I started writing tonight and found myself pouring out my heart about what it feels like, as a divorced woman, planning my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary … thoughts on what I wish I had known when I was younger … what I hope my kids will know and what I STILL haven’t figured out yet … and all sorts of things about love and life and being true to yourself and finding the right person …
… but you probably don’t want to hear all that stuff. You came here for the recipe. It is a recipe I stumbled across because of the A-Z Health Challenge I’m doing on facebook … the other day we talked about the health benefits of lime and everyone was sharing their lime recipes and this Maple Lavender Limeade was one of them. Maple Lavender Limeade … doesn’t that sound like such a lovely thing to drink? I grew lavender this year. I bought this teeny plant and it has been growing … It hasn’t bloomed yet, so I have just been waiting … but … hey, here is something I could use it for now!
Oh I had to try it! … I really really really MEANT to leave the recipe alone, but as I finished up the syrup part, I couldn’t help but think ooh, what if we did this with bubbles? … and then, well, hey, it’s Friday, it needs a little alcohol and I have this pretty rose vodka … so I had to add it … so that’s my story of how the Lavender Lime Rose Fizz came to be
… and then I went out for dinner with my two teenagers and we had a nice waiter and ate well and everything was so lovely that my son urged me to give him an extra nice tip … so I did.
Lavender Lime Rose Fizz
Adapted from Project Healthy Ever After. You can use rosewater if you don’t want the alcohol … or if you’re making this for young ones who are not ready for adult beverages yet. Or leave out the roses and just make limeade. It’s really wonderful just like that too.
For the lavender lime syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 2 sprigs of fresh lavender (or 1 1/2 heaping tsp. of dried culinary lavender)
- 1 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice (for me, that was about 7 limes)
Put the water and maple syrup in a pan and bring it to boiling. Remove from heat, add the lavender, then cover it up and let it steep for at least 15 minutes. Let it cool completely, then add the limes. Use immediately or funnel into a bottle and store in the fridge for future use.
To make each drink:
- Lime wedges (use the ones you squeezed for the syrup!)
- Club soda
- 1/4 cup lavender lime syrup
- 2 Tablespoons rose vodka (or rosewater for a non-alcoholic drink)
Stick a wedge of lime in the bottom of a tall glass, add ice & lime wedges to fill it. Pour in a splash of club soda on the bottom, then the lavender lime syrup and the rose vodka or rosewater. Top with club soda, then taste it. Add more of the lime syrup and/or maple syrup to suit your tastes. Garnish with a fresh organic rose, if you have one, or a slice of lime if a culinary rose isn’t available.
This is a white wine sangria with red rose petal-infused vodka and a tumble of wonderful fruits. It’s romantic and beautiful and tastes so wonderful that it’s a little dangerous. Please be careful not to drink too much of this if you’re driving … it’s probably best just to get a designated driver if you’re going to drink this, or stay home. I had a hard time keeping myself from drinking the whole pitcher myself …
My sister and her husband came for a visit this weekend and they left early this morning. I felt a little sad when they left, wished we could have made the visit longer somehow, but we both need to get back to our lives. I wish I had had time to make her some of this sangria too, but really we ran out of time.
White Wine & Red Roses Sangria
- 1 bottle of white wine (I used Riesling)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup rose petal vodka (you can buy it, but if you have organic roses, it’s easy to make … here’s my recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons very berry syrup (recipe here)
- 1/2 of an orange
- 1 lime
- 2 plums
- 3 strawberries (or more if you have them … I just had a few left so I tossed them in)
Put some of the fruit in a pitcher and muddle it around a bit to release the flavors. Add the rest of the fruit, the wine, and the liqueurs. Set the pitcher in the fridge to “steep” for at least a couple hours, then enjoy over ice. You can top it with a little club soda when you serve it to add some sparkle if you like. I didn’t this time and was perfectly pleased with it just like this.
If you happen to have a rose bush that produces tons of flowers (or an organic florist), you can make this easy rose vodka with them. You’ll need at least a dozen big-sized roses that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides for at least a couple years. My house came with three big rose bushes in the front: two pink ones and a red one. The red one is my favorite, but together they bring so much color and joy to my front door.
It was my friend Melissa at ChinDeep that got me started on the idea of doing something besides looking at my roses. She makes wonderful things like rose butter tea sandwiches and rose petal ice. I tried rosewater first which was insanely simple, so I thought it can’t be too hard to make rose vodka either.
Whether you want to make rosewater or rose vodka, first you need some roses. Pick them and wash them to make sure they are free of bugs.
Then pluck off the petals, removing the white part at the base of the petal (that I hear can be kind of bitter). Put them in a quart jar. Keep packing rose petals into the jar till the jar is packed full of rose petals, then pour vodka over the rose petals, covering them completely. If any stray petals are sticking up out of the liquid, push them back into the vodka.
