Rosehip Syrup Recipe

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

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.

Rosehips in a container

Wash about a kilo of berries and break off the stalks.

Rosehip chopper

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.

boiling rosehips

The chopped rosehips should be put into a pan of boiling water as quickly as possible as the vitamin C begins to break down as soon as the rosehips are damaged. The quantities are not too important but the consistency should be soup like with more rosehip than water.

Straining rosehips

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 some more water and then repeat the straining process. You could probably do this three times and still get goodness out of the rosehips.

fresh rosehip syrup

The syrup that comes out looks remarkably like tomato soup. Now add 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.

bottled rosehip syrup

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…

40 thoughts on “Rosehip Syrup Recipe

  1. I tried this recipe and nearly destroyed my juicer. Smoke started coming from the motor after just one handful of rosehip bulbs and luckily i shut it off in time. I’d recommend people considering this recipe to use a blender.

    • Hi Simon. As a boy in Colorado I learned how to make the syrup and jelly from my Grandma . After boiling whole rosehips we strain them through a cone shaped sieve that has a pointy wood dowel. It strains them beautifully. However after reading this blog I will chop up my next batch prior to boiling. Yum.

    • Use the hips from Rosa Rugosa they are much softer, have all the goodness of other rose hips and are bigger. They can be grown very easily and cheaply.

      • Thanks for the hints I have masses of these rose hips in my garden & it seems a shame to see them go to waste as the birds & squirrels don’t eat many of them. I’m picking a batch for preparation tomorrow. Cheers!

    • Hi Dimitri, The bottles in the photo are simply ketchup bottles. I now have an arrangement with a local pub that saves screwtop juice bottles for me.

  2. could you make rosehip ‘marmalade’ – are the berries poisonous to eat? I can remember as a child hips and haws being called ‘itchy back berries’ – we would break them in half and attempt to rub them into each other’s backs – they would be very itchy. Can you buy dried hips and haws? Great information here; thanks.

    • Hi Lorraine, I’m sure you could make it and the berries aren’t poisonous. The problem would be removing all those little hairs. Personally I would stick to syrup.

      • Re. making a marmalade out of rosehips, could you add gelatine to make a jelly? Nice with rice pudding I should think!

    • Hi Lorraine. Rose hips contain thorn like growths inside the hips to stop the fruit being eaten. Straining the fruit removes these nasties. I dont know about haws though.

    • Recipe for Hip Marmalade from “Aunt Kate’s Jams and Jellies Book” c. 1910
      Hip Marmalade (all quantities in UK imperial measures)
      ——————————————————————————–
      Gather ripe hips from rose bushes, and boil them in water, allowing 1/2 pint to 1 lb berries. When tender pass all though a seive, add an equal weight of loaf sugar and half a wineglassful of rose water, and boil until it is clear and jellies quickly. (For serving with game).

      I have not made this recipe (I made rosehip syrup), but I have made quite a few of the recipes in this book, all with success. Hope this helps.

  3. I’ve never dare try making Rosehip Syrup before but this is fabulous! I don’t have a juicer or a blender so I simply cut the rosehips up into small pieces and cooked them till they were soft. Then I used the handblender on them! The resulting Syrup is gorgeous and tastes much nicer than the shop-bought stuff I remember having as a kid! The children love it and use it on anything they can from pancakes to ice-cream! Thank you!

  4. hi,firstly can i bottle this syrup in plastic bottles if I clean them thoroughly… and if I run out of bottles can I freeze it…As I have found heaps of hips locally. when is the best time to harvest these…

  5. I have made Rose hip Jelly but never chopped the hips I just crushed them with a hard wooden spoon. Also please remember NOT TO PICK all the Rose hips as the birds need some to see them through the winter.

  6. Hi can anyone tell me if you can use rose-hips from cultivated dog rose.
    I live near a big hall that has a ha-ha and the dog-roses have been left to themselves for years at the moment the bushes are heaving with ripe fat red juicy hips…

    Please email me if I can use them asap as i would like to get them gathered before the rot.

    Kindest regards

    Merice

    • Hi David,
      I was actually discussing this last night. I’ve drunk syrup that I made about 14 months before and it tasted delicious. I would love to know the vitamin C content of my syrup as it ages. Unfortunately it costs about $40 for a test and I would have to do a series of tests to see a pattern. I think it is safe to presume that the vitamin C will fall so it is best drunk sooner rather than later.

  7. I’ve picked some rose hips today and followed the instructions. Thanks for the recipe and it turned out ok thanks again Gabi

  8. No need to chop the rosehips first – as soon as they come to the boil they crack open like cranberries and then you can just mash them with a potato masher. Cheaper than buying a new blender!

  9. hi thank you for a easy to read and see recipe ive picked some rosehips so im going to give it a go thank you alice:)

  10. I am a Diabetic and sugar is a no-no for me. Can I make Rosehip Syrup without sugar, or would it taste bitter? Are there safe alternatives for sugar. Thanks, J G

    • Hi James, I did try to make some with artificial sweetener but it didn’t work very well. Has anyone else tried it? Any successes?

