If you’re the contemplative sort, you might take a moment to stop and smell the roses. But sadly, too few of us will pause to eat them. It’s a shame, because your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety rose has a delicate, fragrant flavour that’s easy to utilise.
While edible flowers have become an increasingly popular addition to contemporary dishes in the last few years, we’ve been using blossoms like the rose for thousands of years. Anyone familiar with Indian, Lebanese, Tunisian, Greek or Turkish cuisine will have seen a rose on their plate at some point.
That said, rose cocktails are few and far between – so when you serve this beautiful, crimson-coloured Hendrick’s Rose, you’re really going to impress.
First, collect the heads of about two cups worth of roses (but make sure they haven’t been sprayed with any pesticides). If you can’t find any fresh roses, you should be able to buy dried roses from a Middle Eastern grocer. Wash the petals and put them aside.
Combine a cup of sugar and with an equal amount water in a saucepan and simmer until it dissolves. Throw in your rose petals and keep it over a low heat for another five minutes. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, then take your pan off the heat and let it sit for half an hour. Strain off the petals and pour the liquid into a jar, then chill your rose syrup in the fridge.
To serve, simply combine a splash of your rose syrup and Hendrick’s Gin over ice, then top off with some Schweppes Soda Water. Garnish with leftover petals, and you’ve got yourself a pretty, tasty drink.
Schweppes Soda Water