Rosehip Syrup

Rosehip Syrup

After a pretty dull and rainy summer, the woodlands and hedgerows  are glowing with colour as berries ripen and mushrooms spring up overnight. Autumn is my favourite time of year in the woods and already I'm looking to experiment with a little more than the usual blackberries, which, as always, are juicy and plentiful.

Try adding a handful of  ripe elderberries to a crumble or pie ( always make sure they are ripe and always cook them before eating to remove any traces of cyanide which may be present in raw or under ripe berries) .

Although many people find hawthorn berries a little bland or bitter by themselves, they are always so abundant I want to include them in something. They are very good for the heart and a few years ago I made a warming brandy by adding some to a half-full bottle with a few elderberries and blackberries and a good dollop of honey.  Rosehips from the dog rose are very rich in vitamin C and iron and make a delicious syrup. Below is a recipe which will brighten the greyest winter day.

Rosehip Syrup

1 kg rosehips

1 kg caster sugar 

Bring two litres of water to the boil in a large pan . Wash and chop the rosehips and add to the pan. Bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to sit for about half an hour.

Strain the mixture through a jelly bag or in double layer of muslin placed suspended over a large bowl so the liquid can drip through.

Put the strained juice to one side and put the rose hip pulp back into the saucepan, adding another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, leave to sit for another half an hour and strain as before. Compost the pulp and combine both lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil and keep on boiling until the volume has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to the stove one more time,  bring to the boil and boil hard for 5 minutes. Pour into warmed sterilised jars or bottles and seal.

 Dilute with water to taste or pour straight onto ice cream

Comments are closed for this post.


Rose hip syrup!! vit C, hairs !! thorns!!, I suffer with chesty colds and coughs every year, around Jan /Feb – forget the hairs and the thorns, pick Elderberries, you will find, these are full of VIT C and much less bother

les grantham

12 March, 2013

The best way to preserve as much of the vitamin C content of rosehips as possible is by putting the cut hips in boiling water as soon as possible.

The easiest way by far is as follows:

1. Put an empty pan on the stove and heat.
2. Boil a kettle.
3. Pour the complete rosehips into a blender.
4. Pour the boiled water from the kettle into the blender with the hips.
5. Blend.
6. Pour mixture into the empty pan and bring back to the boil.
7. Leave to stand off the heat for 20 minutes.
8. Strain mixture through muslin/jelly bag/tights(!) into a second pan.
9. Put the mush back into another half-quantity of boiling water back in the first pan.
10. Bring the second batch to the boil and leave to stand for 20 minutes off the heat.
11. Strain the second batch mixture into the first batch.
12. Strain the mixture through the muslin/jelly bag/tights again into the other pan.
13. Add in the sugar until dissolved and boil for 5 minutes.
14. Pour into sterilised recepticles.
15. Store in a cool, dark place.



22 October, 2012

I made four batches of rosehip syrup, 3 last weekend and one yesterday. There appear to be loads of rosehips this year – I hope it is the same in the UK. I bought a pair of special latex covered gloves which not only keep my hands warm while picking but keep out 99% of thorns (One got through). That is so much better than the usual scratches and broken thorns in my hands that I usually end up with. If you’d like to buy some of the gloves, have a look at http://tidd.ly/e0dc655a
Another tip, I used tea towels to strain the rosehips. When you wash the tea towel afterwards, wash them separately. If you don’t, you’ll end up with clothing that is full of tiny rosehip hairs which makes them unwearable! You live and learn.

Jeremy Taylor

25 October, 2010

i think there’s just minute amounts of toxicity in the raw berries (well the seeds apparently) – i figured soaking first might just mean that you’re getting some of the goodness out into the water without needing to boil too much…but then i hear you about the enzyme breaking the vit c down, and therefore how it’s important to boil them as soon as cut…hmm….i’m definitely going to make a brandy tincture then, as a more medicinal way of getting the vits and nutrients into me over winter…and perhaps stick to the syrup being just a lovely tasting addition to breakfast !

yes a biochemist with some know-how would be great wouldn’t it !



4 October, 2010

I am not aware of any cyanide in rosehips, and if there is, leaving them to soak will not make the cyanide disappear. I have heard that enzyme that breaks down the vitamin C is activated when the hips are crushed so you want to boil the crushed hips as soon as possible to destroy the enzyme. It would be good to have a biochemist here who could give us some figures on vitamin C levels.

Jeremy Taylor

4 October, 2010

hi, am fascinated and grateful for all this sounds info !….i’m trying to devise a recipe that retains the vit c levels and nutrients and much as poss, but making a raw syrup doesn’t seem too safe given the potential of the minute levels of cyanide and the little hairs too. I guess one could simply dissolve the sugar and add the pulped, raw hips, then strain, but i’d worry about the toxicity (?)

So my thoughts are to simply minimise all boiling times in the process – does anyone think that it could be a good idea to soak the chopped hips in the water for a few hours before bringing them to the boil in the same water ? just as a way to concentrate the nutrients and vit c so that boiling isn’t as necessary ?


