Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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How to make Rosehip Syrup

Wild rosehip fruits

Gathering rosehips to make your own rosehip syrup is a great way to provide a vitamin C rich drink for you and your family. You can also use dried, bought, or frozen rosehips for this recipe.

Looking down into a bottle of rosehip syrup with rosehips in the background

This recipe is based on a traditional rosehip drink, and was inspired by the method shared in Roger Philip's Wild Food book.

Bunch of rosehips growing

When to pick rosehips?

Rosehips are usually picked after the first frost, when their skins are softened and the flesh sweetened. They tend to be ready from September to November when the fruits have turned from orange to red. Once the colour is ripe you can also pick and freeze the fruits.

Which rosehips are edible?

All rosehips (the fruits of the rose) are edible, but not all are tasty. I find the best rosehips to make syrup from are Dog Rose, also known as Wild Rose (Rosa canina).

Why are rosehips good for you?

Rosehips have high amounts of vitamin C - about 4x as much as blackcurrants and 20x as much as oranges - and they are local, seasonal food! Rosehips also contain good amounts of vitamin E, A and K.

Can animals eat rosehips?

My dog forages for rosehips as food, but the tiny hairs inside the fruit aren't good for human or animal digestive systems. That's why rosehip syrup is normally strained to separate the hairs and the hair coated seeds.

Rosehip syrup on a spoon and rosehips

Rosehip Syrup Recipe

A subtly flavoured syrup which is brilliant for staving off colds. Dilute as a drink, drizzle over pancakes, apple crumble or ice cream or use in cocktails.

This recipe for rosehip syrup avoids boiling the fruits so as not to loose too much vitamin C. In fact, you'll only loose about 15% vitamin C and most of that is lost between mashing the fruits and plunging them into boiling water. So speed is a vitamin asset.

Bowl of frozen rosehip fruits

Makes 750 ml

Ingredients
  • 300 g rosehips, stalks removed
  • 1 litre water
  • 300 g golden caster sugar

Using a small to medium saucepan, bring 500ml of water to the boil. Briefly mash the fruits and immediately plunge into the boiling water. Bring the water back to the boil, turn off the heat and leave the fruits to infuse for 15 minutes. Put both the rosehips and liquid into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip through into a bowl. Using the same saucepan, bring the remaining 500ml of water to the boil, add the rosehip pulp, turn off the heat, cover and allow to infuse for a further 10 minutes. Strain through the jelly bag and allow all the liquid to drip through.

Wash out the saucepan and fill with the strained rosehip water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by one third. Stir in the sugar, allow to dissolve, then simmer for 5 minutes before pouring into hot, sterilised bottles.

Bowl of rosehip fruits next to a glass of rosehip syrup

If you like this recipe, you may want to see my other rosehip recipes and notes. Rosehips are also one of the fruits I teach on my foraging courses between late summer and winter.

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