Rosehip syrup is very easy to make and is delicious. As rosehip syrup contains 20 times more vitamin C than oranges it is very 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 many birds rely on them for food during the winter.
Wash about a kilo of berries and break off the stalks.
Use a powerful blender such as this one to macerate the rosehips. They should be in small pieces, not a mush. Add water to the rosehips to make it easier work for your blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can get one here.
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.
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.
The syrup that comes out looks remarkably like tomato soup. Add 750g of sugar for each litre of rosehip 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 sterilised 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 on 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…