A Rose Cocktail

Though Andy favors Fresh Market for grocery shopping, I like Whole Foods a little bit more – they’ve got more interesting items, even if both places cost as much as a black-market baby (which I’m told is illegal anyway). Sometimes, as in the case of a bottle of rose water, I’ll buy something without a clear idea of how to use it, then keep it secreted in an out-of-reach cupboard until the proper moment presents itself. That’s what happened here, so when we were having guests over and the summer night called for an indulgent cocktail, I looked up this rose concoction and modified it a bit for what I had on hand.

It’s a bit sweeter than I normally prefer, but most people don’t like things as dry as I do, so it went over well. The fresh lemon cuts it a bit; thank goodness for tart citrus.


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz. simple rose syrup
  • Strained juice of ½ small lemon (modify to taste)
  • Dash of rose water
  • 1 rose petal for garnish

To make the simple rose syrup, I boiled two cups of sugar with one cup water, with a tablespoon or two of rose water. It fills the kitchen with the essence of rose, so get ready for a happy olfactory experience that reeks of early summer.

Shake ingredients with ice, let sit for a bit (for once, a bit of melted ice is a good thing, blunting both the sharper and sweeter edges) then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a rose petal. That may seem a bit precious, but it makes all the damn difference. Trust.

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