Here’s a delightful little gift you can make for Valentine’s Day – a truly lovely, floral rose syrup – the perfect addition to cocktails, desserts, confectionery and baking.
What’s so great about this versatile syrup, is that it’s ridiculously easy to make. Simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Done.
I did a bit of research online as to how to make a basic rose syrup and decided on a standard 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water ratio, into which I added a cup of rose petals and half a cup of rose water. Because I found the resulting syrup a little cloying on its own, I added a tablespoon of lemon juice in at the end – adding it a teaspoon at a time until I felt the balance was right. Oh, and because my rose petals weren’t strongly coloured, I added the tiniest amount of rose food colouring to give it its delicate, but distinctive hue.
You don’t necessarily have to use rose water, if you have particularly fragrant roses at your disposal. Follow the recipe as usual, but instead of straining the syrup once it’s cooled, keep the rose petals in the liquid for several hours or overnight, in order to extract as much flavour as possible. Conversely, if you want to make the syrup when roses aren’t in bloom, simply omit the rose petals – the rose water is a perfectly good substitute, though you may need a bit more of it.
I’m really looking forward to using my rose syrup in future recipes. In fact, I’ve got something specific in mind this weekend – watch this space!
FRAGRANT ROSE SYRUP
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ample cup fragrant rose petals (deep red or pink is ideal)
- 1/2 cup rose water (different varieties have different strengths, so it's best to taste test)
- Optional: A tiny amount of pink or red food colouring (I used rose pink gel colouring)
- Optional: Up to 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Add the water, sugar, rose petals and rose water to a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir the mixture as it heats to ensure the sugar dissolves.
- Cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, then take off heat.
- If wanting to add some food colouring, add it now. You will only need the tiniest amount (I used the tip of a tooth pick to add the gel colouring in).
- Let the mixture cool a little, then taste. If you feel it needs a little acidity to balance out the sweetness, add some lemon juice (one teaspoon at a time).
- Allow to cool completely. Once cool, strain the mixture and decant into a small bottle or jar. Seal, then refrigerate. Can be kept in fridge for up to a month.