The edible roses in my mother’s garden have started to bloom. Sometimes I can pick about 6-10 blossoms in a day. Bright red with sweet smelling scent, these roses make wonderful jams or syrup. Rose syrup can be used to mix drinks – mix with milk and some ice for a rosy smoothie or mix your own rose cocktail drinks. Rose jam/marmalade can be used as dessert toppings or on scones and pastries.
Now, to make rose syrup or jam. The first thing is to clean and remove the petals. It is important to marinate the petals with sugar, massaging the sugar and petals together until it softens. You won’t see much colour yet until you add some lemon juice. The bright red colour immediately comes out upon addition of lemon juice. Sometimes I only get about 5-6 roses a day, so I will start marinating a batch first and keep it in the fridge. When I have more roses in a day or two, I will add the new batch of marinated roses to the ones in the fridge. I’ll wait until I have a good amount of marinated petals before cooking the jam. Usually about 10-15 rose blossoms is enough to cook a batch. For syrup, you don’t have to cook too long. Just cook until the sugar syrup has thickened slightly then add the rose mixture. Jam on the other hand requires the sugar syrup to reach a thicker consistency.
- 10-15 rose blossoms, use petals only
- 2 tbsp sugar (to marinate roses)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Wash and remove rose petals.
- Add sugar to the rose petals and gently massage with your fingers. If you have less petals, use less sugar. The sugar’s role is to soften the roses.
- Once the petals are soft, add in lemon juice. Let this mixture marinate for at least an hour or up to a few days in the fridge.
- Cook one cup of sugar with 1 cup of water to get a thick syrup. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the sugar water to slightly thicken. If you want to make jam or marmalade, wait for 20-25 minutes until the mixture has a thicker consistency. Then add in the marinated roses.
- After adding the marinated roses, cook for 5 minutes and it is done.
- Lemon juice brings out the red colour in the roses
- To make syrup, add in the marinated petals when the sugar water has thickened slightly (10-15 mins). Cook for another 5 minutes and done.
- To make jam or marmalade, cook the sugar water for longer (20-25 mins) until much thicker, before adding the marinated roses. Cook for another 5 minutes and done.
- Add marinated roses once the sugar has reached the right consistency. Cooking the roses for too long might cause the colour to turn dark.
- Jam might look a little watery when it is hot but will thicken up once refrigerated.
- You can add a little bit more lemon juice towards the end of cooking to get the tangy taste you prefer