arabic alchemists and scholars, such as Jabir ibn Hayyan and Al-Razi.

During the Islamic Golden Age, alchemists and scholars made significant contributions to the development of distillation techniques and the design of alembic stills.  It is almost certainly in this “golden age” that the design of still we use here at Bax Botanics were first created.

It’s amazing to think that we are using a piece of equipment that has hardly changed in over a thousand years!

In the Middle Ages, the alembic still was introduced to Europe, where it played a crucial role in the development of alchemy and early chemistry. Alchemists and proto-chemists used the alembic still for their experiments, and it became an indispensable tool in their quest for the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life.

I have always thought of alchemy as the blending of science, magic and art. We can’t claim to be magicians but there is definitely a fusion of art and science in a bottle of Bax.

There is a recipe, of course there is, but following it blindly is not the route to success. Rose crafts each batch of our drinks using art, knowledge and intuition gained from many years working with plant flavours. They are truly artisan made.

We couldn’t do it without our copper pot stills, so let’s raise a glass to Ebenezer, Edith and Hephzibah!