Rose Scented Geraniums

I love planting our herb garden with all sorts of sensory offerings—from Cuban oregano for its fuzzy feel to rose scented geraniums.    When the nieces and nephews or godchildren are here, I love to take a tour of the herb garden and have them feel and smell (and taste when appropriate) all the herbs.  It is fun for me to expose them to these possibly new culinary delights and to show them that the garden is not always made up of just vegetables.

Scented geranium plants can be expensive;  I have seen them at spring garden festivals and farmers markets for $5 for a 4 inch pot.  They are super easy to propagate though, so just buy one plant and grow your own.  Simply snip off a stem and place in a pot.  Water well.  I have at least five pots started in the green house that I am waiting to get in the herb garden as soon as the threat of a late frost has past.

I have two varieties that I have propagated over and over again:  Peppermint Rose and Peacock.

I have never used these scented geraniums  for culinary uses.    Scented geraniums are really not geraniums at all but are of the genus Pelargonium.   Scent types include chocolate, lemon, coconut, peppermint, apple, nutmeg, cinnamon and rose.    So,  I did some investigating and here are a few uses I found.

Scented Geranium Simple Syrup
To use in a lemon vodka martini, lemonade, or ice tea.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
5 large, freshly picked rose-scented geranium leaves

In a small saucepan, bring the water and the sugar to a boil, constantly stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.   Remove pan from heat; add 5 large, freshly picked rose geranium leaves, and stir until they wilt.   Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the leaves.

You can also make rose scented sugar, similar to lavender sugar.

To make scented geranium sugar, first make sure that you are using the correct kind of leaves.

  1. Clean and dry leaves.
  2. Stack clean, dry leaves in a seal-able container between layers of sugar.  (You may want to bruise the leaves first.)
  3. Place the canister in a warm spot for 2-4 weeks, and then sift out the leaves.

Ideas for geranium sugar:

  • Use in pound cake or cookies.  (I think I have seen one recipe for a pound cake that you actually use leaves to line the cake pan.)  For a lavender sugar cookie recipe that you could substitute geranium sugar in, click here.
  • Use to sweeten tea, cocktails or lemonade.

I also love to put stems in a vase for filler with other flowers.

Using rose scented geraniums in bouquets adds another dimension of contrast and aroma.

For more information and some great recipes for everything from face cream to Rose Geranium Raspberry Liqueur, go to Herbnet and Garden Design.
Rose Geranium on FoodistaRose Geranium

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