Several summers ago, my beloved yoga teacher and friend introduced me to the delights of a hint of rosewater in a pitcher of cool water as a hot summer thirst quencher. The recipe is quite simple: take one large pitcher of pure water, add a bit of rosewater (say 1-2 tsps per pitcher) and drink. You can also add a bit of fresh lemon, which balances the floral taste and makes for a particularly refreshing drink. This is not a drink for everyone, and I would caution that many folks I have served it to respond by saying, in a non-too-impressed tone: "it tastes like flowers." And they're right. It does. Rather a lot. Like roses in fact. So if that isn't your thing, I'd recommend skipping this one. If it is, however, this is a wonderful and easy way to make a fabulous treat for yourself.
These days, the blossoms are threatening to bloom in our neck of the world and I even saw a patch of daffodils in full bloom on a run the other morning (granted they were next to a south facing wall, but still). Having had a particularly crummy summer last year in these parts, I'm finding myself aching for Spring and already fast fowarding mentally to summer's arrival. I've jump started things and started drinking this rosewater drink while out in the garden planting seeds and digging out weeds. I like to think it helps the flowers along.
While searching for places online to buy culinary rosewater, (I didn't really find any useful ones, so try any Arabic, Greek or Indian market, it comes in bottles for about $5), I came across this awesome website for the Human Flower Project. The Human Flower Project describes itself as "The Human Flower Project is an international newsgroup, photo album and
discussion of how people live through flowers. We report on art,
medicine, society, politics, religion, and commerce." Lovely! Read their article on making rosewater in Iran here. Their entire Food category is in fact worth a browse if you're the flower lovin' culinary type.