|Margarita's International Recipes|
I'm a pitiful gardener and pretty much everything I plant dies, but I'm blessed with a bunch of very old and established rose bushes in the front of my house. When I saw this recipe for a rose petal drink I knew I had to try it - finally I could use something from my garden in my cooking. I didn't have very high hopes for the drink, but it proved to be much more pleasant than I could have anticipated.
First of all, the drink was beautiful. It had the most arresting deep pink color, it was just gorgeous to look at. Secondly, it smelled great albeit of perfume. The subtle taste was not bad, either, and all of my guests finished at least one small glass. Indeed, the general consensus was that this drink functioned well as an exotic non-alcoholic cocktail. It was quite refreshing.
Sharbat, or drinks made from fruits and other ingredients by mixing them with boiling water, were very common in Azerbaijan. In recent years they have been replaced by store-bought sodas and other drinks - much like homemade lemonade has become old-fashioned in the US. It's a pity because if ovshala is anything to judge from, they are likely to be very good. I look forward to trying some other sharbat in the future, when my daughter is old enough to drink such things.
The original recipe seemed to be for only one glass of ovshala. I didn't have a scale and had no idea how the proportions themselves would scale so I pretty much guessed. I think my proportions work pretty well but the recipe below is to make 5-cups worth of ovshala. You will probably want to make less, just reduce the proportions by 1/3 or 2/3.
Petals from 3 full-bloom roses 5 cups water 1/2 tsp. lemon juice 3 tbsp. sugar
Boil water. Add rose petals and lemon juice to the boiling water, turn off heat and let stand for 6-10 hours. Drain into a pitcher. Discart petals. Add sugar to the rose water and stir. Let cool in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve.
Adapted from recipe from the Azerbaijan Cookery website.