We just got a little bit smarter. In preparing this post, which features our parents’ delicious and oh, so refreshing, rose flavoured lemonade, we learned that roses are herbs! Did you know that roses are herbs? You did?! Really?! Then you
are were smarter than us!
For those of you who didn’t know…it’s true! Roses are herbs, just like rosemary, mint and oregano! This makes sense, when you consider that herbs are simply plants used for food, to enhance the flavour of food, for medicine, and for their aromatic properties. Herbs are either the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant. Enter the rose. Who would have thunk it? Although we have known that roses are edible for a long time, we never thought to wonder about their classification, until now. And so, dear friends, a rose by any other name…is basically, an herb.
Technically, all roses are edible, but that doesn’t mean that you should eat all roses. Just like anything that you might consume, you need to make sure that it has not been tampered with in a way which makes it unsafe. So, those long stemmed roses from the florist that you were given because you are so awesome…don’t eat those. They were likely treated with stuff that makes roses look beautiful, but that won’t make you feel so great. You can, however, ask your florist if they have edible roses. Otherwise, any roses that you grow in your own garden, which you have left untreated, will do. The general rule of thumb is that the more fragrant the rose, the more flavourful it will be. Our parents have the most beautiful and incredible smelling pink roses in their garden, and it is these which are picked in order to make this lemonade. Best rose picking happens in the morning, after the dew has dried off of the petals. If you will not use them right away, store them in a container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh this way for at least a week.
The rose flavour in this lemonade is actually quite mild, which makes it a great way to introduce this herb (did you know that roses are herbs!?) into your diet. If you would like a more pronounced rose flavour, simply increase the amount of rose petals that you use in your simple syrup.
Simple syrup is simply the combination of equal parts water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves. This is the best way to sweeten cold beverages which would otherwise not dissolve the sugar. It can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. The amount of simple syrup called for in this recipe makes a lemonade which is sweet, but not too sweet. You can, of course, adjust the amount of syrup that you add, so that it suits your taste.
Drinking lemonade with rose petals in it can be difficult, especially if you don’t want the petals ending up in your mouth as you sip. We don’t mind that too much (we just munch on the soft petals), but you can always serve the drink with straws. Petal problem solved. Alternatively, you can strain out the rose petals (party pooper).
The simple syrup which you will make for this lemonade is incredibly delicious. After it is prepared and has cooled, dip a spoon into it for a taste. This might inspire you to use this rose flavoured simple syrup in other ways! We like to drizzle a bit of it onto plain yogourt and sometimes we pour just a tiny bit into a glass of sparking water. If you make an extra batch of the syrup to experiment with, it will keep in the fridge for at least a week.
Mia Kouppa: Rose flavoured lemonade
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups packed rose petals
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 cups cold water
- Pick through flower petals and remove any which are wilted or have brown edges. Rinse them well.
- Prepare simple syrup by combining 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and the rose petals in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and heat until sugar dissolves, stirring gently. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool. Inhale the beautiful smell.
- Once the syrup has cooled, in a large pitcher combine 8 cups of cold water, freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup, with the rose petals. Stir well.
- Pour lemonade over ice and serve. Enjoy!