How to Make Rose Water

Rose water (also spelled Rosewater) can be used in cooking as well as a rich beauty aid. Try some as a facial toner or astringent, in your bath water or as a facial splash (refresher).

Fresh Petals & WaterFresh Petals & WaterNotes on Preparation:

  • Petals must be freshly picked and have no pesticides or chemicals used on them.
  • Pick the flowers just after the morning dew has evaporated, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.
  • Use only the petals, not the stems or leaves.
  • Wash quickly to remove any bugs or specks of dirt and immediately process with one of the methods below.
  • If you don't grow your own, ask at the local florist or Farmers Market for organic ones.

Distilled:
(Rose Hydrosol)

Items Needed:

Fresh rose petals (3 to 4 quarts)
Ice cubes
Distilled Water
Enamel canning or stock pot with lid
Deep, heavy heat proof bowl

Directions:

  • Fill the bottom of the pot with the petals and pour 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 water. If you have a canning rack, you can set the bowl on top of that so the bowl doesn't sit directly over the heat. A pyrex loaf dish underneath the bowl would do the trick too. Set these in place first before adding the petals and water.
  • Cover the pot with its lid, but position the lid upside down so that you have a dipped "container" to hold the ice on top (to be added later). Now turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, fill the top of the inverted pot lid with ice cubes. Turn the heat down and keep at a bare simmer for about two hours.
  • Top up the ice as needed and quickly peek occasionally to see that the petals don't boil dry.

This process will enable condensation to form on the top inside of the pot lid. The condensation will drip down into the bowl inside the pot, the liquid inside the bowl is your rose water.

Old Fashioned Recipe:

Items Needed:

Rose Petals
Distilled Water
Enamel Pot (any size)

Directions:

  • Fill the bottom of an enamel pot with the petals a few inches deep. Pour distilled water over them until they are just covered.
  • Turn on heat for the water to be steaming hot, but do not boil. Let the water steam until the petals have lost their color, the water has taken on the color of the petals and you see rose oil skimming the surface. This will take approximately 60 minutes.
  • Strain the water and squeeze out the liquid from the petals, this is your rosewater.

Quick & Easy:

  • For every 1 firmly packed cup of petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate the rose water in a sterilized jar.

Oven Method:

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Line an enamelware roaster a few inches deep with petals. Fill with distilled water until the petals 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 the water is cool (several hours). Once cool, strain the water and squeeze all the petals to remove the liquid. Store the rose water in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • After preparing your recipe of choice, refrigerate in a sealed, sterilized jar.
  • You can use for cooking or baking, but make sure to use fresh batches. Although the water is refrigerated, my notes have vast discrepancies in shelf life. Some state several days, some say a year.

Use As A Beauty Aid Additive:

  • Add 1 part rubbing alcohol or vodka or witch hazel to 10 parts rose water to use as a facial astringent or toner.