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Liqueur of a thousand roses

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In my garden I have a bush of roses 'rosa centifolia' which is an old ancient type of rose. It's the kind of rose that is used for fragrances and perfumes.
The downside of the beautiful scent is the fact that they only bloom once a year and the blossoms fade in one day.

That's why this year I chose to make some liqueur with this beautiful scent.

 
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Step 1: You need

To make roundabout 1 liter of liqueur you need:
  • 20 fresh blossoms of rosa centifolia (pesticides free)
  • 2 teaspoons of Vitamin C or the juice of one lemon.
  • 0.7 liter of Vodka, can be a cheap one
  • 0.3l of water
  • a big jar
  • 100-200g of sugar
Make sure that no poison of any kind was applied to the rose, because the toxic substances may still be in the plant and harmful to your health! Sometimes it takes up to several months to metabolize the poison once applied.

Step 3: Remove the blossoms

After some hours the blossoms will have lost their color and also their scent to the vodka. Now it is time to remove the rest of the blossoms.
I didn't use Vitamin-C from the beginning, that is why the vodka turned into a rather dark brown. But the color changed back to a certain degree.

Step 4: Finishing

Now that the beautiful scent is in the vodka you can create a beautiful liqueur.
My vodka had 40% vol. alcohol, a bit too much for such a delight liqueur. And of course you don't have to make all the liqueur the same.
For a first test I took 200ml of scented vodka, added 100ml of water and 20g of sugar and just a bit of additional vitamin C.

I'm an organic gardener, have been for roughly 30 years, so I have some tips for how to grow roses organically. You can grow garlic or onions near the roses and the aphids will find somewhere else to eat. Seriously. I've even planted just regular chives every few feet in my vegetable garden and had not a single aphid. (No aphids, by the way, means no ants.)

A Japanese Beetle trap several yards away will keep the majority of the beetles off the roses (and basil plants make an excellent "trap" crop, you can pluck them off the basil as you see them).

And for black spot (which only affects the leaves, but the leaves make the "food" for the roses plus the mold spreads horribly) you can mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a quart of room-temperature water, mix well and spray the leaves thoroughly on dry days (in late afternoon or early morning, otherwise the leaves will "burn"). Pick off the leaves that are already spotted and dispose of them in the trash - NOT your compost pile! - and keep spraying every few days with the soda-water, which helps prevent the black spot from taking hold. This spray is good for keeping powdery mildew off your cucumber and squash plants also, by the way. If you live near a body of water you probably have a lot of mold/mildew problems which will ALWAYS affect your plants, so you NEED this stuff!

Heck, now I'm tempted to get acquainted with the neighbors that have half of their back yard devoted to their roses! I NEED this liqueur!

andyk75 (author)  deborah.hale.3910 days ago

Thank you very much for the tips!

I don't have too many trouble with these roses as they are very robust. But I have several other plants in my garden that would really appreciate a little help. :-)

Ask away - I was more of a veggie gardener than floral, but similar pests frequent both. Plus, I always had friends and neighbors who grew roses and other ornamentals and would need advice, so I tried to stay informed.
Pavlovafowl2 years ago
Beautiful rose and the fact that it blooms only once make us more appreciate that beauty. We use rose petals a great deal in cookery but I have never made the liqueur and now would like to have a go.

On the point of chemical pesticides, all these poisons end up in the soil and through that leach into the water table. Just to give you an idea, to convert a farm from Conventional (i.e. intensive, chemical) to Organic takes 5 years before the area is considered completely cleansed of contamination. There is a 2 year mark when crops or livestock can be sold as 'in conversion' but as far as truly non-chemical is concerned it's the full five years.

By the way mixing with champagne sounds delicious. Chin Chin! Pavlovafowl aka Sue
Jobar0072 years ago
Please be very careful about only using roses from a bush that has had no pesticides applied to it within a year. Many rose pesticides are applied to the roots to be pulled up by the plant and make the leaves, stems, and petals toxic. This is a heads up more than anything else because I've always wanted to try this but my grandmother poisons the crap out of her roses.
andyk75 (author)  Jobar0072 years ago
THIS IS A VERY GOOD POINT!!!
Well actually, I didn't think of this in the first place, but of course you should take care whos roses you eat!
I didn't use any poison in my garden for a very long time now. On one hand, because I don't like it, and also because this type of rose is not very sensitive to vermin.

mrPaint2 years ago
Great Instructable!
poofrabbit2 years ago
How cool! Any delightful drink mixes you have come up with with you rose vodka?
andyk75 (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Well, I like it straight or on the rocks.

But you can also combine a small sip of liqueur with champagne, this makes a delicious aperitif.
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Wow, I've never heard of anything like this. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing.