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Rose Simple Syrup Recipe (For Drinks)

Spring is here and floral syrups are a wonderful way to elevate your cocktails, mocktails, lemonades and iced teas. This rose simple syrup is an easy recipe with just three ingredients.

And whether you prefer to make your syrup with dried rose petals or rosewater, I’ve got you covered with instructions for both!

small apothecary bottle filled with pink syrup.

Roses are flowering shrubs or vines belonging to the genus Rosa in the family Rosaceae. They’re best known for their beauty, fragrance, and thorny stems. Roses have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years for their aesthetic appeal, symbolic significance, and use in perfumery as well as herbal medicine.

Roses are an edible flower and have a sweet, floral fragrance that varies slightly depending on the species and variety. Some roses have a strong, classic rose scent, while others have a more subtle or spicy aroma.

small bottle filled with pink syrup next to a pink rose.

The two methods for making rose simple syrup

The easiest way to add rose flavor to simple syrup is with a quality, food-grade rosewater. It’s very easy to find rosewater for culinary uses in the spice section or Middle Eastern section of the grocery or health food store. It’s also readily available on Amazon.

Rosewater

This method of making rose simple syrup is the quickest and easiest because all you have to do is dissolve sugar in water and then add a small amount of rosewater and stir. Look for the best quality rosewater you can find to avoid an artificial or cloyingly strong rose flavor.

pouring pink syrup from a bottle into a silver bar jigger.

Rose petals

If using rose petals, the process is a bit more time consuming. You’ll need to pick up some culinary grade dried rose petals. These are easy to find on Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs. Next, you’ll combine the petals with sugar and water on the stovetop. This mixture is simmered for about ten minutes, then cooled, strained, and bottled.

No matter which method you choose, you’ll have a delicious rose syrup in less than a half hour!

How to add color to your syrup

If you choose the rosewater syrup method, you’ll end up with a crystal clear syrup. If you use rose petals, you’ll likely have a very pale pinkish colored syrup.

But if you want to add some more color, simply use a drop or two of quality food coloring. I like this collection I found on Amazon because it has so many different color options.

apothecary bottle filled with pink syrup next to roses and lemons.

You can also add color to the syrup naturally by adding a few dried hibiscus flowers (or a hibiscus tea sachet) to your syrup. For the cooked syrup, add the hibiscus at the end of the cook time and leave it in the hot syrup just until you get your desired color.

For rosewater syrup, simply heat your water first, add the hibiscus to the water, and steep until it reaches your desired color. Then remove the hibiscus and then proceed with adding the sugar and rosewater.

Don’t have hibiscus tea? Try adding a few raspberries or blackberries to the rose petal syrup while it cooks, or muddle them into the rosewater syrup before straining and bottling.

a fancy glass bottle filled with bright red syrup.

Strawberries are a good choice too, but they tend to make a more orangey pink color. Raspberries will give a cooler toned reddish pink color and blackberries will lend a deeper red color.

How long will the syrup stay fresh?

Most simple syrups will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator. You can help preserve your syrup a bit longer by adding a small amount of vodka or other alcohol to the finished syrup.

Store your syrup in a clean, glass bottle or jar. Learn more about storing and keeping syrups fresh in my How to Store Simple Syrup.

Recipes that use rose simple syrup

There are a million ways to use rose syrup, but I think one of the very best is in rose lemonade. You can also substitute rose simple syrup in any drink recipe that calls for simple syrup. Here are some fun ideas for spring and summer:

Rose Lemonade

Rose lemonade is a fun spring drink that everyone can enjoy. For this recipe, we’re making a non-alcoholic Collins with sparkling water. You can also opt to add and ounce or two or your spirit of choice or use chilled still water in place of sparkling.

rocks glass with lemonade and strawberry slices garnished with a pink rose.

Try my Pink Gin Lemonade with Saffron Rosewater Syrup

  • 1 oz rose simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 6-8 oz chilled sparkling water

Instructions: Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the syrup and lemon juice over the ice, then top with sparkling water. Stir gently and garnish with a lemon wheel or rose petal.

Rose Gimlet

A Gimlet is a simple gin or vodka cocktail that combines lime juice and simple syrup. We’ll replace the basic simple syrup with rose syrup for an easy spring riff that’s delicious and refreshing. Add another twist of flavor by garnishing with a slice of cucumber! The cool, vegetal aroma helps to balance the floral notes.

  • 2 oz gin or vodka
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz rose simple syrup

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it three quarters with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel (or cucumber slice!)

