Notes on Preparation:
Petals must be freshly picked and have no pesticides or chemicals used on them.
Pick the flowers just after the morning dew has evaporated, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.
Use only the petals, not the stems or leaves.
Wash quickly to remove any bugs or specks of dirt and immediately process with one of the methods below.
If you don’t grow your own, ask at the local florist or Farmers Market for organic ones.
Distilled (Rose Hydrosol):
Fresh petals (3 to 4 quarts)
Enamel canning or stock pot with lid
Deep, heavy heat proof bowl
- Fill the bottom of the pot with the petals and pour water over them until they are just covered. Place the bowl in the middle of the pot. The rim should be at least a couple inches higher than the water. If you have a canning rack, you can set the bowl on top of that so the bowl doesn’t sit directly over the heat. A pyrex loaf dish underneath the bowl would do the trick too. Set these in place first before adding the petals and water.
- Cover the pot with its lid, but position the lid upside down so that you have a dipped “container” to hold the ice on top (to be added later). Now turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling, fill the top of the inverted pot lid with ice cubes. Turn the heat down and keep at a bare simmer for about two hours.
- Top up the ice as needed and quickly peek occasionally to see that the petals don’t boil dry.
This process will enable condensation to form on the top inside of the pot lid. The condensation will drip down into the bowl inside the pot; the liquid inside the bowl is your rose water.