Everybody loves roses right? Well, what better way to add more roses to your life than to add them to your food! Lemonade might go hand-in-hand with summer and picnics. Who says you can't enjoy a glass of this tasty beverage in February, right? Just think of rosewater lemonade as the "lemonade of love".
My first brush with rosewater as a food ingredient was about 3 years ago. At the University where I work we host Fullbright students every year. That particular year, our Fulbright was from Tunisia. He brought gifts of pastries from one of his hometown bakeries. It was pistachio cookies and baklava infused with rosewater. I must say, I was completely blown away by the delicate and fragrant taste. I wanted more. Perhaps the entire box, but was afraid to appear like a glutton.
Roses have been around for centuries.
Egyptian tombs have had wreaths. Cleopatra loved roses. She filled the floors of entire rooms with rose petals. This opulence was used to seduce Marc Anthony and she succeeded! Her barge sails were sprayed with rosewater. This way, she could announce her arrival.
What is rosewater?
Rosewater is the product of distilling rose petals, a byproduct of the perfume industry. Although its use has been around for centuries, the process was perfected by the Persian physician Avicenna (Ibn Sina) during the Middle Ages. Rose syrup, another ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking can be achieved by adding sugar to rosewater, but that is the subject of another post!
Uses for rosewater other than lemonade
Rosewater Lemonade is not only refreshing, it has an interesting flavor. It's tart, sweet and floral all at the same time. In one word: Delightful. It really is a nice change from the everyday lemonade we know and love.
Rosewater is used in Persian, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Sweet or savory, it works! Kheer-an Indian rice pudding wouldn't be the same without rosewater. Rosewater is added to tea, ice cream and cookies. I will have to try out the ice cream with my new ice cream maker.
Rosewater is also popular in mixed drinks. In savory foods it provides a subtle floral quality as well as depth of flavor. So what savory dishes can you use rosewater in? Well, for starters: stews, cous cous, and pilafs come to mind. A rosewater vinaigrette would be lovely wouldn't it?
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You will love this rosewater lemonade drink recipe. So fragrant and refreshing just sipping a glass on the rocks. Rosewater is used in Persian, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine; it is employed in sweet and savory dishes alike. Kheer-an Indian rice pudding wouldn’t be the same without rosewater. Rosewater is also added to tea, ice cream and cookies.
- 1 cup lemon fresh squeezed juice
- 5 cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp rosewater
- In a medium saucepan heat 1 cup of water, lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and chill for one hour.
- Place in pitcher and add the remaining 4 cups of water, and the rosewater. Stir well.
- Serve on ice with lemon wedges.
- If desired add 2-3 drops of red food coloring.
What an interesting recipe. I love all different flavors of lemonade and must try this one day. Thanks for linking up at the Bloggers Brags party, I pinned your post to our group board.
you're welcome Aliza!!! This is one of my favorites.
Just came across this! I'm wondering if you were to use this in a cocktail, what would you do?
(or if you have come across any other simple rosewater cocktails to recommend!)
Well Petra... vodka comes to mind. Because it's flavorless it won't interfere with the distinctive taste of the rosewater.
LOL. You almost consumed the entire box of pistachio cookies. That’s the power of a unique aroma.
Indeed it is. Some flavors are just so enticing, and rosewater is one of them.
Any recipe to make the actual rosewater?
Rosewater is actually distilled and to use it in food I would be very careful about any sprays that someone has used on the roses. Here is a recipe to make rosewater but for a food grade product I would buy at the store. https://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/how-to-make-homemade-rosewater.html
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
I made this for my Supper Club last night, and it was a big hit! I've had it bookmarked for a while now. I loved the addition of rosewater, though I think next time I'd use a little bit less. We had it both as you've written it, and with a splash of gin. Thanks for the fun, delicious recipe, Analida!
Thanks Ashley for the comment and I will now have to try this with a some gin!
Hello. You have a wonderful site. I’m enjoying it very much!
I have a question about boiling the lemon juice with the water and sugar. Would it hurt the recipe to add the lemon juice last, so as not to cook it? Is there any concerns about food chemistry?
And another one while I’m here... 🙂
Do you know any Lithuanian recipes?
Thanks again for such a great site!
Hi Barbara, You do not boil the lemon juice, just heat it and only until the sugar dissolves. As soon as it dissolves chill it.
If you want to try a Lithuanian recipe try this one: https://ethnicspoon.com/authentic-lithuanian-cookies/