Whilst looking at Christmas Roses and Rose Water I came across a Rose Petal Vodka made by Lanique. It comes from Lancut in south east Poland and the distillery was founded in 1784 by Princess Izabela Lubomirska (it is one of the oldest distilleries in Poland). on the vast estate of the Lubomirski family. Apparently this is where Pierre (Pyotr ) Smirnoff learnt his trade.
The distillery’s vodkas gained fame throughout Europe and proved to be a great commercial success, winning numerous gold medals and securing many other awards this century.
Unfortunately, with the advent of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the supply of vodka to bourgeois Western Europe was seriously impeded. With another upheaval after the fall of the Berlin Wall Poland’s distilleries were privatised, and Lanique became the brand name under which Lancut exports to the UK.
The Lanique Rose Petal Vodka is made to a 150 year old recipe and Attar of Roses is the ingredient used to provide the flavour and fragrance. It became a favourite drink of the titled and wealthy of Europe during the 1920’s.
Moving from Vodka to Gin Hendricks is a brand of gin produced by William Grant & Sons in Girvan, Scotland. In addition to the traditional juniper infusion, Hendrick's uses a hint of Bulgarian Rose with cucumber essence. The Rose Valley in Bulgaria, near the town of Kazanlak, is among the major producers of attar of roses in the world. Hendricks Gin is said to have a velvety smooth texture and Hendrick's suggests that the gin be served with tonic over ice garnished with cucumber instead of the traditional lemon or lime.
Hunting further I found that a Rose Petal Schnapps is produced by Trenet in France and the Dijon producer Edmond Briottet makes a Rose Petal Liqueur. I would love to make a hot spiced Christmas punch based on a rose flavoured spirit so if anyone has any ideas please let me know!
I do have a recipe for Mulled Rosé Wine which is fragrant and warming (a must in this freezing cold weather we are enduring at the moment!). I'd suggest using Chateau Lamothe Vincent Rosé or Clairet de Chateau des Lisennes for their deep flavours.
2 bottles of good Rosé wine
2 sticks cinnamon
1 vanilla pod
4 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
¼ pound of sugar
2 handfuls of cranberries
Add all the ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer. Be careful not to boil! You can add more sugar (or honey) to taste if needed.