Spring is officially in full swing and we are halfway to summer! And that means it is peak rose season! I have a beautiful white rose bush in my front yard, and there is a huge pink Cecile Brunner growing in the alley behind me. While roses that are repeat bloomers do exist, most are a one-time thing. There is an explosion of blooms, then before you know it, they are gone. In addition to filling my house with bouquets, I’ve been wanting ways to make the most of this rose season and enjoy them in other ways. Like infusing rose vodka and a making a rose drop cocktail!
I did not come up with this idea, so it wouldn’t be fair to take credit for it. While I was I was admiring the roses and brainstorming, I received the May issue of Sunset Magazine, and they had a mention of a rose drop cocktail. Previously, my creative ideas for making the most of these roses was drying them for linen drawer sachets. I know, not very creative. But what better way to celebrate these beautiful blooms and take advantage of the fleeting season than to turn them into a cocktail?!
And unlike some infused alcohols, this rose vodka didn’t take a long time to make. Both the light rose fragrance AND the color of the rose get’s infused, so I was able to save the both of these beloved rose qualities! Interested in making your own? Let’s get started!
How to Infuse Rose Vodka
First, you need to pick your roses. I used Cecile Brunner, but any scented rose would work. A dark pink rose would be the best for the color. VERY IMPORTANT, make sure they aren’t sprayed! It’s near impossible to find organic roses at a florist or a grocery, so pick from your own garden, wild roses, or someone you know who grows organically. Pick off any stems or withered petals.
For one cup of vodka, you’ll want 1 cup of flowers. This will give you enough for 4 Rose Drop cocktails. Scale up or down if needed, but the vodka does keep so you don’t need to use it all right now. Once you have the roses sorted out, give them a rinse. I found it’s easiest to do by placing in a bowl and covering with water. Give a swish, then gently lift out onto a tea towel to dry.
Gently pack into a jar, and top with 1 cup vodka (or equal quantity to the rose petals). Cover your jar, and place in the fridge for about 3 hours. If can you remember, shake occasionally.
As the rose petals infuse in the vodka, you’ll notice that the color of the petals will drain away. The vodka takes on a slight yellow/tan tint, but it won’t be pink. Strain out the rose petals, and store the vodka in a clean jar in the fridge. The vodka will keep for 4 months (but honestly, probably longer).
How to Make a Rose Drop
To make one rose drop cocktail, combine 1/4 cup of the vodka, 1 1/4 teaspoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon simple syrup. As you add the lime juice, the rose vodka will change from a light tan to a pink or coral. Because I used a light pink rose, my color was more coral than pink. Different color roses should yield different shades of color. Shake with ice until cold, then strain and enjoy!
In all honestly, this is more of a martini than a drop in the fact that it’s almost all alcohol. For me, it’s a bit too strong. However, I would be hesitant to add other ingredients, because the rose flavor is very faint. I’m still experimenting, but if you like strong drinks, I think you’ll love this! Do you have any ideas on other ways to use this beautiful rose vodka? Leave me a comment and let me know!