Rose water and orange blossom water are simply flavoured waters made by steeping the petals of the flowers in water. They contain no alcohol or other ingredients. For this reason, they are very light in texture and mild in flavour – nothing like an alcohol-based extract. Think of the smell of flowers carried gently on a spring breeze…and you’re getting close.
Both rose water and orange blossom water are used quite heavily in Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking and baking. Rose water in particular is very prominent in recipes for baklava, Turkish delight, Indian rice puddings and more. It’s also delicious in steeped iced tea. Orange blossom water is used in cakes and cookies, lemonades and ice creams. Both can add a wonderful, subtle dimension to cocktails.