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Friday 9 November 2012

Sluttishly Sweet: Rose Hip Syrup

Now that the leaves have fallen from the trees our hedgerows are revealing masses of ruby jewels that are bursting with vitamin C. In fact rose hips have 20 times more vitamin C than oranges so get picking and this syrup will help keep you cold free over the winter (and help replenish you after a night of too many cocktails!).

In order to avoid getting covered in tiny scratches from their sharp thorns you can don some rubber gloves and just remember to make sure that you don't completely strip a bush, take a few from many different bushes.

Dilute the syrup with water for a lovely drink, add it to cocktails, drizzle over ice cream, add to salad dressings, basically it's really versatile so just have fun with it safe in the knowledge that you won't get scurvy!

You'll need:
  • 1 kg rose hips
  • 1 kg caster sugar
  • 3 Litres water
Make it!
  1. Put 2 litres of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Wash your hips and trim off any stalk then pulse them in a food processor (or finely chop if you don't have one).
  3. Put the chopped hips in a saucepan with the boiling water and bring back to the boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and leave to infuse for an hour.
  4. Strain your mixture through a colander lined with muslin (I actually use a clean pillowcase) and leave to drip through. For a clearer syrup don't squeeze the juice out, I always do just because I like to get all the juice out and the clearness doesn't bother me.
  5. Put the pulp that's left back into a saucepan with a litre of water and bring to the boil again. Remove from the heat, leave to infuse for 30 minutes then strain again.
  6. Put all your strained juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer away until it's reduced by about half then add your sugar and heat until its completely dissolved and syrupy. Pour into sterilised bottles and jars and seal, my rose hip syrups easily last a year in sterilised bottles.


  1. I made mine a few weeks back. Reading around, I found some sources were far more cautious than others about how long the syrup would keep once opened. I think the difference was the sugar content - I used a similar recipe to yours, but some of the 'this is based on the original Ministry of Food wartime version' recipes have lower proportions of sugar (yes, rationing - but if using too little sugar causes half your syrup to go off, it's a ways of the sugar you DID use!)

    However, I also found people commenting that the syrup could be frozen - so I've kept a small bottle out for immediate use, and poured the rest into several freezer bags (um...didn't measure, maybe 150-200ml each?), so that I can re-sterilise & refill the bottle from the frozen portions later in the year.

    NB - yet to see how the defrosting works. However, it does make me wonder about rose-hip sorbet. Maybe with some added booze... *ponders* ...

  2. Yes Anon, once opened I get through mine quite quickly as it goes on so many dishes. I freeze all my syrups in water bottles and defrost them throughout the year if I have space in my freezer. The rose hip one though I just tend to keep in the cupboard. Love the sound of rose hip sorbet, that sounds wonderful!


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