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A rose water by an other name might work just as well, but these five are our tried-and-true pantry favorites.
Cortas Rose Water
One of the most commonly found brands, this Lebanese import packs a rosy wallop and should be used in moderation. Add drop by drop to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean desserts like baklava.
olivenation.com; $3.55/10 ounces
Royal Sense Drinkable Bulgarian Rosewater
Mellow and balanced, this elixir made by mixing Bulgarian rose juice and oil with purified water, enlivens a sorbet or a malabi (rose-topped milk pudding). A great gateway rose water, since there’s less potency per drop.
royalsenseusa.com; $28/8 ounces
Alteya Organics Organic Bulgarian Rose Water
As likely to be found in the beauty store as the grocery aisle, this food-grade potion (available in twist-top or spray bottles) has a light rosy profile that’s less overpowering than many others on the market. Use it in cookies and cakes, but also in cocktails: Chill down a tumbler of gin, add a cucumber slice, and mist the glass with this delicate compound.
vitaminshoppe.com; $17.49/8.5 ounces
Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater
This company labels it as rose oil cut with “magnetized” water (intended to increase energy). Anoint a berry-topped tart with a quick spray.
heritagestore.com; $6.79/4 ounces
Nielsen-Massey Rose Water
This culinary extract is distilled and then has alcohol added. Packing a powerful floral punch, it’s best used sparingly to spread flavor in cream fillings and ice cream bases.
surlatable.com; $10/2 ounces