Alembics. They are beautiful to look at, but also functional allowing you to produce your own hydrosols, essential oils, and to distill alcohol.
....the condenser, which is kept cool by running some water through it. The steam rises from the water, up throug the plant material and then condenses out into the beaker. The essential oil floats to the top, and the water component is known as a hydrosol. Jill started the course by giving us a glass of diluted clary sage hydrosol to drink. That was a revelation - it never occurred to me that you could drink them. It was like a cooled herbal tea, but much, much better.
Here's the distillate dripping out of the condensing unit. If you look carefully you can see the layer of oil on top.
Then Charlie showed us how to distill the alcohol out of a bottle of cheap vino. That's where the previously forgotton memories of sixth form chemistry came in handy. I didn't think that this was so much my thing, but the resulting 30-40% proof alcohol was surprisingly nice.
I came back home inspired to grow more aromatics in my garden and have added a still to my Christmas wish list. If you ever get a chance to attend a workshop by Alembics, I highly recommend it.