Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and colorful roses are springing up everywhere from office lobbies and restaurant tables to grocery store shelves. But the holiday’s signature blossom offers more than meets the eye. The beautiful rose is also celebrated for its enticing aroma, delicate taste and purported healing properties.
So, don’t just admire your next bouquet of roses. Transform it into rose water and reap the benefits long after Cupid takes his leave. Before we get started with the recipe, here are a few ways to incorporate rose water into your daily routine.
Uses for rose water
Wondering what to do with rose water? Here are some simple suggestions:
Use it as perfume. Dab a few drops of rose water on your décolletage and wrists for a light, floral fragrance.
Incorporate it into your skin care regimen. Many maintain that rose water can help balance skin’s PH levels, control acne, tighten pores and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Sold? Try this all-natural DIY rose water facial toner.
Add it to your bath. Pour a few drops of fragrant rose water into the tub for instant aromatherapy.
Spritz it on your sheets. Store some rose water in a spray bottle and use it to freshen your linens.
Add it to shampoo. Mix in a bit of rose water into fragrance-free shampoo for a fresh and subtle floral scent.
Use it to keep your cool. Store a small spray bottle of rose water in the refrigerator and toss it into your purse or bag on warm days for a refreshing cooling mist.
Flavor your yogurt. Mix a teaspoon of rose water into a container of plain regular or Greek yogurt and enjoy the delicate flavor. And while we’re on the topic of food, try using it to make these delicious Valentine cookies with rose-water frosting & sparkling sugar.
Enhance lemonade. A splash of rose water will transform a pitcher of ordinary lemonade into a sophisticated, gourmet beverage.
Add it to honey. Rose-infused honey is the perfect addition to tea and baked goods.
Picking your petals
There are more than 100 different varieties of roses, so how do you know which kind to choose? Just be sure to select high quality fresh or dried petals with a strong fragrance and consistent color (beware of browning at the edges). Look for organic blooms that are picked at their peak and not treated with pesticides.
If you are fortunate enough to harvest the roses yourself, do so first thing in the morning when they are at their most fragrant.
Basic rose water recipe
There are two methods for making rose water: the simmering (basic) method and the distillation (hydrosol) method. For the sake of time and convenience, we’re going to detail the basic method. With just a few easy steps, everything will be coming up roses!
Here’s what to do:
- Remove rose petals from stems
- Run petals under lukewarm water to rid them of residue
- Add 1-1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup dried petals or, if you’re using fresh flowers, 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh petals to saucepan
- Cover pan and bring water to boil
- Lower temperature to simmer
- Simmer five to 10 minutes, until petals lose most of their color
- Leave lid on pan and allow to cool
- Use nut bag or cheesecloth to strain petals
- Use funnel to pour rose water into clean, dark spray bottle
- Store on counter for one week or in the refrigerator for several weeks