Friday, June 21, 2013

Rose & Lemon Thyme Syrup for Summer Drinks

What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine. – Susan Sontag

No the colour has not been altered. This is a "soda and rose" au naturel.

Girls – get out your fancy drinks glasses. Summer officially starts today. Here’s a recipe that you’ll just HAVE to make for all those patio parties.

Today's victim, rosa rugosa. Watch out for bees.
I shouldn’t generalize about what’s feminine and masculine like that. I suppose boys too, but probably less likely.

I’m drinking it, but I’m not what many would consider normal. I’m not afraid of pink things. In fact I’m wearing a hot pink polo right now – gasp!

And pink this syrup is. But besides being pink, it is also very floral, a little bit herbal and good.

It’s a simple syrup made from probably the most common rose in Nova Scotia besides wild roses – rosa rugosa. Those are the old fashioned ones that grow around many older homes. Very dependable, very aromatic and a very strong bloomer.

A common ingredient
I've made a few things from the petals before. We have three rugosa on our property and so does my mother. Two of ours are white and one is the classic magenta. I’ve made a few liqueurs from various roses before and posted on this blog. Search “rose.” 

This time I thought I would show you how to make a rose-infused syrup. So if you don’t agree with alcohol consumption, or if you're unable (like preggers), you can enjoy this too. Use your imagination – use this anywhere that you would another syrup.

The best time to pick rose petals is a couple hours after sunrise once the petals dry off from any dew. This is also the time when the bees and other beasties are working as well. 

About 4 cups, plus some sprigs of lemon thyme.
Watch out when you pick the petals. Memories of putting mud on childhood bee stings (an old method to take away the pain) came flooding back. Don’t know if it helps, but we used to do it.

It should go without saying, but never uses roses that have been sprayed with pesticide. This includes store-bought bouquets. They are edible, but even if you wash them you’ll never be certain all the pesticide is gone.

It’s a good idea to wash ones you pick too, just to get off any surface dirt and clear out any lurking creepy crawlies.

Easy as one, two thee...
To make this amazing syrup all you do is 1) combine the ingredients, 2) simmer and 3) strain. There’s a reason it’s called simple syrup. I added some lemon thyme sprigs to give it a bit of herbal edge. Rose can be somewhat “cloying.” So remember that when mixing up a drink, too.

This syrup would work wonders in rose martinis, or on any other cocktail that needs a floral punch. I believe later on it will get a workout with vodka and club soda.

Try it in a rose gin and tonic. I would use tonic water but I have an allergic reaction to quinine. Not nice to have anxiety attacks.

To test drive the syrup I added it to plain soda and ice. After all, it’s only 11am as I write... My gosh, this is pink. Unbelievably pink.

Mix together, gently boil for 15 minutes, and strain out the solids.

Yield is 2 cups of sweet, pink "gold."
Rose & Lemon Thyme Syrup
Prep: 5 min  |  Cook: 15 min  |  Yield: 2 cups
4 cups lightly packed rose petals, about 10 roses
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, depending on thickness of syrup you want. 

Strain the syrup through a fine sieve, like a reusable metal coffee filter. Press the petals to release all the oils. Let cool and bottle.

Add to a martini or cocktail (shaken or stirred), or combine with soda and ice for a floral, herbal, refreshing summer drink.


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  1. The colour of that is quite fab. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the treat table. Cheers

    1. Thank YOU for the opportunity to post it! :-)