Monday, June 6, 2011

How to Make a Rose Liqueur

Edible gifts are lovely, and drinkable gift even more so! In New Zealand most edible homemade presents seem to be jams and chutneys, but not enough liqueurs (in Italy home-made liqueurs are traditional), so making homemade liqueurs gives me a point of difference! One of the first challenges for me, living here, is that you cannot buy the alcohol to make your own liqueurs, so I have to use grappa (sometimes vodka, but grappa is better). Fortunately I have a lot of grappa :-)

I made this a few months ago, with the roses from my garden, which are organic and not sprayed, so they can be used for cooking.

I made jam in the past, and syrup, and cakes... for the liqueurs it is actually better to use the rose fruit, but it is not season for those.

So I picked some petals, very carefully. I would have picked more but the bees and bumble bees started flying around me, obviously upset by this big competitor who was taking away their meal!

I had 200 g of petals

I put the petals in a sterilized jar, and melted 200 g of sugar in 400 ml of water.

I poured the hot syrup over the roses and stored the jar away for two days, in a dark cupboard.
Actually, the best way would be to put the petals straight into the alcohol for a month, but I am rushing here, I wanted and instant liqueur!

After two days the syrup had a beautiful pink colour, and the smell was amazing!!!

Strain the petals through a fine cloth, and hung it to drip, like for a jelly. And as for a jelly do not squeeze the bag, or the syrup may get cloudy. Let it drip overnight. When I make jelly I hung the dripping bag with a broom handle over two chairs, but here the quantity was so small...

I improvised and hanged it over my kitchen mixer (btw, this is a very new purchase, and it changed my life!!!) Collect all the juice. I had 400 ml. You can squeeze the remaining petals over another cup, and make a sweet cup of rose tea, yum!

Now to my distillery! I decided to do a 50% alcohol, using a 40° grappa. So I got 800 ml of liqueur, which I put in pretty bottles.

One is a present for my friend Sue, who loves these kinds of things. Also, when she visited me in Italy last summer she tried a rose liqueur and loved it. A good gift for her, I think!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. This looks so lovely and makes a very beautiful gift.

  2. This can't possiby be. There's no human on the planet that is worthy of this gift.