4 October, 2010

Hi Linda,
I would wait until the first frost. There are plenty of other wild foods to be working with at the moment. I picked about a kilo of wild mushrooms this morning. They are delicious!

Jeremy Taylor

10 August, 2010

along the path by me. Are they ready yet to use for rose hip syrup or do i need to leave it a while? thankyou. x


10 August, 2010

herbal supplements are more preffered because it is organic.*;-

Rachel Price

30 June, 2010

Rosehip syrup works too!


10 December, 2009

For those wishing to try a natural, herbal remedy for arthritis and joint pain, i can recommend Boswellia, and also Turmeric. You can get them in herbal supplements (capsules). I had a look around and you can find them at http://www.Ayurveda-Yoga.co.uk
Good luck!


10 December, 2009

I’ve made some rose hip syrup for the first time the bottles have got a thick layer of sediment at the bottom. Should I shake the bottles before pouring or should I avoid disturbing it?

Pat Carmichael

4 November, 2009

I was interested in reading the comments on this blog article as I was wondering about the Vitamin C content considering I boiled the heck out of mine!!

Regarding shelf life. Mum made some last year. Some survived til this year unopened and it was just fine. But also, the jar she opened last year and has been dipping in and out of since is also lovely. It was stored in the fridge.

I have a bottle in use in the fridge which has been there, ooh, must be 3 weeks now, which we have on icecream every now and then and my 9 month old has just had in his rice pudding. Very delicious it is too. No sign of going off at all.

To Marie Baddley – it’s so delish I wouldn’t think you’d have too much of a problem having some every day and as it’s so easy to make and seems to keep well you shouldn’t have a problem making enough to keep you going either!!

Liz Marshall

17 October, 2009

Hello from Umbria

Last weekend my children and I gathered plenty of rosehips as we walked and foraged in a wood that skirts our local Mountain.

They looked so delicious and were red jewel like……. We all got stuck in. I remember as a child the delicious colour and distinctive flavour of homemade rosehip syrup – prescribed for babies and sore throats….. I just turned 40 so no surprise to discover that this nostalgic “healthy” syrup is actually full of sugar…… However the Vitamin C content and Iron ( vitamin C does help the body absorb iron, especially one form of iron called “non-heme” iron) so think net-net good result.

A level biology and F&N O level…. I imagine that a similar rule applies to rosehips as other high vitamin fruits & veg….. raw best but if you do cook – the quicker you boil after cutting the less chance the (enzymes released from abrasion) have to damage the Vitamin C/ nutrient level…. we were instructed to pour boiling water immediately over cut vegs to prevent this…..)

Anyone have any idea if chopping and submerging immediately in boiling water does the job?

ON shelf-life – I made Jelly/ Jam this morning – instead of syrup for this reason – to last longer – so any syrup shel-life would be appreciated.

Incidentally, last night whilst re-watching the movie “Women” I made my jelly/jam by the traditional method – scraping out seeds and fibres…. a lot of work – but the Russians swear by this method – then I had run out of muslin/ jelly bags…. wish I’d read your note on tights! Sporting a blister today….

Any ideas on waiting for first frost? Ciao, Claire

Claire McNicholl

29 September, 2009

I made some last November and kept it in a cool cupboard and drank some last week. It was as delicious as the day I made it! I think as long as it is unopened, it will last for years – although the vitamin C content is likely to be much lower.
I have left a little bit in the bottom of an (opened) bottle and will be away for two weeks. I’m curious to know whether the syrup will survive in my fridge.

Jeremy Taylor

24 September, 2009

I would really like to know how long home made rose hip syrup lasts in the bottle before it is opened? i.e what is it’s shelf life prior to opening? Theresa

Theresa Gregory

20 September, 2009

Hi Alan,
No you don’t need to remove the hairs as you filter the syrup through a fine sieve, muslin, or a pair of (clean) tights, whichever you have available.

Jeremy Taylor

3 September, 2009

I am not sure how you would prepare rosehip syrup without boiling the hips. I have heard that boiling actually destroys the enzyme which breaks down the vitamin C. I would like to test my own batches of rosehip syrup – I still have some from last year and will make some more in November this year. I would like to know how much vitamin C disappears over time. I have contacted a few labs in the area where I live and they charge around £40 for each test. That is quite a lot to satisfy my curiosity. Does anyone know where I could get it done more cheaply? Any biochemists out there?

Jeremy Taylor

2 September, 2009

Do you have to take the hairy seeds out before you make the syrup.I know it will be really fidgety so I would like to find out and save myself a lot of bother.

Alan T

30 August, 2009

boiling rosehips destroys any vit c and kills the active enzymes present in the fruit .Instead prepare it raw.


20 August, 2009

I suffer from arthritis and I have made some rose hip syrup which I believe is very good for this complaint. I would like to know what amount I should take and how often.

Marie Baddley

10 November, 2008

I have some photos of how I make rosehip syrup at http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/rosehip_syrup.htm I love the colour of the syrup when it is first made – though it does fade with time.

Jeremy Taylor

24 October, 2008

When I was little my mother used to give me rosehip syrup for the vitamin C.


19 September, 2008