Rose and honeysuckle syrup
This drink is the taste of high summer for me. A bright floral scent that fills your mouth, yet it has none of the slightly 'soapy' taste that some floral things can have. The recipe gives you a bottle of syrup which can be mixed with water, tonic water or added to gin and tonics. It can also be used to marinate strawberries - layer them up in a pavlova with rose petals and cream and you will have the summeriest of puddings possible.
You do need lots of flower petals - grown without sprays - so this recipe is something for someone with access to a garden really or it could be expensive to make. The flowers don't have to be perfect, I collected the damaged heads after a rain shower - great blotches on their petals but still otherwise perfect.
I love the way the syrup changes from dull beige to jewel pink when you add the lemon juice.
Rose petals - the more scented the roses, the more scented the syrup will be. The petals do not have to be perfect but they need to be in their prime. Make sure that they have not been sprayed. Use as many as you can get but at least 5 full headed roses.
Honeysuckle flowers - 10 flowers are probably enough, gently pull the flowers off the stem.
500 ml water
Juice of one lemon
Sterilised bottle - either put it through a hot wash in the dishwasher or in an over at gas mark one for 15 minutes.
Put the rose and honeysuckle petals in a pan with the water and sugar.
Bring to the boil very gently, stirring so that the sugar dissolves
Simmer for ten minutes.
Add the lemon juice and simmer for five more minutes.
Cool, strain and pour into your bottle.
This will keep in the fridge for three months.
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