If you’ve eaten middle eastern desserts before, chances are you’ve eaten rose syrup. A popular dressing for pastries, rose syrup is super simple to make, and much better than buying fake rose fragrance from the market. Now, for these instructions to make rose syrup you should know that this is different than commercial rose water. Rose water is the distilled byproduct of boiling rose petals.
If you don’t have a rose garden this can be quite an expensive recipe, since you need about 30-40 roses. However the color of the rose petals is less important than the quality, so no need to buy perfect looking red roses (unless you want a deep red syrup. For my syrup I just went out into the rose garden with Alona and picked a red, white, pink, and orange roses for a hodgepodge of colors.
Making Rose Syrup From Scratch
As mentioned before, rose syrup is different than rose water. Rose water is what you get when you boil rose petals and collect the evaporated water. The final result is usually clear. However for this rose syrup we are first making homemade rose water by simply boiling the petals for a couple hours.
Add all your rose petals to a pot. My recipe uses about 40 roses which completely fill this 5 liter pot. The end result is a little over 3 liters of liquid rose water. Fill the pot with water and turn the heat up to medium. Let the rose petals boil for at least 2 hours.
After two hours the petals will have lost almost all their color, but the remaining liquid should be vibrant. At this point you can turn off the heat and use a spider strainer to remove the petals from the liquid. Be careful not to shake the pot as any dirt or sediment will have sunk to the bottom and we don’t want that to mix back into the rose water.
Get a large jar and a funnel. Place some gauze or a coffee filter in the base of the funnel and start pouring in the rose water. When stored in cool dry place, this rose water will last up to six months, but can be extended by adding a few shots of vodka. Before turning the rose water into rose syrup I let the jar rest overnight, then taste it in the morning when it is cool.
To make the rose syrup the most important thing is the ratio. Unlike simple syrup which is 1:1 sugar to water, rose syrup is 2:1 sugar to water. So if you want to make a liter of rose syrup you will need 2 kilograms of white sugar (eg: one pound of water to two pounds of sugar). Just add the liquid to a pot and bring to a boil. Slowly add the sugar and whisk it in until dissolved.
I specifically made this rose syrup because I wanted to use it in my almond rose cake, but you can drizzle it over pastries like baklava, sticky buns, or even use it in cocktails!
Where To Use Rose Water?
Other than turning it into syrup, you can use the rose water for a variety of things. You can use it in:
- Homemade Soap
- Air Freshener
- Face Creams / Lotions
- Added to tea for a flavor change
- Mix with lemon juice and bake in your oven to make your whole house smell great
- Mix with white vinegar for a better smelling cleaning scrub
- 40 Roses
- 2 kg Sugar
- 1 liter Water
- Remove the petals from all of the roses and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and simmer the petals for 2 hours.
- Strain out the petals and filter the liquid into a glass jar.
- Take a liter of liquid and put it in a pot. Bring to a boil and add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, continually whisking everything until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour into a container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.