The bright red color, delicate petals and romantic fragrance of a rose compel us all to bow before its incomparable beauty.
However, just like all classic beauties, this is not a flower that only excels in appearance. It also comes with a number of significant perks that can make your culinary experiments and beauty routines much more fruitful. Since a fresh rose doesn’t last longer than a week at best, there is rose water to make up for it!
Rose water is made by letting fresh rose petals sleep peacefully in water for a while and then distilling it. If you can’t make it at home or can’t find nearby, you can rely on any of the following rose water substitute.
Rose Water Substitutes For Baking/Cooking
The closest thing you can find to rose water for cooking or baking is rose essence. Like most other varieties of food essence, this one also is basically a concentrated form of the beautiful fragrance you get from a rose flower. As a result, you can have the same flavor or aroma in the dish which required rose water.
However, its intensity of both taste and smell is much stronger than that of rose water. As a result, you will need to use much less amount of rose essence than the portion recommended by the recipe.
Generally, it is about four times more intense than rose water. So you will need to divide the mentioned amount by four.
Jamaica Flower Water
Another flower whose red beauty has captivated the world is hibiscus. Also known as Jamaica flower, its water can be a good alternative for rose water. They both provide a sweet floral aroma to the dish. However, the resulting flavor may be a tad different.
One more advantage of using this to replace rose water is that they both provide the same intensity of flavor. As a result, you don’t have to convert the amount while using in a dish. The portion of rose water mentioned by the recipe is the same measurement that applies to Jamaica flower water or hibiscus water.
Orange Flower Water
If you are not strictly looking for traditional floral substitutes, you can try orange flower water as a viable solution for replacing rose water. This product is obtained by crushing orange blossoms into a paste and then mixing it with distilled water. After keeping it this way for two weeks, the liquid is strained out and protected.
Being produced from a fruity source like orange, it will definitely provide a little different taste and aroma from rose water. However, orange flower water has the same level of intensity as rose water in both of these aspects. So you can save yourself the trouble of converting their amounts to be used in preparing the dish.
Besides, it is quite easily available in most parts of the world. Orange flower water is extensively used for cooking or baking purposes in European, African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.
Vanilla extract is already an essential element in baking and some other forms of cooking. You can take more advantage of it by using this extract as a replacement for rose water. The great thing about replacing one with the other is that they both have the same kind of taste and fragrance.
The one catch is that the aroma and sweetness of vanilla extract is a little stronger than rose water. That is why you will have to use smaller amounts of vanilla in each dish you try involving rose water. It is especially useful while preparing some delectable desserts which need to taste sugary.
Almonds are a staple in most diets due to their relatively high content of protein, fat and fiber. In addition to the whole nuts packed with macronutrients, their extract is also quite useful in the preparation of dishes. The almond extract is a regular ingredient among Middle-eastern countries for its sweetness.
Much like the vanilla extract, this one is also a transparent thick liquid with a strong flavor. As a result, you will need to reduce the amount while cooking for an item in need of rose water. However, due to its dormant smell, you don’t have to worry about the almond scent taking over the dish’s aroma.
We all know how effective the smell of lavender is in making the indoor atmosphere a more pleasant one, or in enhancing a person’s presence there. But did you know that the taste of lavender flowers is similar to that of rose water? That is why they can be used almost interchangeably while preparing a dish.
It is an ideal rose water replacement for the dessert or dairy recipes which demand a floral sweetness. However, this sweet flavor comes with an earthy tone that may not sit well with many recipes. That is why you should use a very minuscule amount of lavender while cooking or baking.
This may not be one of the topmost choices for rose extract alternatives, but it does the job with some extra effort regardless. We all love a bit of citrus flavor in most of our beverages, salads and main course meals. So you can use lemon juice in all of them but the lowkey bitter flavor may become a problem.
The only additional step you will need to take for solving this issue and matching the rose water taste is using some sugar along with it. This will make up for its lack of sweetness and make the dish as delicious as the original recipe.
Cardamom is a very popular ingredient in South Asian cooking because of its spicy taste. Due to its unique flavor profile, it is one of the less sought-after rose water alternative. Surprisingly, it still gets the job done in savory recipes like chicken and beef dishes.
Although its flavor is quite powerful in any food item, it doesn’t match the level of rose water. So you will need to use them in slightly larger portions while using cardamom as a replacement of rose water.
Another popular spice choice used quite often in a wide variety of dishes is cinnamon. Contrary to cardamom, cinnamon does have some inherent sweetness which you can make the most of if you don’t have rose water nearby. Because of this high level of sweet taste, you will need to reduce its portion in the recipe.
Cinnamon is one of the best substitutes of rose water if you are preparing dessert items. They bring in the natural sugary flavor without the need of extra ingredients. Your guests will hardly ever know that something else was used in it instead of rose water!
