If you have roses, making rose water is great way to enjoy the wonderful fragrance of roses and capture the essence for use in perfumes, cooking and cosmetics. As a food flavoring, it’s famous for its use in the candy known as Turkish delight. Rose water is also yummy in sauces, on chicken and as a seasoning for sherbet and cakes.
During the ancient times in Greece and Egypt, perfumes were made by oil extraction. To make rose oil, they would gather fragrant rose petals (damask roses were preferred). They would crush them with a mortar and pestle, They were then added to sesame oil in a covered pot, stirred and kep warm. The mixture was stirred occassionally, and after a month,was heated to about the temperature of a warm bath. Then it was strained through a fine sieve and put into airtight containers. The oil was used as a perfume or for potppourri.
Today, rose oil is made through complex chemical processes. It takes an acre of roses to produce one pound of pure oil! But you can use one of the following recipes to make your own rose water. To obtain the best results, use only fragrant rose petals that you have gathered in the early morning. And, don’t use roses that have any pesticides applied to them!
- Place about one pound of rose petals into a cramic jug and pour 1 to 2 cups of boiling water over them.
- Cover the jug and allow to cool.
- Once cool, strain and press out all the liquid from the rose petals.
- Place the rose water in a jar you have labelled. Use as needed.
- Fill a large kettle about half full with water and add one pound of fragrant rose petals.
- Attach a 4 foot long piece of rubber tubing to the spout of the kettle. Place the other end of the tubing in a large jar on the floor.
- Place the middle section of the tubing in a bowl of ice water on a stool or chair. This condenses the steam passing through the tubing.
- Maintain the kettle at a gentle simmer until most of the water evaporates and the petals almost dry. Turn off the stove and carefully drain the condensed steam from the tube.
- Label a jar and place the rose water in it. Use as needed.
If you don’t have a pound of rose petals, you can still make the water. Just adjust the liquid accordingly.