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.