Essential Oil Apothecary


Juniper Hydrosol Distilled At Our Apothecary


Juniper hydrosol (Juniperus californica) locally harvested and distilled at our apothecary.

Juniper Hydrosol Distillation

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I watched the juniper trees hang over the pink lotus pond for three seasons. I wanted to learn about California juniper, to understand its seasonal rhythms, know its best berries for distillation and syrups. I wanted my timing to be more right than the timing of the harvest. It was important that the distillation be done well to capture those gin notes. California juniper has such a beautiful complexity to it. There are the given notes of pine and camphorous wood but there’s an undying caramel note as well that I’ve never found in the communis species. It’s a softening of the evergreen profile. The trees are slow growers often living between three hundred and fifty to seven hundred years. It’s in those decades  of weathering storms and extreme weather  vortex energies that the twisted conifer tells its story of its usefulness. 

I hand harvest the juniper when berries are most fragrant which the eve of spring here in Sacramento. Berries are sappy and bitter tasting –  perfect for distilling and making a honey based syrup or fruit shrub. I also have sustainability and responsible harvesting in mind, taking only what I need from this slow grower for the hydrosol. I’ve also begun to collect berries for incense and future CO2 extractions which I hope to have in the shop in the near future.


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