Rose Water Recipe

Roses aren’t just beautiful to look at, they can also be used to make delightful, delicious Rose Water.

From "Wild Drinks and Cocktails"
May 2016

  • This method can be used with other fresh flowers or herbs, such as orange blossoms or lavender. Use rose water to add a delicate floral bouquet to lemonade, cocktails, sodas and shrubs.
    Photo by Emily Han
  • For this recipe you will a need saucepan capable of holding at least 12 ounces.
    Photo by Emily Han
  • If you don't have a ramekin or heat-safe ceramic bowl you may also use a glass measuring cup.
    Photo by Emily Han
  • A glass lid is ideal so you can see what is going on during the heat process.
    Photo by Emily Han
  • Using ingredients you can find in your backyard, on your farm or at a local market, you can create artisanal drinks that leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. Learn a variety of useful techniques to do so in “Wild Drinks and Cocktails" by Emily Han.
    Cover courtesy Fair Winds Press

Craft drink expert Emily Han creates unique flavors in Wild Drinks and Cocktails (Fair Winds Press, 2015).  Han teaches you techniques you need to know to craft your own infused waters, syrups, vinegar drinks, spirits, wines and sodas — each with powerful health benefits and a sentimental nod to drinks of another era.  This excerpt introduces you the light and refreshing drink, rose water.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Wild Drinks and Cocktails.

A staple of middle eastern cuisine, rose water is also the secret ingredient in my sister-in-law Dana’s lemonade. Making your own is easy, and the rose water will last for ages in the fridge. Use the most fragrant roses you can find (any species), and, as always, make sure they’re pesticide-free. (If you use store-bought roses, make sure they’re intended for culinary use.)

Rose Water Recipe

For this recipe, use a lidded saucepan with about a 12-quart capacity and a convex lid (a glass lid is ideal — that way, you’ll be able to see what’s going on inside the pot). You’ll also need two small and sturdy heat-safe bowls, such as ramekins or ceramic or glass cereal bowls: if you have one, a heat-safe glass measuring cup works well for the second bowl.


• 6 cups fresh rose petals
• About 6 cups water
• Large resealable plastic bag filled with ice cubes, plus more ice cubes as needed


1. Gently shake the flowers to remove any dirt or insects.

2. Place a small and sturdy heat-safe bowl upside down in the center of a very large saucepan.

3. Arrange the rose petals around the sides of the bowl.

4. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the rose petals; the water level should remain below the top of the bowl.

5. Balance another bowl (right side up) on top of the first bowl; this is what will catch your rose water.

6. Cover the pot with the lid flipped upside down.

7. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, put the bag of ice on the inverted lid.

8. Adjust the heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.

9. When the ice cubes melt, pour out the water and add new ice cubes to the bag.

10. As the steam rises inside the pot, it will condense on the underside of the cold lid and drip into the open bowl.

11. Peek inside the pot occasionally; when you have about 1 cup of rose water in the bowl (approximately 11/2 hours), turn off the heat. Let cool.

12. Uncover the pot and carefully lift out the bowl of rose water.

13. Using a funnel, transfer the rose water to a sterilized bottle. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Read more from Wild Drinks and Cocktails:

Honeysuckle Syrup Recipe
Peppermint Fennel Tea Recipe
Rose Water Recipe
Basic Water Kefir Recipe
Claret Cup Recipe
Fire Cider Recipe
Wildcrafting for Gratifying Drinks and Cocktails

Reprinted with permission from Wild Drinks and Cocktails, by Emily Han and published by Fair Winds Press, 2015. Buy this book from our store: Wild Drinks and Cocktails.

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