This is a slightly opaque red-orange syrup. Definitely fruity, a little floral, and with a hint of savory flavor—not unlike yellow tomatoes. Dilute it with seltzer for a sophisticated spritzer or use it as a sweet base for a winter cocktail.
Note: Rose hips are available at many health food stores.
- Yield:Makes 1 liter
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:2 hours, including foraging
- 1 pound rose hips (a heaping quart, see note)
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
Wash rose hips well, and trim off any stems and large (flower) ends. Discard any that are split or seem otherwise compromised. Pulse in a food processor, in batches if necessary, until finely chopped.
Place rose hips a large sauce pan, and add three cups of water. Bring water to a boil. Once water boils, allow to cook for a minute and then turn off heat, cover and allow the mixture to steep for 15-20 minutes. Then, remove lid and allow mixture to cool slightly,
Pour mixture into a jelly bag set over a large bowl and drain until pulp feels relatively dry. Return pulp to the saucepan and repeat the boil-seep-drain process with the remaining two cups of water.
Discard pulp after it has completely drained for a second time.
In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar and the rose hip syrup and bring to a boil. Simmer ten minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and allow to cool completely.
Once cool, bottle cordial and store in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks, but it will have the best flavor for only about ten days.