Rosehip syrup is very easy to make and is delicious. As rosehip syrup contains 20 times more vitamin C than oranges it is pretty healthy stuff. When the supply of oranges went down during the Second World War, many schoolchildren went rosehip picking and the rosehips were then turned into rosehip syrup. With renewed interest in wild foods, people are making rosehip syrup again. Here is my simple recipe how to make your own delicious rosehip syrup.
Rosehips produce their wonderful berries much later than many other plants. I picked these on the last day of October. Don’t pick all of them on the bush as birds rely on them for food during the winter.
Wash about a kilo of berries and break off the stalks.
I used to use a juicer like this and it chopped up the rosehips well though I’ve heard that some juicers might not cope with the tough rosehips. I now have a large and powerful blender and it works very well. Add half a litre of water to the rose hips so that the blender can work effectively.
The chopped rosehips should be put into 1.75 litres of boiling water as quickly as possible as the vitamin C begins to break down as soon as the rosehips are damaged.
Once the chopped rosehips are boiling, turn off the gas and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Then pour the mixture through a jelly bag – or, if you don’t have one, you can use a pair of (clean) tights, or, as I did, use a clean tea towel. Put the chopped rosehips back in the pan, add another litre of water and then repeat the straining process. You could probably do this three times and still get goodness out of the rosehips.
The syrup that comes out looks remarkably like tomato soup. Add about 750g of sugar for each litre of syrup that you have – and bring to the boil again. No need to boil away for hours. Once the syrup is boiling, you can start bottling it.
Bottle the rosehip syrup in sterlised bottles. Best to use small ones as the syrup will go off if the bottle is open for too long. Store in a cool, dark place and refrigerate after opening. It is a delicious drink either hot or cold – dilute to taste. You can also use it as a sweetener on your muesli or in your home-made ice cream.
You could also cheat and just buy some from Amazon – though you might come back when you see the price…