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Friday, April 6, 2012

Roadside Rose Hip Cordial

If you keep your eyes peeled, you may find wild roses covered with rose hips, especially along country roads in Tasmania. After we left Wychwood Garden on the weekend we gathered rose hips for syrup.

Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C (do you remember Delrosa?)
The bushes are extremely thorny so beware.
We chose some that had been close to a good water source and had developed beautiful cheery bright plump fruit.

We also found some roadside apples too for the picking. They made a juicy snack for the journey home and we duly deposited our cores with hopes of another tree just like it in the future.
It's important to not totally denude the trees and bushes though because they also provide food for the birds too.

After washing the hips, I wizzed them in the food processor (about a kilo) and added them to three litres of water and brought it to the boil and then removed them from the pot and allowed them to steep for a time. As for the rhubarb cordial, I strained through muslin and tied the bag and suspended it from a broom handle across an upturned dining room chair allowing it to fully drip through to the collection bowl beneath.

The resulting liquid looks a lot like the strange vermilion of canned tomato soup. I brought this to a gentle simmer and allowed it to reduce till there was about only a litre of liquid left. To this I added a kilo of sugar and stirred till it was dissolved then brought the temperature back up to 170C and bottled into warm bottles sterilised in the oven at 100C for 15mins.
(Similar process to Rhubarb Cordial)

The resulting syrup is a darker fiery red and delicious mixed with soda water.
Now imagine a splash in hot water for a comforting hot Vitamin C drink.
Bottle into smallish bottles because once opened it should be consumed within the week and kept in the fridge after opening.

These little bottles would make a really thoughtful gift for a sick friend laid low with a cold.
If you are traipsing the by-ways you might like to check out some Hedgerow Recipes here.


  1. How intriguing!

    I love how you used your dining room chair in the process. I must remember that.

  2. You are an amazing person! I adore that picture of the muslin bag hanging over the up-turned chair. So Ludditian (is that a word? it is now!)

  3. The link has a recipe for blackberry-elderberry jam--one of my all-time favorites! I just planted elderberry and blackberry bushes along our canal and roadway last weekend. It will be a few years before I see any fruit off them, but I know the first thing I'm making when they do! Oh, and also planted rhubarb last weekend, too. Won't get any this year, but maybe next? The asparagus is coming up in town at our old house. The new owners told me how much they'd been enjoying it. The folks who owned this house didn't plant a danged thing outside. There isn't a single flower, single bulb, even a single lilac bush on the whole place. I'm madly planting stuff left and right so I'll have something to revel in next spring.

  4. I'm envious, rose bushes along the road and apple trees. I can only dream.

  5. Such lovely photos. Now I just need to find some rosehips!

  6. my daughter has a paddock at the back of her house in Clifton Beach ..just loaded with Rosehips all easy to pick bushes too...i know what i will be doing next weeks visit!!!!!

  7. I had rose-hip wine gifted to me once - it was amazing - and quite strong!
    Nom nom

  8. your rose hip cordial looks so beautiful..picking 'roadside' produce as you did is one of my favourite things to the past i've found blackberries, apples, pears, banana passionfruit, mint, chestnuts, plums, figs and probably lots more i've's pure joy.. :)

  9. YUM! Thanks for sharing! I have a rose bush that's always smothered in hips this time of year (Rosa Gallica Complicata), and had thought to make tea with them but this is a much better idea.

  10. This is a great post thanks Tanya! I'm loving all the wild food growing in Tasmania. I'm totally hanging out for this year's rosehips. I'm hoping I might find some in the next week or so, what do you think?

    1. I had my eyes peeled in my usual spots last weekend and they don't seem near ready yet. I think probably first week in April will be closer to the mark.


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