Rose Mojito

The Mojito is a classic Cuban rum cocktail that highlights the ultra refreshing duo of lime and mint. Like the Gimlet, we can easily add the floral notes of rose by replacing the simple syrup with rose syrup.

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz rose simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • Soda water

Instructions: Add the mint leaves and rose syrup to a highball glass and gently muddle. Next, fill the glass with ice, then pour the rum and lime juice over. Top with chilled soda water, stir gently, and garnish with mint.

If you love rose drinks, you need to know about Rooh Afza Sharbat. Check out this delicious Indian and Pakistani drink over at Hebbar’s Kitchen.

Pomegranate Rose Soda

This delicious red soda is unique non-alcoholic option for your next get together. Like the rose lemonade, we’ll combine syrup and juice, then top with sparkling water.

  • 1 oz rose simple syrup
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 6-8 oz chilled sparkling water

Instructions: Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the syrup and juice over, then top with sparkling water. Stir, then garnish with a rose petal or a small lemon wedge.

You might also enjoy a Raspberry Rose Floradora Cocktail!

highball glass filled with red liquid and garnished with a raspberry and rose.

What flavors pair well with rose?

Although rose is a fairly powerful floral flavor, it actually pairs nicely with a wide variety of both sweet and savory foods. Here are some of the top flavors that complement rose nicely:

Citrus

Lemon, orange, and especially grapefruit can enhance the fresh floral notes of rose while adding a bright, zesty aroma that prevents rose from becoming cloying or too perfume-y.

Berries

Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries perfectly complement the sweet floral flavor of rose, with just the right balance of sweet and tart.

wine glass filled with pale pink drink garnished with pink rose petals

Vanilla

Vanilla adds a deep, sweet undertone that complements the floral notes of rose, making a rich and heady flavor combination.

Cardamom

The warm, spicy notes of cardamom enhance the complexity of rose, creating a more exotic and aromatic flavor combination.

Lychee

The sweet, tropical flavor of lychee pairs beautifully with the floral notes of rose, creating a refreshing, sweet, and exotic taste experience.

Pistachio

The nutty flavor of pistachio adds depth and texture to dishes or desserts flavored with rose, creating a unique blend of sweet and savory.

Honey

Honey adds its own unique floral and caramel-like flavor to the flowery aroma of rose. Rose, honey, and citrus is an especially dynamite combination.

You may also enjoy these other syrup recipes:

pouring pink syrup from bottle into a silver bar jigger next to roses.
small apothecary bottle filled with pink syrup.

Rose Simple Syrup Recipe (for Drinks)

Amy Traynor
This easy recipe creates a luscious floral syrup that's perfect for all kinds of spring and summer drinks. Whether you want to use rose petals or rosewater, I'll walk you through exactly how to make rose simple syrup at home.
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Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1.75 cups

Ingredients
  

With rosewater:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp rosewater food grade

With rose petals:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dried rose petals food grade

Instructions
 

With rosewater:

  • Combine the sugar with the water and stir until all of the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the rosewater and stir to combine. Store the syrup in a clean glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • TIP: Different brands of rosewater may vary in strength of flavor. If you want your syrup to have a more subtle flavor, begin with 2 tsp. You can easily add more rosewater, to taste.

With rose petals:

  • Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir, then bring to a boil.
  • As soon as the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved, then add the rose petals.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until flavorful.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool fully before straining out the petals with a fine mesh strainer.
  • Store the finished syrup in a clean glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Notes

Add more color to your syrup with one of the following:

  • Food coloring
  • Dried hibiscus flowers or tea sachet
  • Berries
Food coloring: Add 1-2 drops of pink or red food coloring to your finished syrup.
Dried hibiscus flowers or tea sachets: If using rosewater for your syrup, add a hibiscus tea bag or a handful of dried hibiscus flowers to your warm water and let steep for a few minutes. Remove the tea bag, then add the sugar and rosewater as usual.
If using rose petals, add the hibiscus flowers or tea bag once the mixture has been removed from the heat. Once the syrup has reached the desired color, remove the tea bag, let the syrup cool, then strain and bottle as usual.
Berries: If using rosewater, muddle a few raspberries or blackberries into your syrup, then strain and bottle as usual.
If using rose petals, add a few berries during the cooking phase to increase color. Simmer, cool, and strain as usual.
Tip: Raspberries will give the best pink-red color, blackberries will make the syrup more red, and strawberries will give a pale pink-orange hue.
Keyword floral syrup, rosé, simple syrup
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