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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Rose Petal Shrubs

I find real value in growing roses for the kitchen and there is nothing more heavenly than rose petal jam on scones but this week I have been experimenting with some flavours for naturally fermented shrubs to mix with soda water on these fiercely hot summer days. You may have seen various recipes for rhubarb "wine" or elderflower "champagne" which use similar processes but I'm allowing the fermentation to go just that little bit further and allowing the sugars to be eaten by the natural yeasts and yielding something a little more towards vinegar.

This is "Dark Desire" and the paler petals are from "Nahema". the former is a classic heavy rose perfume but the later is sweeter and more reminiscent of lemonade and also the basis for Guerlain perfumes.

I've taken inspiration from the "Wildcrafting Brewer" book by Pascal Baudar who forages for ingredients within his local area and season to tell a story in the flavours. My plans next Christmas are for a pine needle based shrub but that's another story.....

 I've used my large #36 Fowlers Vacola jars and simply added a large handful of fruit and a double handful of petals, added water and sugar and covered them with a piece of paper towel with a rubber band to hold it in place and left it to ferment in the ambient mid to late 20C temperatures inside. I haven't sterilised anything or purified the water or mixed a precise recipe. This is simply a natural process using centuries old practices and principles. Once you've dipped your toe into the fermentation world you'll realise we over complicate things unnecessarily and wild yeasts and bacteria can be very helpful friends.

Occasionally I stirred and muddled the ingredients and sipped occasionally to test the progress until after a few days I declare it "done" and to my liking. The drained pink elixir is now bottled and refrigerated to stop the fermenting process and ready to mix with sparkling water for a real thirst quencher, packed with plenty of flavour but not the sickly sweetness that other "soft" drinks offer.

#1 Nahema and Blackberry
#2 Dark Desire and black currant


  1. That sounds delicious, will give it a try. My go to in the heat is fresh ginger flavoured Kombucha. I add grated ginger sludge (kombucha & ginger blender) to 1 week kombucha then leave for 2nd week then in fridge.

  2. Nothing has ever inspired me to make jam until this idea of making rose petal jam to eat on scones. Oh my.


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