Last spring, when the roses were in bloom Maria Dahvana Headly gathered some women together to make food and aperatifs in her back yard. The idea was to put all of our witchy good intentions into delicious consumables and form an oven coven. It worked.
We made jars of Preserved Lemons and infused alcohol with every delicious thing we could think of. More importanlty for me, I got to make some fabulous new female friends and get closer to a some others who were on the periphery of my social group. Not all of our potions turned out well. I’m sure that there is a way to deliciously infuse booze with anise or cinnamon, but it may require a lighter hand and more measuring than any of us were prone to. One concoction that did turn out well was a Rose Petal and Apricot Aperitif with Cardamom and Pink Peppercorns. It only took a few weeks to become marvelous. It was good on the rocks or as a fancy addition to an Aperol Spritz. This year, when the roses bloomed again, we gathered and tried some variations on the rose potion theme. We tried nectarines instead of apricots with a vanilla bean thrown in. I’m particularly excited to try one with Pomegranate and lemon zest in place of stone fruit. We also made a pure rose potion, a honeysuckle vodka and another batch of preserved lemons with turmeric and sage.
We won’t know the results for a few weeks, but a lot of joy went into these potions, so I imagine that they’ll turn out well.
I should say that many of these photos were taken by the lovely Boo Froebel who stealthily evaded capture on film herself. I took this one of a tiny snail who we, thankfully, saved from a horrible boozy fate. Here is a recipe…kind of …for last Spring’s most successful rose potion. This is hardly an exact science. Make it with wild abandon and joy.
ROSE POTION WITH STONE FRUIT, CARDAMOM AND PINK PEPPERCORNS
To fill one 2 quart mason jar
- 4 Apricots or 2 nectarines pitted and halved or sliced
- 2 to 4 cups rose petals
- 4-10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- About 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
- 1 vanilla bean (optional but very good)
- 1 and 1/2 cups vodka
- 1/2 cup sugar (edit June 13th- 1/3 cup might be enough)
- enough white wine to fill the 2 quart mason jar
- 1 lemon halved and squeezed (edit June 13th- this helps preserve the rose petals)
Seal it up and store it in a cool dark place. Taste it every few days. When it’s good, strain it and drink it. If you leave it too long the rose petals will disintegrate and make it muddy.
Two or three of weeks is plenty of time. Edit June 13th- This is at it’s peak best if you strain it after exactly 1 one week. After that the rose petals start to disintegrate.
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