Have you gotten something for your mom for Mother’s Day yet? Don’t freak out, but it’s this weekend. If you don’t have a gift yet, here’s something you can make relatively quickly that’s unique, super feminine and delightful to use.
Rosewater can be used on skin as a natural, gentle toner and boasts lots of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage and also has antibacterial properties to cleanse and smooth skin. It’s also a wonderful addition to recipes – before vanilla became popular and widely available in the 1800s, rosewater was commonly used in baked goods, but you could also add it to homemade ice cream, lemonade, tossed with fresh fruit and a bit of sugar, or even mixed in with melted chocolate and fresh whipped cream.
There are a couple of different ways to make rose water. A slower process that produces the best results, or a quicker process that produces pretty good results. Depending on how much time you have and how much you love your mom will determine which process you choose (kidding on the last part!).
To start, you will need:
Fresh, fragrant roses – organic if possible, otherwise just rinse off the petals first to remove any nasty chemicals
Water – distilled if possible, for best tasting results.
Stock pot + lid
Brick – process #1 only
Small bowl – process #1 only
Strainer – process #2 only
Process Option #1 (takes more time, produces best results)
This process involves collecting the steam that rises from the rose petals – that is the truest, purest form of rosewater and is the most delightful. In order to do this, you will:
Put a brick in the bottom of a pot and pack in rose petals all around the brick in the bottom of the pot.
Pour in water, just enough to cover the petals. Next, place a small bowl on the brick (this allows the bowl to not float around or tip over during the process).
Next, invert your lid so the curved part is on top – this allows the condensation that forms to drip off the handle in to the bowl. Turn the stove on high and let the water come to a boil. To speed up the process, add some ice cubes on top of the lid (because the lid is inverted so the curvy part is on top). Check every once in a while to make sure there is still water in the rose petals and add a bit if it gets too dry.
After about 30 minutes, your kitchen will smell so amazing you’ll do a happy dance. Turn off the stove at this point (you should have a good bit of rosewater collected in the small bowl on top of the brick) and let it cool completely. Keep the lid on for this part so any remaining condensation can drip in to the bowl.
Process Option #2 (takes less time, produces pretty good results)
For the sake of getting the blog post up, this is what I did here. Results were less potent, but still nice. Here’s how to do it:
Place rose petals in the bottom of a pot and cover with water (just enough to barely cover the petals). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes (the petals will lose their color). Remove fro heat and allow to cool a bit before straining, squeezing rose petals to get as much of their rosy goodness out of them.
For both processes, place rose water in a glass jar for storage (the one shown at the top of this post is a recycled tonic water bottle with a quickie gold leafed lid) and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. To use as a toner, keep in a smaller jar in your bathroom. It will only be good for a few days at room temperature, so keeping small amounts at your bathroom sink and replenishing from the bigger batch in the fridge works well.