Rose Drop

My beautiful Gertrude Jekyll rose is about to bloom — time for a Rose Drop.  This recipe was recently featured in the May 2017 Sunset magazine.  Enjoy!

For me, the garden is a place of deep inspiration for my cooking.  I have a beautiful rose bush* — right now in full bloom with deep pink, fragrant blossoms.  A few years ago, while weeding alongside this righteous proclamation of Spring, I envisioned a cocktail — the Rose Drop.

I imagined the luscious scent of my rose concentrated in one beautiful cocktail.  After a bit of tinkering, I was rewarded with a lovely surprise when I infused the petals of this rose, which I reveal to you in the recipe below.  Enjoy!

Gertrude Jekyll Rose

Gertrude Jekyll Rose

For the Rose infused vodka:
Start by picking 9 – 10 full rose blossoms.  Rinse them and pluck the petals.

Rose petals

Rose petals

Lightly pack all the petals into a large lidded jar.  I used a 20 oz glass lidded working jar.  Add vodka to the brim, then cover and place in the fridge.  Give it a shake after an hour or so.

roses in vodka - the first minute

rose petals in vodka – the first minute

After a couple hours the petals will have been drained of most of their color, and the infused vodka will be a pale straw pink color.  (When this first happened, I was most disappointed, as I was really hoping for the color and fragrance of my rose in my cocktail.  I was stunningly surprised later, when I used this infusion in a cocktail, with the addition of acidic lemon juice — a little food chemistry magic to come.)

rose infused vodka - after three hours in the fridge

rose infused vodka – after three hours in the fridge

rose infused vodka, after straining

rose infused vodka, after straining

Strain the rose infused vodka into a jar and store airtight in the fridge until you’re ready for a cocktail.  Enjoy! (in moderation, of course)

The Rose Drop
(makes two)

4 oz Rose infused vodka (see recipe, above)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 – 2 oz simple syrup** (add to suit your sweetness preference)
4 ice cubes

Stir all ingredients together until very cold.  When you add the lime juice to the rose infused vodka the beautiful colors of the rose revert to their acidified state and shine brilliant pink.  And the rose scent blooms in the glass.  Strain into two lovely cocktail glasses, garnish with a rose petal, and enjoy.

* My rose bush, a Gertrude Jekyll Rose, is grown with no pesticides of any kind.  This is very important for using roses petals in cooking — don’t use any roses if you’re not entirely sure that there are no systemic or foliar pesticides that have been used on your flowers.

**simple syrup:  Blend equal proportions by volume sugar and boiling water.  Cool before using.

 

Rose Drop

For me, the garden is a place of beauty, prayer, and deep inspiration for my cooking.  I have a beautiful rose bush* — right now in full bloom with deep pink, fragrant blossoms.  A few years ago, while weeding alongside this righteous proclamation of Spring, I envisioned a cocktail — the Rose Drop.

I imagined the luscious scent of my rose concentrated in one beautiful cocktail.  After a bit of tinkering, I was rewarded with a lovely surprise when I infused the petals of this rose, which I reveal to you in the recipe below.  Enjoy!

Gertrude Jekyll Rose

Gertrude Jekyll Rose

For the Rose infused vodka:
Start by picking 9 – 10 full rose blossoms.  Rinse them and pluck the petals.

Rose petals

Rose petals

Lightly pack all the petals into a large lidded jar.  I used a 20 oz glass lidded working jar.  Add vodka to the brim, then cover and place in the fridge.  Give it a shake after an hour or so.

roses in vodka - the first minute

rose petals in vodka – the first minute

After a couple hours the petals will have been drained of most of their color, and the infused vodka will be a pale straw pink color.  (When this first happened, I was most disappointed, as I was really hoping for the color and fragrance of my rose in my cocktail.  I was stunningly surprised later, when I used this infusion in a cocktail, with the addition of acidic lemon juice — a little food chemistry magic to come.)

rose infused vodka - after three hours in the fridge

rose infused vodka – after three hours in the fridge

rose infused vodka, after straining

rose infused vodka, after straining

Strain the rose infused vodka into a jar and store airtight in the fridge until you’re ready for a cocktail.  Enjoy! (in moderation, of course)

The Rose Drop
(makes two)

4 oz Rose infused vodka (see recipe, above)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 – 2 oz simple syrup** (add to suit your sweetness preference)
4 ice cubes

Stir all ingredients together until very cold.  When you add the lime juice to the rose infused vodka the beautiful colors of the rose revert to their acidified state and shine brilliant pink.  And the rose scent blooms in the glass.  Strain into two lovely cocktail glasses, garnish with a rose petal, and enjoy.

* My rose bush, a Gertrude Jekyll Rose, is grown with no pesticides of any kind.  This is very important for using roses petals in cooking — don’t use any roses if you’re not entirely sure that there are no systemic or foliar pesticides that have been used on your flowers.

**simple syrup:  Blend equal proportions by volume sugar and boiling water.  Cool before using.

 

Panna cotta with saffron & rose

It’s February in the Bay area, but it feels like Spring.  The plum trees are covered in fluffy pink and white blossoms.  I wanted a dessert to fit the season, and created this delicate version of the classic northern Italian dessert, Panna cotta.  Though usually flavored with vanilla, this version is infused with two different flowers  — rose and saffron.

panna cotta saffron rose

Panna cotta is cool, gentle, and delicious.  It is very easy to make — as in it takes about 10 minutes to put together, 2 hours to chill, and then it just waits patiently in your fridge until you serve it.  No oven required.  And though it’s often made with cream, feel free to substitute half and half or milk for a lighter, fresher version.

Panna cotta with saffron and rose
serves 6 – 8

2 1/2 cups half & half (use cream for more richness, or milk for a lighter version)
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 TB water
* pinch saffron threads
**2 TB culinary rose water

Pour the half and half into a microwave safe bowl or 1 quart glass measuring cup.  Heat on high for 2 – 3 minutes, or until very warm but not boiling.  Add saffron threads and sugar.  Stir for a minute to allow the saffron to suffuse through the liquid.  It should turn a delicate yellow.

Meanwhile, place the 3 TB water into a small bowl.  Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the top of the water.  The gelatin will quickly absorb the water (this will take about 2 minutes)  Add the softened gelatin to the warm half & half mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely melted into the liquid.  Add the rose water.  Strain out the saffron threads, if desired, and pour into small serving containers.  Chill until set, about two hours.

Note:  For the classic version of Panna cotta, omit saffron and rose water and add 2 tsp vanilla extract instead.  Serve with lightly sweetened slices strawberries.

*  Here is a close up of the warm half and half just after I put in the saffron threads:panna cotta saffron ** Be sure to use rose water that’s made for culinary use.  Don’t confuse it with rose water made for cosmetic purposes.