Rosewater is a lovely and easy way to make use of your rosebush after you’re finished admiring your blooms. Aside from the pure joy of using rosewater in recipes for eating, drinking and beauty care; rosewater also has medicinal qualities. Used as an herb, roses have a cooling effect on the body and can be used to reduce fevers and inflammation.
There are a few methods for making rosewater—some more complicated than others. The easiest way I know, is essentially making a tea from the petals. It’s a simple and fast way to process your crop without a lot of fuss.
Here is how to do it
First, gather your petals. Go for the petals that are just about to fall off the flower. These are the easiest to collect. Plus, you’ll still get to enjoy looking at your rosebush longer this way.
Once you’ve filled a quart-sized mason jar with rose petals from your bush, place them in a strainer and shake them out over your kitchen sink. Inspect your petals for dirt and bugs. If they are clean skip to the next step. Otherwise, you’ll want to rinse the petals thoroughly then transfer the drained petals to a cookie sheet and pat dry.
Place the petals back into your mason jar. Pour boiling water over your petals and cover. Let the tea cool on your counter. Once the tea is room temperature, place the jar in the refrigerator overnight.
After steeping overnight, strain the mixture and discard your petals.
Next, I fill ice cube trays with my rosewater to save for later. I pop them in my drinking water or tea, add them to smoothies or wrap with gauze and use as a cold compress for inflamed skin. You can also drink this as a medicinal tea with or without honey as a fever reducer or overall anti-inflammatory tonic as stated above. It will keep for several months in the freezer and about 10 days in the refrigerator.
If you are looking for a more aromatic rosewater for cooking or beauty products, I would suggest looking into the distillation method. It’s important to note that your rosewater will be different depending on the type and color of your rose.
And remember: always use organic roses!