Foraged Foods

I live in one of three UNESCO Geoparks in Canada.  Recently I started reading about foods that you can forage or pick that grow wild. One of the most common fruits found across Canada is the rose hip. This vitamin C packed, red seed-filled fruit has been used by ancient Chinese, Persians, Romans and Greeks. It can be used to make tea, jam, jelly, marmalade, soup (yup! The sweedish make a soup called nyponsoppa) or wine or mead. I love the jelly, but prefer making it into a cordial and then mixing into… you guessed it DRINKS!

Rose Hip Cordial 

This is a hybrid of online cordial and jelly recipes. It uses a double cook method to extract the most flavour from the pulp and a hint of lemon juice to brighten the flavour of the cordial syrup.

  • 1 kg rose hips (flowers & stem removed)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 350 grams sugar

Remove the dried flower bit off the ends and wash the rose hips. Put into food processor and roughly chop the rose hips in batches and place in a large pot. Add 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for around 15 minutes.

Strain through a double layer of muslin, letting the pulp sit for a good half hour so that all the juice passes through. Set liquid aside.

Put pulp back into the sauce pan and add 1.5 litres of water. Bring back to a boil then turn off heat and allow to infuse for 15 more minutes. Strain through a double layer of muslin again and let drip for half hour. Squeeze out remaining juice and discard pulp.

Return all the strained rose hip liquid to the pot, add lemon juice and boil rapidly until the liquid is reduced to 1 litre. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface, then stir in the sugar until dissolved. Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles, ready to serve. The cordial will keep for up to three months, stored in the fridge. 

So now what? Right? The syrup is too sweet to drink alone so while I could mix it with club soda, I wanted to make the beverage more elegant. Online there are many options for what to do with Rose Hip Cordial that involve alcohol, but what if I don’t want that buzz?

Sparkling Rose Hip Orange Iced Tea 

This recipe is adapted from Orange Rose Hip Iced Tea  and originally calls for dried rose hips steeped like a tea and then cooled and mixed with orange juice and ice. While the end product sounded refreshing – I wanted more of a cocktail and something with a little zing. So I though, why not adapt it to use the cordial and then cut the sweetness with club soda. The result – much nicer but mostly just tasted of orange juice. But you can decide for yourself if you wish to try my recipe adaptation.

  • 1 oz Rose Hip Cordial
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Pour 1 oz Rose Hip Cordial over ice in a lowball (short) glass. Add orange juice and club soda to fill. Stir and serve with a slice of orange as garnish.

Rose Hip Cocktail (Virgin Version)

Skotlander Rum published a rum based cocktail using rosehip cordial and lime juice that looked interesting and can be found here rose hip cocktail recipe . I removed the rum and added club soda instead for a virgin version. I served this to my family and some of us found that the club soda cut too much of the sweetness out, so when I served it the next time I tried half clubsoda and half tonic water (as it has sugar in it) and found the resulting drink a bit less dry without loosing the sparkle.

  • 2 oz club soda (or half club soda & half tonic water)
  • 2 oz Rose Hip Cordial
  • 1/2  oz lime juice
  • Lots of ice

Fill lowball (short) glass with ice. Pour ingredients over ice and slowly stir. Serve with a rose leaf for garnish if desired. 

Best time to pick rose hips is after a frost. That was about 4 weeks ago for me up north, but for many of you it could be right now… Happy Foraging!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s