Make a refreshing, slightly sweet drink by selecting delicately perfumed rose petals.
Choose rose petals such as 'Cecile Brunner,' Rosa centifolia muscosa, R. damascene, 'Double Delight,' R. Gallica, 'Gertrude Jekyll,' 'Mister Lincoln,' 'Perfume Delight' R. rugosa, 'Tiffany,' or 'Zephirine Drouhin.' Try different roses each time you make this light, cooling drink and discover which ones have the most aromatic and pleasing flavors.
1. Cut out the yellow or white centers at the base of the rose petals to avoid any bitter taste.
2. In a 2-quart glass bowl, combine the rose petals, wine, vodka, and raspberries; cover and chill for 2 hours. The color of the rose petals and the number of raspberries you use will affect the cooler's pink hue.
3. Before serving, strain the wine mixture; discard petals and raspberries. Serve over ice. If desired, top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with additional berries, rose petals, or mint sprigs. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Various sizes of plump, luscious rose hips add color to the garden after the flowers fade.
1. Let the last roses of the summer wither on the plant. This allows roses to begin preparing for winter by developing hips, or berrylike fruits packed with seeds.
2. Harvest these delectably tart and nutrient-rich seedpods and use them fresh or dried to make jam, jelly, tea, or syrup. Or leave the rose hips on the plants and savor their bright beauty throughout the winter as long as birds don't eat them all.
3. Heirloom roses, such as Rugosas, Hybrid Musks, and Species, as well as wild varieties, produce the largest hips. Harvest hips when they're fully colored (red, orange, or purplish) and ripe.
4. Richer in vitamin C than oranges, rose hips have become a valued ingredient in vitamin supplements. They also contain vitamins A, B, E, and K.