I've been having a thing with roses of late, popping petals into glasses of champagne for a hint of color and floral aroma.
So when Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks gave me a jar of freshly made rhubarb and rosewater syrup, I needed to know more and guessed that it was inspired by a recent trip she took to Morocco. "I've been keeping a bottle of rosewater and a jar of petals on the counter since I've been back from Morocco, working them into all sorts of different dishes, both sweet and savory. The trick seems to be in using 'just enough'—too little, and you miss the magic, too much, and your food smells like a face cream."
She hits the mark with her rhubarb rosewater concoction balancing the rhubarbs' tartness with tangy lime juice and adding a decidedly floral note at the end with the rosewater. To get the recipe, go to Rhubarb and Rosewater Syrup from 101 Cookbooks.
Above: Heidi recommends using the syrup on plain yogurt or adding a few drops to sparkling water.
Above: "Rosewater varies greatly from brand to brand, so it really is one of those things you should add to your personal taste/liking," Swanson says.
Above: Per Swanson's instructions: "Chop a few stalks of rhubarb, toss with sugar, then let the mixture sit around until everything settles into a cold, sweet stew."
Above: Straining the rhubarb.
Above: The end result: a rose-hued drink with some rose petals added and perfect as a cocktail mixer. Summer anyone?