Rose Simple Syrup: An Easy Floral Drink Sweetener

Rose Simple Syrup
William Reavell/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
  • 13 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 16 servings
Ratings

A sweet, floral drink sweetener, rose simple syrup is incredibly easy to make at home. It's the perfect addition to a variety of cocktails, including the delicate Rose Martini, and a mixer you'll want to keep in stock. Possibly the best part of this project is that it leaves your home smelling like a bouquet of roses.

This homemade simple syrup is as easy as any other. You'll need just three ingredients and about 30 minutes to spare. It stores well for a few weeks, so you'll have plenty of time to experiment with it in your favorite drink recipes.

The key ingredient here is rose water. It can be found at specialty markets, natural food stores, and some international markets. Just make sure it's approved for consumption as some are made for cosmetic uses. If you really enjoy homemade ingredients, grab some rose petals and make your own rose water

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rose water

How to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in the rose water, reduce the heat, and cover the pan.
  4. Allow the syrup to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool while still covered. 
  6. Pour into a glass bottle with a good seal.

Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks and use as needed. If you ever find that a syrup thickens too much when it's cold, let it reach room temperature and it should be a perfect consistency.

In a pinch, run the bottle under hot water to quickly warm it up.

How Many Drinks Can You Make?

The recipe makes about 1 cup of rose simple syrup. Since you'll use at most 1/2 ounce at a time, you should be able to make a minimum of 16 drinks from one batch. Of course, you can make more if you like, simply increase the measurements and keep everything in proportion.

Use a Different Sugar

Demerara is a raw sugar that gives this syrup a nice, rich background. It's quite lovely against the floral flavor. As an alternative, you can use regular white cane sugar or your favorite sugar substitute. 

Some alternative sweeteners have an underlying bitterness to them. If you don't enjoy that, try counteracting it with a tablespoon of honey or agave nectar. Stir it in and let it dissolve while the syrup is simmering. This should bring the flavor back into balance without ruining the low-sugar aspect of it.

Rose Syrup Drink Ideas

The uses of this syrup are endless. Use it in place of plain simple syrup for delicate cocktails like the Lemon Drop Martini or to give favorites like the Vodka Collins a floral touch. It also pairs well with soft fruits like you find in the Lotus Blossom Martini and Cucumber Melon-tini.

In her book, "Preggatinis," Natalie Bovis has a mocktail called the Garden Rose that is fantastically refreshing. It pairs this syrup with cucumber, non-alcoholic Chardonnay, and club soda

On the super simple side of things, make your own rose soda by using 1/2 to 3/4 ounce of rose syrup topped with seltzer. Try adding a little white cranberry juice or pear or pear nectar for another dimension of flavor. 

Have a dry white wine that needs a little help? Stir in a little rose syrup to sweeten it up. It's a great trick for dressing up both still and sparkling wines that you're not too fond of.

This is also a great sweetener for a variety of teas.

Try a Wild Rose Hip Syrup

Flower petals are not the only thing the rose plant has to offer our drinks. A fun alternative to this syrup is to harvest wild rose hips in late summer and early fall and use them to make a syrup. 

The rose hip syrup will not be floral like this one. Instead, it has a tangy, almost sour, flavor that's quite fun to play with in drinks. Some people swear that the flavor gets better after the first frost, but your time is then limited on harvesting the hips. Also, be sure the roses you pick from are pesticide-free.