Cleopatra believed that rose petals were an aphrodisiac. Whether or not that's true, the delectable perfume of a rose is synonymous with romance. Roses also happen to be the world's most popular flower, with 150 million plants sold each year. At this very moment, at least one yard in your immediate neighborhood is likely to have a blooming rosebush -- but rose season is on its way out, and now's the time to capture it in a bottle. Bring a few petals home to make a rosewater infusion; then treat yourself and your sweetie to a romantic sparkling cocktail on your next date night.
How to Make Rose Water
Place a few cups worth of clean, fresh, pesticide-free rose petals in a bowl or pot. Pour boiling water over the petals until they are fully immersed.
Cover the bowl tightly and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, place it in the refrigerator overnight. If desired, dilute it with distilled water.
Strain the rose water into a jar and refrigerate it for no more than a few days. To store your rose water over a longer period, freeze it in an ice cube tray.
Sparkling Red Rose Cocktail
Fill a champagne or cocktail glass with a sweet sparkling wine, preferably a sparkling red or rosé.
Add a splash of rose water and garnish with a sliced strawberry.
image: Juan Antonio Capó