In Nana’s time, rosehip syrup was a must-have cure-all for colds in winter. Rosehips are high in vitamin C and there are plenty around at the moment. I’m not sure if you can buy the syrup any more, but here’s how to make your own. It will keep for six months and can be used in the winter to make delicious hot or cold drinks.
The time to collect the red hips off your rose bush is after the first frost, which makes them potent. If you’re not in a frost area, collect after a chilly night.
- 500g rosehips
- 1.5L boiling water
- 500g sugar
- Chop up the rosehips or simply put them in the food processor until they’re chopped up into small pieces. Add them to 1L of boiling water in a pot on the stove. Bring to the boil.
- Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour. Strain the hips through some muslin, a jelly bag or a clean tea towel and put the liquid to one side.
- Take the pulp and put it back in the pot with 500ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a further 30 minutes.
- Strain and add the liquid to your first measure of infused liquid. Clean the pan, then put the liquid into it and simmer until the volume has reduced by half. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer at a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Bottle in sterilised glass bottles or jars and store in a cool place.