On one particularly warm day a few Summers ago, I took a long walk with a friend and her Mom along the waters of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where I live. Truth be told, my friend's Mother was quite a high strung, and well, just a downright disagreeable person. Our plan was to take a long walk in the neighborhood in hopes that we would tire her Mother out and keep her calm. Then we planned on having a late lunch at the Middle Eastern eatery Tanoreen.
I had heard great things about Tanoreen, but this was my first time there. By the time we made it to the restaurant we were parched. I mean, like hot sweaty panting dogs parched. Well, to be honest, my friend and I were, but her Mom had barely broken a sweat! Even every hair of her careful coif remained in place!
We were seated immediately and the waiter asked if we wanted a drink. He mentioned they had rose water lemonade. I stopped him there and we all 3 ordered a glass. Our thirst was quenched. Even Mommy Dearest had no complaints about the scent of roses.
It was heaven.
It hit several "right" spots. The generous amount of ice, the tart fresh squeezed lemon flavor, and then the finish of roses on your palate and nose.
The scent and taste took me back to a dinner party I attended once that a former boss of mine held, who is originally from Lebanon. He sprinkled a touch of rose water on a simple fruit salad he had made. I loved it. He explained to me in Lebanon they use rose flavor in many pastries and dishes.
Ever since then I have experimented with rose flavored food. I love rose Turkish delight. I will spread rose petal jam on croissants. or make thumb print cookies filled with rose petal jam. Occasionally, I will splurge on a rose flavored macaroon. Often I will grab a bottle of chilled rose flavored tea. I was even lucky enough once to score a rose flavored doughnut from the Doughnut Plant.
After enjoying that lemonade so much, I went to the International Market where I get the rose petal jam, and asked for rose water. They had it!
I played with the recipe a bit, and decided to use limes instead of lemons, but either works fine. Here is a source for the brand of Rose Water I use. Or if you want to make your own rose water, or curious about how it is made, check this out. DYI: Rose Water.
And here is the recipe for my Limeade:
Make a simple syrup by heating up on medium heat
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Stir until sugar is dissolved and syrup looks clear. Remove from heat.
Squeeze the juice of 5 limes (about 3/4 a cup) and pour into a a 6 cup pitcher
Add the simple syrup to the lime juice in the pitcher
Add to this mixture 1-2 tablespoons rose water to taste and stir it all together.
Then add filtered water until the pitcher is almost full. Leave room for ice. Stir again and add ice.
Pour into a tall glass filled with a generous amount of ice. This is not a drink to skimp on ice.
Garnish with lime, and if you want to be fancy pants', one organic rose petal per glass.
If you need to quench your thirst, or keep an uptight Momma happy, just pour a glass of this fragrant drink, or add a jigger of spirits and pour a dozen!