The thing I wanted to try most was making a rose flavored simple syrup to mix into carbonated water to make rose soda. Yes. Rose soda. Roses have a lovely flavor and scent, and with summer, it seemed like a nice variation.
My son and daughter went out and picked rose petals for me. You will need to have roses that don't have disgusting chemicals on them. I know the ones they picked are not sprayed with anything and don't have fertilizers used on them (my own garden, I use organic fertilizer and compost on.)
They could only get a cup and a half of petals. Which is just enough for 16 oz of rose flavored simple syrup.
You will need:
- 1 part rose petals- firmly packed
- 1 part water
- 1 part sugar- white sugar maintains the color best
- lemon juice
- potato masher or large spoon
- strainer (small enough to fit in the bowl)
- warm, clean, sterile jar
- canning funnel
Put the rose petals in a pan and bruise them with a spoon or potato masher. Pour the water over the rose petals and bring to a boil. Turn down and cover the pan and simmer for an hour. Take it off the heat and let it set overnight.
Put the strainer over the bowl and strain out the petals. Squeeze out the mass of petals to get as much of the floral water out of them as you can. The petals will be translucent and white, they would probably be wonderful to use in a paper pulp for casting and are still lightly scented.
Pour the liquid back into the pan, and add the sugar. I used C&H Baker's Sugar which is a cane sugar that's very fine. Heat up, but don't boil! You want to heat it gently so you don't destroy the delicate flavor oils. Dissolve the sugar completely in the mixture.
I kept my jar in the water I sterilized it in to keep it warm. Pour the sugar rose water in the jar. It's still just light brown. So now it's time for the fun "seems like magic" part.
Stir in the lemon juice.
The light, pale, barely brewed tea color changes as you mix in the lemon juice to the gorgeous rose color shown above.
I didn't seal the jar, just let it cool and put it in the fridge for immediate use.
To make rose flavored soda- put 2 Tablespoons of simple rose syrup into a tall glass. Pour 12 oz of carbonated water over the syrup and stir gently. Add ice and rose petals to serve.
My daughter wants to try it over vanilla ice cream and over lemon sherbet, the delicate rose flavor is just lovely.