I live in the beautiful and wild Methow Valley where June is for roses.
Without fail, every June you’ll find me eating wild rose petal honey, drinking rose petal tea, spritzing myself with rose hydrosol or simply delighting in their ethereal scent and beauty.
For part of June this year I found myself all the way on the other side of the States at the International Herb Symposium, hosted by the dynamic duo Jeff and Melanie Carpenter of Zack Woods farm. (Tangent: this is an amazing conference that you don’t want to miss!)
While there I ran into Kathy, the proprietor of Herbal Revolution and the maker of many delicious tonics like Fire Tonic No 9 and Mineral Tonic No 11.
I was surprised to see a new shiny item at her booth: Rose Petal Shrub. I immediately bought a jar and shared it with a table of herbalists at dinner time. Everyone was smitten!
Being a kitchen herbalist myself I wanted to see if I could make my own version of this aromatic blend. Luckily for me my husband was harvesting wild roses while I was romping around Massachusetts. I came home to a huge rose petal harvest!
Are you new to shrubs? I am too. I only started playing around with these vinegar and honey potions last year after I was inspired by some recipes in Emily Han’s Wild Drinks and Cocktails book. I’d known about shrubs for years but the idea of drinking vinegar didn’t really sound all that appealing to me. I was wrong! When diluted, these shrubs make a thirst-quenching and delicious drink!
Some of you may be wondering which roses you can use in this recipe. You can use essentially all roses with a couple of exceptions.
To learn more about the medicinal use of roses, including their inflammatory-modulating abilities and heart-nourishing qualities, see my book, Alchemy of Herbs.
This is a forgiving recipe and can be easily substituted to fit your desired tastes. You can opt to use fresh rose petals in this recipe. You can easily use whole rose hips or omit them entirely. There are many different herbs and spices that could also be added… I’m thinking a cardamom pod or two next time.
If you like things sweet then you may want to add more honey. You could also substitute any sweetener of your choice.
I made mine in a 1.5 liter glass jar with a flip top lid. These kinds of jars are ideal for vinegar extractions because they contain no metal. You could also use a standard canning jar with a plastic lid, but you may need to adjust the measurements slightly to fit the different size jar.
One more tip: you can re-use the vanilla beans pods in your next bottle of shrub (if you start one right away).
Does this sound delicious but you aren’t up for making your own? I highly recommend getting a bottle from Herbal Revolution.
If you are up for making your own rose petal shrub then here’s how I did it…
Tangy, sweet and oh so refreshing, this rose petal shrub is perfect for those hot summer months. To enjoy your shrub use 1-2 tablespoons of the shrub in sparkling or plain water.
Fill a 1.5 liter jar 3/4 of the way with the dried rose petals.
Add the rose hips, honey and vanilla beans.
Fill the jar with the apple cider vinegar.
Cap tightly with a non-reactive lid (glass or plastic; avoid metal as the vinegar will corrode it).
Shake daily. Let macerate for 2-4 weeks. Taste frequently and then strain when the herbs have infused to your liking.
Use within a year.
Yield: Approximately 1 liter
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and the Education Director for LearningHerbs. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.