Set the jar in a dark place and let it sit for at least 10 days. Shake the jar every few days. You’ll notice the color from the rose petals will fade into the liquid over time.
Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth with a bowl underneath to remove the rose petals and funnel the liquid into a bottle. Once it’s strained it’s ready for making insanely romantic drinks like Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea.
To make culinary rosewater:
Follow the same process to fill a quart jar with rose petals, but instead of pouring vodka over the petals, pour boiling water over them to cover. Let the roses sit and steep in the water at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain through a cheesecloth. Keep in a covered bottle in the fridge. I like making watermelon slushies with rosewater. They make my daughter happy because she loves roses.
Hey, it’s Friday! Time for a cocktail … I’m using my roses and rosemary to make a beautiful cold beverage to cool me down on this hot summer night. And there is so much to celebrate! So many of my foodie friends are reaching 3k and 5k milestones and my page is up to 8,000 plus … wow. I’m so grateful and blessed and happy. Thank you. We had a garden party to celebrate … if you want to see all the wonderful things my friends brought, go visit the Pinterest board.
Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea
You can buy the rose vodka or if you have a good organic rosebush, it’s quite easy to make! (Rose vodka recipe is here.)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened fruity iced tea (I made up some Lipton Peach Passion Tea using one of their iced tea bags and a quart of hot water)
- 2 Tablespoons rose vodka
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary syrup (recipe below)
- 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Club soda to top
- Garnish: Organic rose or other edible flower petals, frozen into the ice cubes + a sprig of fresh rosemary
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes (for extra effect, freeze rose petals in the ice cubes). Add the tea, rose vodka, rosemary syrup and vanilla and stir to mix the flavors, then top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of rosemary (or better yet, a rose!) … and enjoy :)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar (to reduce calories, substitute stevia for part of the sugar)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rosemary leaves (I just cut a bunch of twigs from my little rosemary plant … I didn’t measure them, and I didn’t bother to take them off the stalks either … they are going to get strained out in the end, after all)
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water for the rosemary syrup and heat to boiling, stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rosemary. Let the rosemary sit and steep for at least 15 minutes, then strain out the rosemary. Store in a covered bottle in the fridge.
There is something insanely romantic about roses. When my roses started blooming this year, don’t ask me why, but I desparately wanted to make some rosewater. I had no reason why I was doing it or what I was going to do with it, but I wanted to make it. So I did. The jar of rosewater has been just sitting in my fridge, waiting for me to find something to do with it … I could easily drink it in an hour, but it seems too special to just drink like water.
And then today it was so hot and windy … my daughter and I went out on a short shopping expedition and when we came back, we were both all hot and thirsty. I opened up the freezer to look for some food for my son and there right on the top was a bunch of frozen watermelon cubes.
I wasn’t really sure what I was doing; I just started doing it. I knew both my daughter and I needed some serious hydration. Something to cool us off. I threw a bunch of the frozen watermelon cubes in the blender, added some rosewater and some water and started blending. It turned out lightly sweet, rose-scented, frothy and slushy, pink on the top, and bright red on the bottom. Refreshing, cool, inviting, and insanely romantic. What I really love about it is: you can taste the roses.
Watermelon Rosewater Slushies
- About 4 cups of watermelon cubes, frozen
- 1 cup of culinary rosewater (recipe below)
- Water, as needed (I used 1 1/2 cups, I think)
- Honey or juice concentrate or a simple syrup made with rose petals or rosewater, to taste (I didn’t add any, but if you’re used to a sweeter drink or serving to children who want it sweeter, you might want to add some … my parched 13-year-old daughter said it was fine just like that, with no sweetener)
Put the watermelon cubes and rosewater in a blender. Add water as needed to make a slushie consistency that you can sip through a straw. Add sweetener if you like. I really don’t think it needs any; the watermelon and the roses both have such a lovely flavor, but make it to suit your own tastes. Garnish with a fresh organic rose, if you have one, or a slice of watermelon.
How to make Culinary Rosewater
Cut fresh organic red roses and wash to remove any residue or bugs. Remove the petals and snip the white part at the bottom off of each petal. Fill a quart jar with the snipped rose petals, packing them in. I think I used about 18 big roses. Boil water and pour the boiling water over the roses, filling the jar. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain out the rose petals. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.
To make a rose-scented simple syrup: mix 1 cup rosewater with 1 cup sugar. Add some rose petals (with white parts trimmed off) if you like. Bring to a boil, then cook for a few minutes and strain out the rose petals. Let cool before using. Use in beverages or anything that needs a little sweetening.