Rose in Winter

Every summer I make full use of the delicious and fragrant Apothecaries Rose that blooms heartily for a few short weeks, providing dozens of incredibly scented flowers.  This year I dried a plethora of them but also made a rose liqueur with the petals, soaked in alcohol and local runny honey – and it turned out delicious, heady with the scent and flavour of rose, a great pick me up for a chilly winter day when you wonder if summer will ever return.  The below two recipes feature rose prominently for those of you who would like to have a go!


Rose Liqueur With Dried Petals


Plenty of good quality, highly fragrant dried rose petals

Local runny honey

Vodka or brandy


This is so very easy to make!   Simply pile the petals into a kilner jar and pour over enough alcohol to cover the petals, with about an inch on top, then stir in a couple of good tablespoons of the honey, shaking the whole lot up to disperse it.  Put the lid on and leave it to infuse for a few weeks before straining out the petals.  If you use fresh petals and make this recipe in the summer, you can keep adding them as the flowers open.

Regardless of whether you use fresh or dried petals, set them to one side once you’ve filtered out the alcohol – I’m going to be experimenting with mine in different recipes, and will report back!


Rose Infused Mincemeat


Mixed dried fruit, either bought as a combined bag or separately

Rose liqueur

One large bramley or cooking apple

Candied angelica stems

Mixed peel

Soft brown sugar



In a large bowl, add together the mixed fruit and additional mixed peel.  Peel and finely chop the apple – some other recipes call for you to grate it but I prefer mine in small pieces.   Roughly chop the candied angelica stems and add those, then add in a couple of tablespoons of the sugar.  Add two tablespoons of pecans to a mortar and pestle and break them down into small pieces, then pour that in as well before stirring the whole lot up.  Lastly, pour over enough of the rose liqueur to make about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the bowl, give it all a good stir up to cover the fruit in the alcohol, then leave it to steep for a day, stirring regularly.   Once it has finished steeping, strain out the alcohol into a separate jug and pack the mincemeat into clean jars, pressing it down firmly with the spoon, then pour the remaining alcohol over the top of each jar to help the ingredients keep.  Label it up carefully and store it in a cool, dark cupboard, or the fridge.  I’m lucky – I live in an 18th century cottage with a larder cupboard that remains cool even in the summer and is positively frigid at this time of the year, making it ideal for storing preserves.

As an alternative recipe, you can take out about a quarter of the mix and add a shake of suet – veggie or beef, whatever you prefer.  Also add a good sprinkle each of nutmeg and cinnamon before stirring it all thoroughly back up again, then pack it into jars as above before labeling it.  Where sugar and spice levels are concerned, start with small amounts and build up from there – tasting the recipe regularly is a good idea, and trust me, you’ll be happy to!  These two mincemeat recipes still taste convincingly of that xmas treat we all enjoy, while being underpinned with the fragrance and flavour of rose – delicious!

If you’d like more recipes and tutorials, why not pop over to my Patreon page and have a look?  This week’s post includes recipes for rosehip and apple pudding cake, and a rosehip and rose hot toddy – rather tasty indeed, and I hope you enjoy making them!



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