I have to admit, I really enjoy rosewater. I like cooking with it, primarily…although Johnathan does make a mean rose lemonade with it. And back when I had a bathtub, I would occasionally add a few drops of rose oil to my bathwater. It’s so decadently sensual.
Rosewater washes are especially appropriate for Beltane as they tap into that sensuality and love. So Roderick actually asks us to make some rose water.
1 pint spring water
1 ounce fresh rose petals
A few drops of rose essential oil
Place the water and the herbs together in a pan and bring them to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the decoction to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes. Pour the scented water into a closeable bottle, straining out the rose petals. For added rose scent, you can add a drop or two of rose essential oil to the bottle. The water will last for up to 3 weeks in the sealed bottle.
One thing Roderick doesn’t mention is that the rose petals do, in fact, have to be from a scented rose. If you had to buy a fresh rose from a florist, it likely wouldn’t be scented–those fellows are bred for their looks alone. I think dried rose petals from and herbalist or tea enthusiast would be preferable to fresh in that case.
Luckily I took my morning walk through the graveyard and found that my favorite little rosebush still had a couple roses clinging to it, and they are super-scented. So after a little prayer of thanks to the Eugene climate gods, Operation rose water was on.
I followed Roderick’s instructions to the letter, except for the spring water bit. Eugene’s tap water is excellent and I didn’t think trucking something in would be appreciably better. I thought the final result, though smelled a bit stewed–Like someone had steeped a little spinach with roses–and it is a light golden yellow color.
I think the boil might be too strong for this. If I were to do it in the future, I’d probably start with water that was maybe 160-180ºF and let the roses sit longer perhaps. Or maybe I’d use vodka instead of water and make a rose alcohol. At any rate, it’s a very pretty smelling tea I’ve got here.