Here’s how to make and use rose water for cooking and baking, plus some of our favorite rose water recipes.
What is Rose Water?
Rose water (sometimes spelled rosewater) is a floral water made by distilling or simmering rose petals. It’s often used in Middle Eastern, Persian, and Indian cooking. It’s primarily known for being paired with sweet dishes like gulab jamun and baklava.
Rose water has a very distinct and strong flavor. If you are new to cooking with it, a little goes a long way.
Like it’s sister flower water, orange blossom water, it’s an absolutely wonderful addition to many dishes when used in moderation.
Rose Water Recipes
There are many wonderful recipes for cooking and baking with rose water. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Strawberry Rose Coconut Milk Popsicles from This Healthy Table
- Harissa Chicken with Rosewater Sauce from Everday Delicious
- Rose Water and Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet from Beyond Mere Sustenance
- Saffron Cardamom and Rosewater Tiramisu from My Name is Yeh
- Rose Water and Gin Cocktail from Sugar and Charm
- Panfried Sea Bass with Harissa and Rose from Epicurious
- Muhalabieh (Middle Eastern Milk Pudding Dessert) from Little Sunny Kitchen
How to Make Rose Water
Making your own rose water DIY only takes about an hour! You can keep the rose water for up to a month in the refrigerator.
This recipe makes a cup and a half, so there’s plenty to cook and bake with, as well as use as a facial toner or a room spritz.
- 1 cup fresh rose petals, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups distilled water
- Add the petals and the water to a small saucepan over high heat.
- As soon as the water starts to simmer, turn it down to low heat. Cover with a lid.
- Allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the petals lose all color (if using pink or red petals).
- Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes to cool.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, to remove all the petals and small pieces.
- Put in a jar and save in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
What Type of Roses to Use for Making Rose Water
You can really use any type of rose petal to make rose water, but make sure the petals meet these requirements first:
- Organically grown or pesticide-free – you do not want to use roses that have harmful chemicals for digestion on them. Most roses are grown to be displayed in vases, not distilled to ingest. So, if you are buying from a florist or farmer’s market, make sure that pesticides were not used on them.
- Not grown on the side of the road – flowers that are grown close to a street will have roadside pollution on them and shouldn’t be consumed.
- Check to make sure you aren’t allergic – test the flower petals on your forearms by swiping them gently across your skin to make sure you aren’t allergic to them.
Where to Buy Rose Water
You can find rose water at Middle Eastern grocery stores and at Whole Foods. If you want to buy it online, I recommend the Cortas Rose Water.
Rose Water Benefits
Rose water is often used as a cosmetic to soothe skin irritation, but it can also be added to water or tea and consumed to help with sore throats and digestion.