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.
- Boil rosehips – don’t boil them too hard. You can place them in, bring to a boil, let simmer for a few minutes then put to one side to allow to soften. To make this easier you might eant to first chop the hips.
- Mash the soft hips. Add some extra water to loosen the mixture so it will go through a sieve more easily
- Initially strain the mixture through a seive and by forcing it though with the back of a ladle
- Then take the remaining pulp in the seive and strain it through a muslin or place a fine cotton cloth. Make sure none of he pulp with the rosehip ‘hairs’ get into your extracted juice. You don’t want to be eating them as they are an irritant.
- You now have a choice to skip this step or filter the liquid through a paper coffee filter to clarify it. You can skip this step if you want.
- Take the free-run juice, return to the pan and bring to a near boil – this is to re-sterilise it
- Add sugar and ensure it has dissolved.
- Decant into sterile bottles. Cork.
Store in a dark place.
This juice only lasts about a week or three once opened. After opening keep in fridge