22 June 2011

Summer has arrived, and to finish an absolutely wonderful spring, I made the best of the abundance of roses that pepper my property, from the ones at the end of the vineyard rows, to the small rose garden in front of my house. I'm not sure what variety these are, but the pink ones remind me of the Charlotte Armstrong of my childhood. Fragrant and long-lasting, and free of pesticides, they are perfect for the rose petal syrup or rose liqueur I make every year. A spoonful is heavenly in a glass of prosecco or drizzled over aged cheese. I also use the rose petal syrup to make a sinfully aromatic rose petal sorbet in my Gelato! book.

All of the color you see in the bottle above is natural from the roses themselves; red or pink work the best. This year I used only pink.

Rose Petal Syrup

175 grams (6 oz) of fresh, fragrant rose petals (pink or red)

7 cups granulated sugar

Juice of one lemon , including the seeds and some pulp

Pick the rose petals from an unsprayed rose bush in the morning when they are most fragrant. Grasp the tips of the rose and cut near the center, removing only the colored petals, not the white tip at the base or the base itself.

Place in a non-reactive bowl and toss with 1 ¾ cup of the sugar to macerate. Coat well, squeezing the petals to bruise slightly. Cover with plastic film and let stand in a cool place overnight.

Next day, in a large saucepan, combine 3 ½ cups spring water and the remaining 5 ¼ cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and macerated rose petals with their sugary liquid to the pan and return to a boil.

Reduce to a high simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until a candy thermometer reads 100° C (212°F).

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Strain, removing the rose petals and lemon seeds.

Place in sterilized bottles.


  1. i can't wait to try making this from some rose bushes we transplanted... the aroma that wafts from the bush is extraordinary so we shall see how the syrup tastes...

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