I recently came across a Ministry of Food (1943) recipe for Rose Syrup. During WW2, rationing made for more imaginative ways of getting your nutrition. Their pamplet Hedgrow Harvest encouraged people to make the most use of this free source of vitimin C. Rose Hips have up to 20 times more VitC than oranges. It also contains vitamins A, D and E, and antioxidants.
Easy to make, this versatile syrup can be used as a pour-over on ice-cream, pancakes or waffles, as an addition to fizz to make a ‘kir’, frozen as fancy ice cubes for a cocktail or as a hot or cold cordial to keep winter colds at bay.
A good tip is to wait until a hard frost has softened and ‘sweetened’ the hips. Alternatively you can freeze them first before preparing the syrup.
- 1lb rosehips, washed and chopped
- 1lb caster sugar
- 2 + 1 pints of water
You can scale this up or down depending on how many rosehips you have
You will also need a muslin bag (or a cotton cloth and a sieve)
- Put two pints of water in a large pan and bring to the boil.
- Chop rosehips
- Drop in the chopped rosehips and return to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for twenty minutes. Give it a stir now and again to extract the flavour.
- Strain the mixture through a muslin or place a fine cotton cloth in a colander and place over a bowl. Make sure you get all the small hairs from the rosehips out. You don’t want to be eating them as they are an irritant.
- Now, once it has drained through, leave and take the pulp (in the muslin) and put it back into the saucepan and add another pint of water and bring to the boil
- Then take of the heat and leave to infuse.
- Strain as before.
- Dispose of pulp and add two lots of liquid together into a pan, bring to the boil and reduce by half.
- Add sugar and ensure it has dissolved.
- Boil hard for another five to ten minutes and then decant into sterile bottles. Cork.
Store in a dark place.
This juice only lasts about a week or two once opened. After opening keep in fridge.
And of course if you don’t fancy making it you can always make a ring out of the wood!