Monday, August 29, 2011

Rose Water

Today I tried a nifty trick I saw on Alton Brown's masterpiece show, Good Eats: making rose water at home.

The idea of eating my provincial flower excites me.  Unfortunately, our true wild roses have already lost their petals and developed hips.  There are, however, several late-blooming domestic varieties still flowering.

Wherever you get your roses from, make sure that they haven't been treated with any chemicals.

Rose Water
adapted from Good Eats

  • 1 L rose petals, chemical free
  • 2 L water
The set-up is simple.  Start with a very large pot.  I used my canning pot.  Put a clean brick or heavy ceramic dish in the middle of the bottom.  Scatter the rose petals around the brick.  Add the water.  There should be enough that the flowers are more or less submerged.  Next put a stainless steel bowl that is slightly narrower than the canning pot onto the brick.  (The brick simply keeps the bowl above the boiling water and prevents it from floating around.)

Now invert the lid of the canning pot and cover the pot.  Put about 2 L of ice in the hollow of the lid.

Place the pot on medium heat and simmer for an hour.  The aroma and flavour of the rose petals is captured in the steam.  The steam rises to the top of the can, where it meets the cold lid and condenses back into water.  Because of the roughly conical shape of the inverted lid, the condensate rolls to the centre, where it drops into the expectant stainless steel bowl.

A diagram:

After an hour I had about two cups of rose water.  Be careful not to spill any of the melted ice into the stainless steel bowl when removing the inverted lid.

At this point I have no specific plans for the rose water, though I suspect it will make its way into some whipped cream shortly.


  1. Cool. That device could be used for higher octane preparations as well, I understand. ;)

  2. Hm. That's true. It would be hard to remove the heads and tails, though, I imagine.

  3. How interesting! I didn't actually know what rose water was. I figured you would steep the rose petals to achieve rose water.

  4. I would have thought that, too. But when you boil rose petals in water, the water turns into brown/green sludge. I don't know why.

    Hence this fancy boiler/condenser.