Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to Make Rosewater

While most of the U.S. is digging out from excessive snowfall, South Florida lawns are green, flowers are blooming, and we’re walking around in shorts. This is why our region is so popular this time of year. Come on down, y’all!
Homemade Rosewater
Florida gardeners are encouraged to start planting rose bushes early in February. Planting in full sun and fertilizing later in the month or in early March will yield a burst of growth in the spring.

My neighbor’s roses seem to bloom year-round, and they’re absolutely lovely. While admiring the blossoms, I think about rose-related recipes.

One important point you must know: When using fresh rose petals in a recipe, NEVER use those which have been sprayed with pesticide. My neighbor sprays her shrubs, otherwise, I would beg her for a bunch of petals.

With rose recipes still on my mind, I bought a bag of dried rose buds (that's all they had) from the Middle Eastern store with the intention of making soup and rosewater. I haven’t found a rose petal soup recipe I like yet, but I do have a recipe for making rosewater.

Whether you use fresh (organic) or dried rose petals, here is a recipe to keep on hand.

How to Make Rosewater:

• Place clean, pesticide-free, fresh rose petals (or dried petals) in a pot.

• Pour enough boiling water to cover the petals. Cover pot with a lid. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

• Place the cooled mixture in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid; refrigerate overnight to allow the flavor to develop.

• Next day, strain and discard petals.

• To store, pour rosewater into a jar with a lid; refrigerate. Leftover rosewater can be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. Once frozen, transfer cubes into a plastic bag.

• When rose water is required for a recipe, simply defrost as many cubes as you’ll need.

Don't know what to do with Rosewater? Here are some ideas:
Add to: beverages, yogurt, pudding, cake batter, French toast batter
Make: locum, jelly, preserves


  1. Can you apply the same method to orange blossom water? I used to make a recipe with orange blossom water that was out of this world (white raisins and pignolia nuts in orange blossom water). Can't find the recipe any more. Do you know it? And a big thank you for your post.

  2. A similar method is used for orange blossom water. First, slightly crush the washed blossoms to release some of the oils.Then put the blossoms in a jar, pour water over them. Cover the jar and set it in full sun for several weeks, or until the flavor has developed. It's then stored in the refrigerator.
    As for your recipe, I don't know it but it sounds interesting. Can you supply more details? Perhaps I can conduct a search with a bit more info.

  3. Does it matter what type of Rose you use? Do you know if a particular type yields a better result?
    Thank You

  4. Dear Anon, I haven't found any specific mention as to what type of rose to use, just make sure the flowers have not been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. Here is a link that might be helpful: Good luck!

  5. I recently tried to make rosewater but rather than creating a fragrant water, it smelled like cooked artichokes. Were my petals perhaps not fresh enough?

    1. That's an interesting description! Did the roses you used have a heavy perfume to begin with? Also, how long after you plucked the petals, did you use them?
      To avoid hit-or-miss results, I only make rose water with dried rose buds, and it comes out great every time.

  6. I would describe this recipe as rose tea. It wasn't very similar at all to the rose water you can buy at the store, which I imagine is distilled with science magic. I was disappointed.

  7. In your listing it mentioned using rosebuds, however, your recipes dont. Do u use the same eay, or ?

  8. My grandma's specialty was rose petal preserves. She would layer a bushel basket worth of very fragrant rose petals with sugar, allow it to sit for several days (covered), then simmer the entire batch (no water, as I recall) until the consistency of a soft jam, and then place it into bottles. This was heavenly, with white Armenian cheese that she also made and lavash.

    1. What a delicious memory! I hope your grandmother's recipes are preserved for future generations; it sounds as though she was an amazing cook.