As served at St. Elmo’s Seaside Brasserie
One of the well-preserved traditions during Ramadan is serving rose-water extract at the Foutour table, which takes place at sunset, on every eve of the month, after a long day of fasting.
In addition to being a gourmet drink at so many high-end local and international cuisines around town, especially during Ramadan, this drink serves as a delicious refresher to restore lost hydration while fasting. Rose-water extract is also known for its delicious aroma, subtle sweet taste, and distinctively attractive color.
Even though we’re not a family of fasting, but the rose-water extract is a tradition we kept thanks to my grandma. Here’s how it’s made:
1. Collect as many healthy red rose blooms from your garden as you can.
2. Fill a pot with these pretty red petals, add enough water just to cover them, and put on a stove to heat until they just simmer, not boil, for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the petals from the rose-water and discard them. Then add more fresh petals to the same water for as much as the water can hold, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
4. Continue simmering red rose petals with the same water, until it turns deep pink or reddish, and a deep scent fills the air. The more petals you use, the more concentrated the syrup will be.
5. Allow the remaining water to cool to lukewarm. Then add 750 g of granulated sugar to each liter of the rose-water.
6. Stir the mixture over a very low heat, until sugar is fully dissolved, and there are no crystals at the bottom of the pan.
Note: Keep the heat low to just warm the liquid, and not make it a sugar concentrate!
Allow the syrup to cool before refrigerating it. You can also make rose-water syrup ice cubes, and add to lemonade! Pure delicacy!
Serve cold, with ice, and some pine seeds if desired!
Here’s another way to serve rose-water syrup; With traditional Arabic/Turkish ice cream:
As served in a local restaurant in Antakya, Turkey
Photos courtesy of: St Elmo’s Seaside Brasserie & Istanbul Food.