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How to Make Rose Water

a Rosemary Gladstar Recipe

Although distilling fresh rose petals (Rosa spp.) generally produces rose water, the following method is simple and effective, and it ensures a perfect rose water every time. Be sure you use fresh roses that have just begun to open; they are at their prime and will yield the strongest water.

The more fragrant the roses, the stronger the scent of the rose water. Using roses that have been sprayed with insecticides will result in the toxins being extracted into the water.


3 parts witch hazel extract, vodka, or gin
1 part distilled water
Fresh, organically grown roses or rose petals


Mix the witch hazel (or vodka or gin) with the distilled water. Place the fresh roses in a quart jar. Completely cover the roses with the alcohol mixture, adding enough extra that the alcohol mixture rises 2 to 3 inches above the flowers. Cover tightly and place in a warm, shaded area. Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 weeks.


Strain out the roses and rebottle the water for use. Rose water does not need refrigeration, but storing it in a cool place will prolong its shelf life.

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