Rose water can be used in cooking as well as a rich beauty aid. Try some as a facial toner or astringent, in the bath or as a facial splash (refresher).
Notes on Preparation:
- Flowers must be freshly picked and have no pesticides or chemicals on them.
- Pick them just after the morning dew has evaporated, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.
- Do not use the stems or leaves.
- Wash quickly to remove any bugs or specks of dirt and immediately process with one of the methods below.
- If not growing your own, ask at the local florist or Farmers Market for organic ones.
Fresh petals (3 to 4 quarts)
Enamel canning or stock pot with lid
Deep, heavy heat proof bowl
- Fill the bottom of the cooking vessel with the petals and pour distilled water over them until they are just covered. Place the bowl in the middle of the pot. The rim should be at least a couple inches higher than the liquid. If you have a canning rack, set the bowl on top of that so it doesn’t sit directly over the heat. A pyrex loaf dish underneath would do the trick too. Set these in place first before adding the ingredients.
- Cover with lid, but position it upside down so that there’s a dipped “container” to hold the ice on top (to be added later). Now turn on the heat and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling, fill the top of the inverted pot lid with ice cubes. Turn the temperature down and keep at a bare simmer for about two hours.
- Top up the ice as needed and quickly peek occasionally to see that things don’t boil dry.
This process will enable condensation to form on the top inside of the lid. The condensation will drip down into the bowl inside the pot, the liquid inside the dish is the rosewater.
Old Fashioned Version:
Enamel Pot (any size)
- Fill the bottom of the cookware with the petals a few inches deep. Pour distilled water over them until they are just covered.
- Turn on heat for the mixture to be steaming hot, but do not boil. Let steam until the floral pieces have lost their color and the liquid has taken on their color and oil is seen skimming the surface. This will take approximately 60 minutes.
- Strain and squeeze out moisture from the petals, this is rosewater.
Quick & Easy:
- For every 1 firmly packed cup of petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the mixture is cool. Strain, squeeze out the floral pieces, and refrigerate the liquid in a sterilized jar.
- Preheat oven to 450°. Line an enamelware roaster a few inches deep with petals. Fill with distilled water until the flowers are just covered. Place the roaster uncovered into the oven and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it starts boiling, turn off the heat and cover the roaster. Leave in the oven until cool (several hours). Once cool, strain and squeeze out all the floral pieces. Store the liquid in the refrigerator.
- After preparing the recipe of choice, refrigerate in a sealed, sterilized glass jar.
- This is suitable for cooking and baking, but only use fresh batches. Although it’s kept refrigerated, my notes have vast discrepancies in shelf life. Some state several days, some say a year.
Beauty Aid Additive:
- Add 1 part rubbing alcohol or vodka or witch hazel to 10 parts rosewater (facial astringent or toner).
This can be used in a variety of ways around the house. Some ideas:
- When washing bedding and linens, add some to the rinse cycle. The bedding will have a light scent and helps those with sleep problems.
- When ironing, spritz a bit on the items being pressed. Will add a nice scent to the garment.
- Beauty aid: Try it as a skin freshener on hot summer days, a hair rinse, splash in the bath or dab around temples for headache relief.
- Insect repellent, try it as a mosquito repellent  as well as a mosquito bite itch helper . Can deter flies and other insects too.
- Fill the glass jar with lavender and cover completely with vodka. Seal closed.
- Place it in a sunny location for about 18 days, rotate and shake it each day–morning and night.
- After 18 days, strain out the buds and seal the liquid in a clean glass jar.
- Use as needed.
3 TBS vodka
15 drops Lavender essential oil
- Mix together then add 2 cups distilled water. Seal in a jar or bottle, keep in a dark place for 2 weeks before using.