Traditional Rose Hip Syrup || How To Make It

Traditional rose hip syrup makes a great food preservation staple in the kitchen. Rose hips come once a year, they are easy to work with, and they are absolutely delicious!

traditional rose hip syrup in a serving jar

You can make enough rose hip syrup each fall to last you throughout the winter months with just minimal effort. And it’s pretty great to enjoy a meal or a beverage made with this foraged edible on a cold, damp winter’s day.

Rose hips sit just below the petals of a rose. When it is time for the plant to spread it’s seed in the fall, the hip enlarges and fills with seeds. It is considered the ‘fruit’ of the rose bush.

Making a simple syrup is one of the easiest ways to utilize the herbal goodness that comes from the rose hip. This syrup became very popular in England during WWII. It served as a great source of vitamin C, which played a big part in fending off a variety of illnesses.

What Does Traditional Rose Hip Syrup Taste Like?

The rose hip has a fruity floral flavor that is hard to describe as it is unique to this fruit.

I believe I made the statement, in the post I put out on how to make red clover jelly, that floral flavors are difficult to describe to someone who has never tasted them. That stands true for rose hips as well.

However, they do have a flavor that is pretty similar to fruits that we have all tasted before. The rose bushi is part of the same plant family as apples, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, and cherries.

I can definitely see a commonality in their flavor to plums, strawberries, and cherries. Yet, truth be told, what they really taste like is a rose.

Is This Syrup Good For You?

Traditional rose hip syrup is as good for you as a syrup can be. Particularly, when it is made with honey. There are many recipes out there that use sugar as their medium and they are not nearly as healthy.

harvested rose hips in a dish

It is pretty common knowledge at this point that sugar is not a healthy part of the human diet. Natural sugars, like honey and maple syrup, have many good health benefits when consumed. Still, they should be consumed in moderation. I would go so far as to say they should really be consumed sparingly.

With that in mind, traditional rose hip syrup can play a positive part in your diet. It is loaded with anitoxidants. It has a very high vitamin C content, and it contains vitamins A, D and E.

If you do some research on rose hips, you will find that many people are quick to point out that the rose hip contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. And to the best of my knowledge that is true.

However, it’s important to note that, one rose hip does not contain five times more vitamin C than an orange.

If I remember correctly, that percentage is actually comparing equal quantities of the fruits by volume. But it has been some time since I learned that information and I’m not certain that I’m right.

What I do know is that the amount of conflicting information out there on this fact is maddening. I tried to look it up for the purposes of this post and simply decided it was too much to sift through.

Just know that the rose hip is a fantastic source of vitamin C, and this is one of the things that makes it a great booster for the immune system.

Gathering And Prepping The Fruit For This Syrup

As with any foraged plant material that will be used for consumption, it is very important to properly identify the rose hip before you use it to make traditional rose hip syrup.

a rose hip on a bush

I am not an experienced forager, and for that reason I don’t like to give a lot of advice on how to forage foods for consumption. But it is my understanding, and I believe it is an accurate one, that all rose plants produce edible flowers and fruits.

So, if you know for sure that the plant you are foraging from is indeed a rose, than you should be able to use the fruit to make a traditional rose hip syrup.

There are just a few things, apart from proper identification, that you should know about gathering rose hips …

  1. Be sure that the plant you are gathering from has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.
  2. Wear gloves, as rose bushes are thorny and it will be very difficult to gather the fruit without them.
  3. Gather responsibly, only take what you need. Birds and other wildlife rely on things like seed pods for food, leave some for them.
  4. Try to gather rose hips after the first frost of the season. The fruit will be sweeter at this time.

After you’ve gathered enough hips to make syrup, allow them to sit outside of your house overnight. This will cause any buggy critters that call them home to vacate them.

Then you can bring them in, snip the crown off one end and the stem off the other, cut them in half and make a batch of syrup with them.

How To Make Traditional Rose Hip Syrup

It is incredibly easy to make a traditional rose hip syrup, and it takes very little time.

jar of handmade traditional rose hip syrup

The recipe in this post makes about 2 cups of syrup. But you can make any amount that you want by following a few simple ratios.

First, use a 2:1 ratio to simmer down the rose hipsand create an infusion; 2 parts water to 1 part rose hips.

Second, use a 1:1 ratio to turn the rose hip infusion into a syrup; 1 part rose hip infusion to 1 part honey.

There is a detailed recipe at the bottom of this post that you can print out and keep in your recipe collection to reference. But bear these simple ratios in mind, as it will benefit you when making different size batches.

It is also very important that you are careful to strain the rose hips from the water you simmer them in very thoroughly.

Rose hips have small hairs inside of them that are very irritating to the mouth and digestive tract. You have to take care to get them all out of the rose hip infused water you brew, so that you have no issues consuming the syrup you make with it.

If the cloth you are using to strain the infusion with is fine enough, it should be sufficient to strain it just once. But don’t hesitate to strain it a second, or even third time, if necessary.

How To Use Traditional Rose Hip Syrup

Traditional rose hip syrup is really pretty versatile in the kitchen.

It can be used to top pancakes, french toast, and waffles. It can be drizzled over ice cream, rice pudding, and sweet breads. It’s a really great addition to yogurt too.

herbal material prepared for making an infusion

It is a great way to sweeten oatmeal or porridge. And it will make any cup of tea a special treat.

This syrup also goes really well with just about any cheese. Drizzle a little bit on top of a block of cream cheese and serve it with crackers, it’s really a hit at a party.

Or use it to make a refreshing beverage by adding a shot or two to a glass full of ice and topping it with some club soda. This is my absolute favorite way to enjoy this syrup. The flavor really comes through and it is just so easy to do.

If you want to use traditional rose hip syrup to boost your immune system, simply take 2-3 tablespoons of it each day for about two weeks. It is best to take this syrup before cold and flu season sets in, as it will assist your body in fending off illness.

If taken after symptoms start to set in it will likely lessen their severity, but it will not cause them to go away completely.

This syrup is mild enough to give to children. Just be sure to adjust the dosage to suit their body weight. And, due to it’s honey content, it should never be given to children who are under 1 year old.

How To Store Your Syrup

You can safely store traditional rose hip syrup in the refrigerator for at least one year.

The honey that is in it acts as a natural preservative. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that maintain the integrity of the syrup, keeping it fresh.

traditional rose hip syrup in a jar

Be sure that it is properly sealed in an airtight container. And be careful not to contaminate it in any way.

If you use a clean utensil each time you take syrup from the jar it’s stored in, you should be in pretty good shape.

If the jar becomes too sticky because syrup has been spilled around it’s mouth or down it’s side, transfer the syrup to a clean jar rather than trying to wipe it down with a rag. This will prevent any bacteria that may possible on the rag from getting in your syrup.

pinnable image for traditional rose hip syrup

If you try this recipe and love it, please give it 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dish.

traditional rose hip syrup in a serving jar
Yield: 2 cups


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Traditional rose hip syrup makes a great food preservation staple in the kitchen. Rose hips come once a year, they are easy to work with, and they are absolutely delicious!


  • 1 c rose hips, cleaned and halved
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c honey


  1. Place rose hips and water in a small saucepan. bring to a low simmer, and then cover the pot.
  2. Allow to simmer until the water is reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and strain through a cheesecloth or fine muslin to remove the hairs. Strain more than once if necessary.
  4. Mix the rose hip infused water with the honey.
  5. Allow to cool. Refrigerate.
  6. Serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 36gProtein: 0g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 9/26/2022. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


The statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Information on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you choose to treat your own health conditions, without first consulting a medical professional, that choice is yours. And you are fully responsible for it.

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