Flower Waters

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

flower waters, produced by steeping petals in water or by distillation, have been used since ancient times in medicine, perfumes, and cosmetics. The waters are also important in the kitchen as luxury flavorings, almost magically transforming food by imbuing a delicate fragrance, especially to sweet dishes. Rosewater and orange flower water are the best known, but other flowers can be used, such as screwpine, jasmine, rose geraniums, and ylang-ylang. Because their flavor can be intense, they should be used sparingly.