Rose hip syrup is made from rose hips, which are the fruits of roses. (I know, I know, most people don’t think of roses as having fruits, but they do!) The syrup is lovely to look at, and full of vitamin C. Rose hips are a firm fruit, so it takes a little coaxing to get the juices out. The process is similar to that for soft fruits, but since the fruit isn’t super-juicy, there are a few extra steps.
Breaking up the rose hips in advance helps release the juices. Wash the fruit, then remove the large calyx (the thing that looks like a star attached to one end of the fruit) from the top of each hip. Put the hips in a blender, and add enough water to cover them halfway. Pulse your blender to roughly chop the rose hips. You’re not trying to make a purée; you just want to break up the fruit.
Transfer the chopped rose hips to a saucepan, and add enough water to barely cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. By this time, the hips should be soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Turn off the heat and let the fruit sit for 15 minutes.
Pour the rose hips into a jelly bag set over a bowl, and let the juice drain. Don’t squeeze the jelly bag as the juice is draining, or your syrup may be cloudy.
Return the hip pulp to the pan and, again, add just enough water to cover the fruit. Repeat the simmering/draining process as described above.
Combine the two batches of juice into one, measure it, and pour it into a clean saucepan. For every cup of juice, add one cup of sugar to the liquid. Whisk the sugar and juice together, over medium heat, until the sugar is completely dissolved. If the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for five minutes, then remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Pour the cooled syrup into bottles or canning jars.
Rose hip syrup can be used as a base for ice cream or sorbet, as a cocktail mixer, or to make rose hip liqueur. It will keep for several months in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, process jars of syrup in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
A Picture of the Rosehip would help
Hi Chris, to see a photo of rose hips, click on the link in the first line of this post. That’ll take you to my post about the fruit itself, and you’ll see an initial image of picked hips on a plate. Scroll all the way down the page to see a photo of the hips on the plant.
When do you prefer to harvest hips? After a frost or at what color blush on the fruits? Thanks!
I prefer to wait until after a frost, because I think the flavor is better. But I live in a very dry climate so I don’t have to worry about them rotting or getting moldy on the plant. If you live where that might happen (and I think you do!) you can pick them as soon as they’re red and a little soft to the touch.
Jean Sharry says
Is it possible to simply put the hips through a juicer?
It might be, depending on the kind of juicer you have. I’ve used a steam juicer, which works very well. If it’s a juicer that grinds up everything, including the seeds and hairs, that probably wouldn’t be great. I imagine the flavor would be less pleasant. If you try it, please let me know how it works out.
Hi, I love the recepie but after reading it through I’ve realized that after the repetetive boiling-heating the rose hips there’re won’t be much vitamin C left.
You’re right Elena! That’s why I didn’t mention that rose hips are full of vitamin C in this post. Raw, they’re packed with it, but after the cooking, not so much. I hope you won’t think less of me that I’m more interested in flavor than nutrition!
Of course not 🙂 I enjoy your posts and nature’s treasures (sumac, wild carrot, bunchberries, rose hips). I was just wondering about the connection between vitamin C and the rose hip syrup.
Hi – you actually DID say “The syrup is lovely to look at, and full of vitamin C”… so I don’t understand why you’re now agreeing it is not actually full of vitamin C… because that is the main reason I continued reading your post 🙂
My bad! I thought Elena was commenting on my rose hip soup recipe, not the rose hip syrup recipe. Rose hip syrup still has a decent amount of vitamin C, especially if you limit the simmer to five minutes or less. Rose hip soup (the post I wrote immediately after this one) is cooked longer, and doesn’t retain nearly as much vitamin C. Sorry for the confusion.
Oh! Thanks for clarifying! I’m glad to know it still has a good amount of vitamin C! And now I’m going to have to check out your rose hip soup recipe! Thanks! 🙂
Nancy Baker says
What is this for? Medical uses?
Hi Nancy, Medicinal uses aren’t my specialty. For me, it’s all about the flavor! I use rose hip syrup in food and drink: cocktails, sorbets, icing, and homemade sodas.
Krystal H says
What are the instructions for using the juice steamer? Please.
Hi Krystal: https://backyardforage.wpengine.com/every-forager-should-have-steam-juicer/
Hi, I have a problem I’m hoping someone can help with. I attempted to make Rose Hip jelly but I made the mistake of
doubling the recipe as I had that amount of Hips. I ended up with syrup which my family really liked so no real loss there.
Fast forward a year and in the few jars I have left there has appeared a “film like” layer of cloudiness about 1/4″
thick on top of the syrup. I unsealed the jar and did taste it and it doesn’t taste off or anything.
I was wondering if anyone would have some insight as to what it is before I decide to dump the rest down the drain.
The whole batch was processed correctly and all the lids snapped tight so I don’t see how anything could have
entered to start growing. Could something have survived the processing?
I don’t have an answer for you Kevin, but hopefully someone else will read this and be able to help. Just to clarify, the film-like layer formed on un-opened jars that were still sealed? I’ve never heard of that happening. I wouldn’t expect anything to survive the processing, but I don’t know what you used for your sugar to juice ratio. I do know that some of the low/no sugar pectins produce a jelly that doesn’t last nearly as long as traditional pectin. Did you use commercial pectin, and if so, what kind?
I just made some today out of wild rose hips from around my property. It turned out looking more like honey and it has an odd after taste. I’m not sure what I did wrong :/
Can you describe the odd aftertaste? Rose hips have a slightly vegetal aftertaste which is not sweet. Do you think that could be what you’re tasting?