Made from genuine rose petals, this liqueur imparts a vivid floral scent and flavor that’s balanced—not aggressive. 

By Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy
Updated March 29, 2018
Carey Jones

In the world of cocktails, you’ve got bitter drinks and sweeter ones, fruity drinks and herbal ones. Slightly less common are floral cocktails — but those who love these aromatic drinks, tend to love them with devotion.

Nonalcoholic rosewater can add a rosy scent and flavor to a cocktail, but it’s super-concentrated stuff; even one extra drop can overwhelm a drink, and leave it smelling more like your grandmother’s hand lotion than anything enticing. So we’re happy to find an alternative: A rose liqueur from respected brand Combier. Made from genuine rose petals (from the Loire Valley, no less), it imparts a vivid floral scent and flavor that’s still balanced, rather than aggressive. It’s simple to work into cocktails and gives you a faint pink hue, to boot. Here are three excellent drinks to try it in.

Easy: Sparkling Rose

Carey Jones

Not sparkling rosé, the wine, mind you — just some sparkling wine scented with rose liqueur. If you’ve ever tried St-Germain and Champagne, you’ll understand how well floral flavors work with bright, effervescent bubbles. A no-brainer brunch drink that takes just seconds to make.

Instructions: In a flute, combine one ounce rose liqueur and 4 ounces sparkling wine. Garnish with a long, skinny lemon peel, as long and skinny as you can make it.

Intermediate: Rose Martini

Carey Jones

We abhor the trend of calling every drink served up, in this manner, a “martini.” But here, we really are working rose liqueur into a genuine martini — that’s gin and vermouth, please — giving it a faint sweetness and light floral scent. For serious martini fans only.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, stir together 1-1/2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, and 1 ounce rose liqueur until very well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a large lemon twist.

Advanced: Blooming Rose

Carey Jones

Our message whenever egg whites appear in a cocktail recipe: Fear not! They aren’t intended to make a drink taste eggy, but rather to add a silky, luxurious texture. The technique works particularly well with subtle, delicate flavors, like this rose liqueur. Using vodka stiffens up the cocktail without tamping down the liqueur’s lovely floral notes.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine an ounce of vodka, an ounce of rose liqueur, an ounce of fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Add one egg white. Shake all that up without ice to aerate it — that’s called a “dry shake” — and then add ice and shake again for a “wet shake,” to chill it down. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and dash some Angostura bitters atop the foam to decorate.