    • Hi James;
      I always try to make jams, marmalades etc without sugar and they are usually successful. I use apples or apple juices – even better if you can get concentrated grape juice – I hear that Asda sell this now for wine making (the green grape kind as this doesn’t colour your jam or syrup) You can use sweet apples and cook these with your fruits. I have also resorted to buying ‘fruit sugar’ though this is too expensive for my pocket, as is Maple syrup – the latter I should think would do a good job too if you are rich enough to buy enough of the stuff.
      My latest batch of marmalade – using apple juice and golden sultanas (dried green grapes) as a sweetener, has been very successful. I re-use small jars as much as I can because there is less fear of the jam getting a mould after it is opened – not that I give it a chance to get that way… It takes a bit of pallet retraining to accept un-sugared jams and syrups. This year I used the same method with blackcurrants which again is very successful and you get the full flavour of the currants in the jam too. I only had a few gooseberries on the bushes this year but I cooked them with pineapple juice, from concentrate, (no added sugar – bought from Lidl’s) , which is so very sweet, and I got a delicious gooseberry and pineapple jam. Roll on next year I say.
      I am about to pick rose-hips which are abundant this year – are we to have a really cold winter do you think – to make the lovely syrup – trying to do so only with apple/grape/sultanas etc… You can concentrate your own apple juice by simmering until it reduces to a thickish syrup and mix that with your rose-hip juice and see how it goes. Only try not to boil the goodness form the rose-hips. I’m looking forward to making the syrup without sugar and hope it turns out well – hope your experiment does too…

      A tip; if your jam/jellies etc begin to go mouldy – carefully scoop off the mould and wipe the rim and side of the jar with a clean paper towel and pop the jar into the microwave for a few seconds to kill off the mould spores. It works every time.
      Good syrup making,
      Eileen

  11. THANK’S HEAP’S FOR THE TIP’S, I LIVE IN SCOTLAND & THE HIP’S ARE JUST BEGINING TO RIPEN.
    THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME I’VE MADE THIS :)
    I TASTED SOME HOME MADE ROSEHIP SYRUP LAST YEAR THAT SOMEONELSE MADE….BEAUTIFUL IT WAS & SORTED OUT A NASTY COUGH I HAD WITHIN A WEEK….THANK’S AGAIN:)

  12. I make rose hip jelly, equal amounts of cooking or wild apples and hips cover them with water in a large pan of preserving pan, mash as the boil, then strain the pulp through a sieve or cloth ( I use an old well washed muslin nappy) over night. For every pint of liquid add one pound of sugar – I find cane sugar best- boil to set the jelly. Must reach 220 degrees F. Beautiful flavour. A wonderful reminder of late summer on a cold dreary winters tea time on toast or crumpets, and an amazing colour.

  13. Great recipe,I have made this before but didnt realise you could boil the hips 2 or 3 times.Now I will have lots more syrup and it made lovely Christmas presents last year.

  14. Great information here many thanks. We have an abundance of hips this year – the narrower orangey-red hips of the dog rose, the large plump rosa rugosa hips and also the more unusual purple-black hips that are found in coastal areas where we are. Made the purple hips into syrup today and it is the most beautiful deep purple colour and tastes and smells like a cross between apples and blackcurrants. I used (clean!) tights to strain the pulp after boiling hard for over an hour. The purple juice stains all it touches, however I have made over 5l and it is amazing…..not bad when they are selling it for £3.79 for 200ml online!!! My kitchen is a mess but I think it has been worth it.

  15. Ok Scotland…….picked some hips and made a batch up today. We haven’t yet had a freeze, I will try it tomorrow on ice cream.
    I may be a little dense but…
    It was not clear to me that I was to be saving the liquid. So the first strain of liquid went down the drain (to meet up with my brain) so I only have two boils. The colour is good…we shall see for the taste tomorrow.

  16. Made some today with hips from Dog Rose & it tastes great…used about 1/2 or maybe even a 1/3 rd of the sugar though & hope that won’t be a prob down the line. Seems thick & sweet enough for now though…

  17. Thank you for the recipe! Ihave just made two bottles of syrup from a cup and a half of berries. I didn’t bother chopping the berries first, just mashed them once they were softened as per Ecowitch’s suggestion. I also added a vanilla pod just at the end of the boiling process- delicious! As per other posters comments, please leave some on the bushes folks for the other creatures in this world.

  18. I met a lady picking hips this week & she told me that the best time to pick them for increased vit.c content was after the first frost.But if you want to get on with making syrup now then put the hips in the freezer over night & it has the same effect.

  19. Hi. thanks for the recipe, went out this morning gathering rosehips and have just finished bottling the syrup. :-)
    I remember as a child at primary school in the 50s, The whole school with teachers would go out every year collecting rosehips, which were presumably sent of to a collecting depot by the head mistress.. I wonder who had the money? as we certainly never saw any of it!!!!!

    • Hi Norman, as a child we picked rosehips during w11 war. for the school, these went through the ministry of food the syrup bottled for children and babies, this was the “childrens war effort” No money was involved..
      Margaret

  20. I find it’s particularly nice to add fresh chopped ginger and lemon juice to the mix – gives it more of a tang -it’s also quite nice to add to a gin and tonic for a slightly different flavour and of course to have it hot with a good splash of whisky makes for a interesting take on a hot toddy

  21. Thanks so much for the recipe. Have just made it for my grandchildren with wild rose hips which are plentiful on my local beach in Ireland. Don’t worry, the birds wouldn’t notice what I took but all the same, I got so much out of one kilo that I’ve run out of jars! Have a full litre jug leftover. Will have to use a lot of it this week. I’ll know next time The grandchildren love it – very tasty. Go raibh maith agat (thanks in Irish). Ann

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