How to Make Rose Petal Lemonade

The antique tea roses as well as wild roses in my yard are in full bloom. They look so beautiful I want to eat them. And, fortunately, I can since I don’t use any chemical pesticides in my garden. In the past, I have made cold strawberry rose petal soup and rose petal jelly. This time, I thought I would try making a beverage out of the blossoms. Inspired by a cold glass of lavender lemonade I had at J. Chocolatier in Georgetown yesterday, I thought I would try making my own version using roses.

I picked the freshest-looking blooms in the late morning, after the dew had dried from them, choosing a mixture of antique tea and wild roses for a greater depth of flavor. I removed the stems and stamens, and tossed any petals that looked brown on the edges. In total, I collected enough petals to loosely pack 1 measuring cup.

I placed the petals in a pyrex bowl and covered them with 2 cups of boiling water. I allowed the petals to steep for 30 minutes.

While the rose petals were steeping, I thought it would be fun to make some embedded rose ice cubes. I used a silicone gem-shaped ice cube tray that I had bought a while ago, but never opened. It seemed like a great girly-girl touch for my lemonade.

I also made some simple syrup from this New York Times recipe using organic Fair Trade sugar, then set it in the refrigerator to cool.

Once the rose petals were finished steeping, I strained the liquid through a cheesecloth into a measuring cup and placed it in the refrigerator to cool for an hour.

After an hour had passed, I squeezed the juice of 3 lemons through a strainer into the rose petal tea. I stirred in the cooled simple syrup, added the rose petal ice cubes, and voila! Rose petal lemonade – a perfect summer drink.

How to Make Cold Strawberry Rose Soup

In previous posts, I have shared my cold strawberry soup and my rose petal jelly recipes. Today, after a fruitful trip to the farmers market, and noticing the abundant blooms on my rosebush, I was inspired to create a new recipe that combines the best of both of these springtime delicacies. The result was amazing. It is lighter and brighter tasting. Plus the roses add a certain je ne sais quoi.

If this sounds appealing to you, here is how you can make your own cold strawberry rose soup.  You will need the following:

  • 2 quarts of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of rose petals
  • 1 teaspoon of rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

Rinse the rose petals, then place them in a blender. Only use roses that you are absolutely sure have never been treated with pesticides. It’s best to use ones that you have picked from your own garden (or that of your trusted friends and family).

Wash, hull and halve the strawberries (you will probably use closer to 1 1/2 quarts, but it’s nice to have extras for garnish and for eating while you prepare the soup), then place as many as you can in the blender with the rose petals.

Add 1 teaspoon each of rose water and vanilla extract (I made my own by soaking 2 vanilla beans in a small bottle of brandy for 6 weeks) to the strawberries and roses. Puree until smooth.

Add the yogurt and maple syrup, and blend until well-mixed. (I’ve been using yogurt from Blue Ridge Dairy. All of their products are amazing, their cows are very happy, and their representative at my farmers market looks like Francis from Malcolm in the Middle :-).

You can add more strawberries at this point since you will have more room in the blender.

Chill, then serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!