March 2, 2012

Cooking up Some Orange Oil

Not all my "cooking" in the kitchen is edible....sometimes it wasn't intended to be either.

About a month ago I was using some diluted citrus oil to dissuade the cats from an area.  Cats don't seem to like citrus and the dog doesn't mind much so I was using it to spray down the area around the dog's bed.

Ready to sit out in the sun
About that time I recall seeing something online either at Gizmodo or Instructables regarding how you could make a mini flame thrower with just a flame and a piece of orange peel.  There is a fair amount of oil in the peel and  I figured...."I've got oranges, why am I throwing out the peel and buying orange oil at the store?"

The first thing I did was collect some orange peels.  That was easy enough.  I spread out the peels on a cookie sheet and left them in the oven until they dried out.  Then I blended up the pieces of peel in my grinder and packed it all into a pint jar.  The next step was to top off the jar with vodka.  There wasn't a lot of room in the jar but if you let it settle some and then top off you can get it full.

Orange & Boozy Fragrance   
This jar got a lid and was set in the window for a couple of weeks.  I've seen some guides saying that you only needed to let it sit for a few days, but they also said the peels would dry out far quicker than it took me, so I just went with what my gut said to do.

Once I finally got tired of seeing the jar out on the shelf I opened it up and separated the chopped peel from the infused vodka.  The peels smelled kind of nice and I left the bowl out for a while to enjoy the scent.  The liquid went into a half-pint jar and was set aside to let the vodka evaporate.  This took a long time and as the vodka evaporated the remaining liquid got darker and darker.  I noticed that out cat Polly wasn't trying to sleep on top of the stove like she had before I started this drying out.

I wouldn't drink this shot!
Ready to use
The total volume was just enough to fill up an empty essential oil jar I had lying about.

Shared on Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity blog Sept. 3, 2012
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Randi@SowderingAbout said...

How long did it take for the vodka to dry out? And did you cover it while it was drying?

Christopher Stogdill said...

I do not recall, but I'd guess a week and I did not cover it all all while drying. I suppose if you heated it gently you could make the alcohol evaporate faster. The next time I do this I think I'm going to simply zest the skins and dry that instead.