Add A Splash Of Rose Water To Brighten Your Favorite Iced Drinks

Roses are more than a garden plant and symbol of love and romance — they are also an edible ingredient that can be used in many applications. That being said, fresh petals have limited use and only last a few days. There is a better way to infuse rosy flavor into your recipes: rose water. With a unique flavor and beautiful aroma, this ingredient will take your iced beverages to a whole new level.

Rose water tastes similar to how a rose smells: floral and slightly sweet. It can impart the same flavor to many different iced beverages. It lends a note of complexity to a simple lemonade, a luxurious finish to an iced coffee, and a romantic twist to a Valentine's Day cocktail. Any drink that you've seen paired with lavender or other botanicals will pair well with rose water as well. Be careful as you pour, though; the flavor of rose water is quite strong, and using too much can leave you feeling like you're drinking perfume.

How to make rose water

Finding rose water for culinary use can be a bit of a challenge. Depending on your location, some supermarkets may carry it, in which case you will find a bottle in the international foods aisle. If your local grocer doesn't stock rose water, you can order it online from a specialty food vendor.

You can also make your own rose water in a few easy steps. First, you need to get food-grade roses. It is crucial that the roses you use have not been in contact with any pesticides or other treatments that make them unsafe to eat, so check with the vendor to be sure. Place the rose petals into a pot with distilled water and bring it to a simmer, then cover the pot and wait about half an hour. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool before straining the petals out of the liquid. The remaining liquid is your rose water, which you can store in the fridge for one month. Add it in small doses to iced teas — hibiscus tea and rose make a particularly delicious pairing, iced coffee that has lemony notes (many African blends do), or use it to liven up your favorite cocktail.