Just a few drops of this fragrant and potent rose extract add unmistakable rose flavor to your baking, cooking, and even your skincare beauty products. This simple rose essence made of two ingredients has many uses...
Rose petals uses
Whether you grow your own roses, foraged for wild roses, or order dried rose petals from the shop there are myriad of ways to use their power.
The gentle way of preparation is making classic rose oil or rose hydrosol (infusing rose petals in water) which is great to use in cooking or beauty products. However, if you want to achieve a higher concentration of the active ingredients, you want to make a rose extract
What is a rose extract?
Rose extract also colled rose tincture or rose essence is a concentrate made of infusing highly scented rose petals in menstrum such as vodka or grain alcohol. The alcohol pulls out the active ingredients in the rose petals, concentrating them as a liquid. The final product is a scented, strong long-lasting concentrate that has a variety of uses.
rose extract vs rose water
This wonderfully fragrant, powerfully potent rose extract is far more concentrated than rose water. While rosewater is made by steam distillation of rose petals in water, rose essence is made by maceration in alcohol over several weeks. The rose water can be used in undiluted form while rose extract needs to be diluted. Both rosewater and rose essence are using the power of roses and possess similar medicinal benefits. Rose extract lasts up to one year whereas rose water for several weeks.
Ingredients to make Rosa damascena extract
To make this powerful concentrate we need two ingredients only and that is rose petals and extraction liquid in our case alcohol.
The stronger scent of roses the stronger the scented concentrate you make. I suggest you carefully select the rose petals you want to use in making this extract. Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, go for organic rose petals. The roses that have been used in the past for making fine perfumes as highly fragrant are the damask rose (Rosa damascena), centifolia rose (Rosa centifolia) , also called cabbage rose. So these could be the best but any fragrant rose will do. You can order dried rose petals of organic quality from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Menstruum or dissolving agent
you can use ethanol 40-50% which is 80-100 proof alcohol (also ethyl alcohol or grain spirit) that is available in a pharmacy. Alternatively use vodka, rum or brandy
How to make rose extract
First step - prepare the rose petals
Fresh or dried petals?
You can use fresh or dried petals. I prefer to make the extract from dried rose petals as the moisture that is present in fresh roses can spoil the final product.
Second step - Drying the rose pelats
Once you gather your petals don't wash them with water as you will wash out the pollen that is the carrier of scent. I prefer just mechanically removing any bugs of dirt and set the petals for drying. It takes 2 days to get the petals dried enough to start the maceration process.
Place the rose petals into a sterilized jar and pour the vodka over. Make sure all petals are covered completely. If you are using dried rose petals, fill the jar to ⅓ with petals.
Use a chopstick or other wooden stick to mix the mixture and remove all air bubbles.
Cover the jar and place it in a dark, cold place for 4 weeks. Keep an eye on the jar as you need to shake it from time to time (every 2. or 3. day)
Strain the mixture through a sieve and transfer to a dark glass jar with a dropper. Label it, with a date
How to use it?
Rose extract for cooking
Add just a few drops to your recipe for an unmistakable rose flavor. The flavoring is intense so just be careful not to use too much. I recommend experimenting on how much to use this rosa Damascena extract because I could see it is easy to overdo it, so definitely start with a little and add more to taste.
Use a dropper bottle rather than just a regular bottle for a better dosage.
Rose extract for baking
Rose extract adds a very unique flavor to desserts and pastries and is extensively used in middle eastern kitchens and Lebanese desserts. Add just a few drops to creme brulee, sugar cookies, tea, sauces, dressings, puddings, cakes, and sorbet for an unmistakable rose flavor.
Potent rose essence is the perfect ingredient to any whipped cream, icing, frosting or topping
Dilute it with water and drink it!
Add this wonderfully fragrant rose extract to water to make rose water or to simple syrup to make rose syrup.
Rose essence is also very popular in drinks such as lemonades, kombucha or various cocktails.
Rose extract for skin
Roses have an excellent effect on the skin, they are moisturizers that reduce dryness of the skin. simply dilute the extract with distilled water in the ration 1:6 (one part extract and one part water) put in a spray bottle, and spritz it on your face to reduce water loss
Add few drops to your existing shampoo or conditioner or spray the spritz over your hair to decrease frizz
Add few drops to apple cider vinegar and use it as hair rinse after the shampoo and conditioner to reduce dandruff.
Where to buy Rose extract?
You can buy one here of very good quality.
Rose extract benefits
This essence enhances your mood and relieves stress or tension when drinking.
Rose extract is full of antioxidants and contributes to a relaxing effect. Even though there are no clinical studies behind drinking diluted rose extract can relieve digestion troubles like bloating, upset tummy, and constipation.
You can store it in the dark dropper bottle in your cupboard. It will last over 1 year.
Alcohol is an excellent solvent for rose petals however, you can replace it with glycerol or apple cider vinegar to make non-alcoholic extract