These days, roses are best known as an ornamental garden plant, or as a gift between lovers. But in years past, roses were much more than a young man’s means of wooing a pretty lady. Roses were once used for medicine, decoration, beauty products, and even food.
One easy way to make use of your roses is to make rose water, using a simple distillation method. You won’t need any special equipment to do this, and chances are you have everything you need already.
Homemade Rose Water
Handful of rose petals
3 Quarts filtered water or rain water
Ice or frozen cold packs*
Large Pot with rounded lid
Large Rock with a flat top or a large, heavy glass bowl*
Small glass bowl
1. Thoroughly wash the rock and place it into the pot.
2. Scatter the rose petals around the rock.3. Pour the water into the pot.
4. Place the small glass bowl onto the rock. Place the lid onto the pot upside down.
5. Heat on high until the water boils; reduce heat to a simmer.
6. Place the cold packs or ice into the inverted lid. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, replacing the cold packs with ones fresh from the freezer if necessary.
7. After the simmering time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pot to sit and cool.
8. Once the lid is cool to the touch, remove it. The bowl you placed on the rock should have 1 to 2 cups of liquid inside. This is your rosewater! Pour the rosewater into a bottle or jar, and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
*Rose water notes
Ice or Cold Packs: I prefer to use cold packs, since the melting ice can be a bit messy.
Large Rock or Glass Bowl: I decided that I liked the rock better. When I tried to use a bowl, it would always start to float when I added the water. So, unless you’ve got a very heavy bowl, the rock will stay put better.