Flipping through the December issue of Country Style magazine, I came across a fabulous recipe for a refreshing, non-alcoholic (okay, it can be converted into alcoholic) summer drink based on fruit and rose petals. If you are looking for a fun activity to do over the weekend or for the festive season, take a look at this recipe below. Roses are in full bloom right now so it is the perfect time to harvest some petals and bottle some fizz! There are all sorts of flavour variations you can play around with; raspberry & rose petals, rhubarb & rose petals, or just rose petals on their own.
18 cups cold filtered water
16 cups scented pink or red rose petals*
2 rose geranium leaves (optional)**
2 lemons, halved
3 cups caster sugar
6 ripe white peaches
2 tablespoons white vinegar
ice cubes, to serve
Place four cups of cold filtered water in a large saucepan. Add 12 cups of rose petals and 1 rose geranium leaf. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until water turns a beautiful rosy colour and petals look grey and colourless. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve set over a large heatproof bowl, pressing petals with a wooden spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.
Transfer cooking liquid to a clean saucepan. Juice 1 lemon half. Add lemon juice and sugar to cooking liquid. Place over a low heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
Pour cooking liquid into a large food safe bucket or stockpot. Add remaining cold filtered water, rose petals and rose geranium leaf. Cut peaches into wedges, reserving stones. Crack peach stones and remove kernals. Add peach wedges and kernals to rose petal mixture.
"FOR NOTHING MORE THAN A PATH OF DIRT, WATER AND CARE, YOU GET PEACHES AND MEMORIES", Country Style Magazine, December 2014 issue.
Roughly chop remaining lemon halves. Add to rose petal mixture with vinegar. Gently stir to combine. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a cool, dark place for 2 days to develop flavours.
Now it’s time to bottle. As fizz develops in bottles, pressure will build so it’s safer to use a plastic PET bottle with a little give in it. Strain rose petal mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug (don’t press down onto rose petal mixture when straining or fizz will be cloudy). Using a funnel, pour into four sterilised 1L glass bottles (don’t fill bottles to top).
Place in a cool, dark place for 5-7 days or until fine bubbles form. Store in fridge and use within one week. Refrigerating bottles will hep retard fizz growth – the warmer the fizz becomes, the more volatile it is). Place a few ice cubes in each serving glass and pour over fizz.
Note: To create this delicious drink, peaches and rose petals are left to infuse with sugar, lemon and water for a few days, then bottled to create a beautiful fizz with fine bubbles. The colour is amazing – quite pink. You can also make this fizz with rhubarb and rose petals, as well as just with rose petals. It is lovely straight over ice or mixed half and half with champagne or dry prosecco for something a bit more festive.
This drink is adapted from a recipe in A Year in a Bottle by Sally Wise (ABC Book, $24.99), plus check out the blog Tamsin’s Table – she is the lady behind this adapted fizz recipe!
*You will need about 30 roses for this recipe. Ensure roses have not been treated with sprays.
**An evergreen perennial, the rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) has rose-scented leaves and is available at garden centres. Ensure rose geranium have not been treated with sprays.
The above article is from Country Style magazine December 2014 issue. You can subscribe to Country Style here.
Photo credits: Check out our board on Pinterest for photo sources used in this post.
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