If you are used to cooking ingredients prominent in Southeast Asia, you may have heard of Pandan. It is a particular herbaceous plant found in tropical regions. One of the most noteworthy attributes of Pandan is its sweet aroma. As you can guess, this feature is what makes it an ideal rose water replacement.
While it is not as popular or common as the other choices we mentioned here, Pandan can actually provide you with one of the closest flavors to rose water. Apart from a slightly different color and fragrance, using pandan in your dishes will make the absence of rose water go unnoticed.
Rose Water Substitutes For Skincare
Those of you who go the extra mile to ensure proper skincare know how effective cucumber is for this job. It already has a huge fan base because of how fresh one feels after applying cucumber water. So if you are used to relying on rose water for facials and similar tasks, you can easily use cucumber water instead.
Make them easily at home by grating a fresh cucumber and then straining its juice. You can either store it like this to apply with cotton buds or put it in a spray bottle for faster application. This cucumber water will help you out with sunburns, rashes, skin darkening and many more common skin issues.
Apple Cider Vinegar
In addition to being a common item used in a lot of healthy diets, the apple cider vinegar can also be a great toner for your skin. It is especially helpful for oily skin which has been suffering from pores. The astringent properties available in apple cider vinegar increases the blood flow which in turn helps with the pores.
Besides, just like rose water, it can bring back the balance of pH levels for your skin. This way, it can put a stop to this recurring issue which is common among those who apply makeup on a regular basis. For best results, mix it with filtered water before application.
One more effective component for bringing back natural glamor to your skin is lemon water. You must have seen it being used in several face packs meant for oily skin. Lemon water can remove acne marks on your face and treat the existing ones.
This water also works better for dry skin compared to lemon, since the latter can make the skin even more withered. The lemon water can add some moisture while getting rid of the acne spots. As a result, it can be a much more beneficial companion for your regular skincare routine.
Similar to rose water, green tea is an excellent toner that helps out the skin with many problems. It is great at exfoliation which means you don’t have to carry around dead skin cells on your face anymore! You can finally say goodbye to blackheads and all other common issues related to that.
Its rich antioxidants have made green tea a favorite in vegan, Keto and other diets. The same antioxidants work wonders here by fighting the causes of acne with its antibacterial properties.
Besides, green tea is easily available almost everywhere now. So you don’t have to struggle too much to include it in your daily routine.
Another great solution for getting rid of your acne issues is to rely on Aloe Vera water. It is regarded as one of the most effective natural solutions to treat acne and pimples. Aloe Vera itself is considered to be so safe and healthy that you can directly apply its gel to your skin! No juice or straining needed!
If you commit to it, the regular use will diminish the acne, pimples and all the spots left behind by them. Therefore, you can take perfect photos of yourself without putting on any filter.
If you love milk and other dairy products, start using one for your daily beauty routine! Buttermilk is an amazing choice for exfoliating your skin because of its lactic acid content. By using it, your face will get rid of the dead skin cells and bring out an even texture all over the area.
Common Uses Of Rose Water
Rose water is used extensively as an ingredient in many delicious Middle Eastern recipes. It can provide an interesting floral sweetness to the dishes and enhance their overall aroma. These recipes range from savory items to desserts. Besides, it can also be used in cocktails if you are looking for a refreshing zing in your drinks!
It is one of the most easily accessible toners for daily skincare. In fact, rose water is better than almost any chemically loaded commercially produced toners you see in the market. Using this instead will leave your skin with a serene soothing effect while also balancing its pH level.
In addition to making your skin better, rose water can make your hair healthier too! Shampoo and conditioner are the mandatory components of any basic hair-care routine. You can elevate this experience by adding a few drops of rose water in the mix. It will keep your hair hydrated and enhance its fragrance.
You might be surprised with how great of an ingredient rose water is for hygienic products. The most prominent of them is mouthwash which makes the most of its power against microbes and inflammation. As a result, the mouthwash can do a better job, especially in patients suffering from sores and dental issues.
While you have rose water in your households, use it to make your clothes smell like roses! You can either use a few drops while washing them, if the detergent doesn’t have a fragrance of its own. Alternatively, you can sprinkle a little rose water on the freshly washed garment before ironing it.
We all know how fast and strong the fragrance of rose can captivate anybody. So it comes as no surprise that rose water is used as a base in perfumes. The beautiful smell brings a new layer of elegance to the wearer’s appearance and enchants anybody coming their way.
Preparing or acquiring rose water might not be possible always, but don’t let that stop you. Make the best out of an unfavorable situation.
As you can see, there are many substitutes for rose water to help you with both cooking and beauty routines. All you have to do is find the most available alternative, one that works best for your particular task.