I have made more rosolio di rose (rose petal liqueur) and this time I used rose petals from some scented roses from my friends’ extensive garden at Euroa (Victoria). Although my friends have many roses, not many are scented or of a dark red colour, which is useful to tint the vodka to a deep, rose shade.

One of my readers used my recipe for making rose liqueur but reported that she did not feel that she needed to steep the petals for as long as I had suggested – this was certainly my experience on this occasion and the colour seem to leach out of the petals very quickly.

As you can see by the photos there were not many red petals, but I was surprised with the end colour.

The same reader used her rose petal liqueur for making cocktails. I wanted to use the liqueur like Kirsch, a dash at the bottom of a glass and topped with champagne – special enough for Christmas.  I had also read several recipes where fresh rose petals had been used to make ice cream and wondered if the liqueur could be successfully used instead. And it can be.

Mainly to provide visual contrast and to fit in with the Christmas spirit I presented the ice cream with macerated berries. If I had a flower garden, or if I was able to purchase scented roses that had not been treated with any chemicals or sprayed with pesticides, I may have sprinkled a few fresh petals and on top of the ice cream instead of including the berries.


Make a crema pasticcera (use the recipe in the post for Zuppa Inglese) but use 5 egg yolks instead of 3. I always use organic, full cream milk but for making this ice cream replace 1 cup of the milk with heavy cream.
Chill the custard overnight in the fridge.
Add ½- ¾ cup of rose liqueur to the chilled custard and stir it through gently.

Make ice cream following the manufacturer’s instructions.


My ice cream machine is not a sophisticated, sealed unit; it is very primitive and consists of a frozen block at the bottom of a stirring apparatus, but most of the time it makes ice cream successfully. Alternatively freeze the mixture in a sealed container and during freezing stir the mixture a few times with a fork.

Because I wanted the ice cream to be a deeper shade of rose, I added about a teaspoonful of juice from the berries at the same time as the rose liqueur.


ROSE LIQUEUR (Rosoliu/Liquore di rose)


I am partial to a cup of rose flavoured tea, add rose water in some of my cooking and I particularly like my Sirop de roses (Rose syrup, mine is made in Lebanon) which I sometimes use to give a pink tinge and rose flavour to some of my desserts: home made ice creams, panna cotta, stewed fruit compotes (especially rhubarb or figs, or pears) or fresh fruit salads.

The Old Foodie has been writing about rosewater again this week and this has reminded me about a recipe for making a rose flavoured liqueur.

I too am a lover of rose flavoured foods.

Rosolio di rose (Rosoliu in Sicilian) dates back to the 15th century and was a popular cordial, originally made from rose petals. By the 18th century it had progressively became an alcoholic drink and lemon become more favoured over rose as flavouring. The pink colour was likely to have been enhanced with cochineal.Many of the ancient Sicilian recipes use rosoliu as the generic name for liqueur, several of which are made with oranges, mandarins or lemons and some are sometimes flavoured and coloured with a little saffron.

There are recipes for making Liquore Di Rose (Rose Liqueur) – this has been popular in other parts of Italy and in other countries. Some of the recipes include other flavourings for example lemon peel, cloves or orange blossoms.

My zia Niluzza (who lives in Ragusa, Sicily) gave me this recipe for Rosoliu, a long time ago.

For extra flavour I use ½ cup of rose water (as part of the 2 cups of water) and a dash of rose syrup (coloured pink and it is sweet, therefore reduce the amount of sugar and a little cochineal. I will need to wait for a generous friend and the right season before I make my next batch, but I have thought about adding a little grated beetroot with the petals rather than using cochineal.

4 cups of rose petals from a highly scented rose (I used a black rose for mine)
2 cups very strong vodka or grappa (we cannot buy 95° spirit in Australia as they do in Italy)
2 cups sugar
2 cups of water
Place rose petals a clean jar, add alcohol, close and keep in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks.
Prepare the sugar syrup: boil water and sugar. Cool.
Filter the alcohol mixture and add syrup. Keep it for least 3 months before using.
Glass of filtered  Rosoliu, bottle of Sirop de roses and the jar I use to make the Rosoliu.


In some recipes the petals are left in the alcohol/syrup mixture and then strained at the time of serving. I left some petals in my last batch of rose liqueur and the petals partly dissolve and this is why you may notice a layer of sediment in the jar in the photo.

This is not the only liqueur I make. See my recipe for making Alchermes (or Alkermes) that I use to make the famous Italian dessert Zuppa Inglese.

ALCHERMES/ALKERMES (The liqueur used to make Zuppa Inglese)