Champagne Sorbet

I love cooking with friends, so when Garrett came over with a bottle of champagne in hand and a suggestion to make champagne sorbet for New Years, I was all over it.

Unfortunately, our first two attempts were miserable failures (well, not completely, they made great punch). The problem with trying to freeze champagne, or sparkling wine, is that champagne is 13% alcohol, and alcohol doesn’t freeze, at least not at 32°F. Also, if your sorbet mixture isn’t chilled enough to begin with, it will warm up the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker and the bowl won’t be cold enough to freeze the mixture sufficiently.

Three more attempts and several days later we now have a lovely champagne sorbet. The trick is to boil the champagne with the sugar when you dissolve the sugar, thus boiling away enough of the alcohol so that the sorbet freezes fine. The grapefruit and lemon juices naturally complement the citrus tones of the champagne.

Happy New Year!

Champagne Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling and churning time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sparkling wine or champagne
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon and or grapefruit zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer if you have access to them)

Method

1 Put champagne, sugar, corn syrup, and zest into a saucepan. Bring to a vigorous boil so that the sugar completely dissolves, remove from heat.

2 Strain into a stainless steel bowl (will help cool down faster), add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Chill completely. To do this, either place bowl in a larger bowl half-filled with ice water, and stir until champagne solution is completely cold, refreshing the ice in the outer bowl if necessary. Or you can cover with plastic wrap and chill in your refrigerator over night. I put the bowl in the ice compartment of our freezer for a couple hours, because it fits, chills quickly, and is far enough away from the other food in the freezer.

3 Process the mixture in your ice cream maker (Amazon sells a good one) according to the ice cream maker directions. Transfer mixture to a storage container and freezer in your freezer until firm, at least 6 hours.

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Links:

How to make ice cream without a machine - useful tips from ice cream and sorbet expert David Lebovitz

Raspberry champagne sorbet from The Urban Baker

Champagne Sorbet

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Garrett

    The grapefruit really does make this sorbet sing. It was worth all the trials to come up with this recipe. =)

  • Jim Price

    I made your sorbet for New Year’s Eve and it was just amazing! I did not use an ice cream machine but the manual method using a dish and a fork. This will become a yearly favorite.

  • Jen

    Does this come out still fizzy? I once had champagne sorbet at a restaurant that still had a bit of fizz to it, and have been trying to recreate it ever since.

    No, the fizziness has been cooked out of it. You might serve it with a teaspoon of champagne poured over it, which would probably add some sparkle to it. ~Elise

  • Scott Guthrie

    For added fizzy to it try getting a block of dry ice and placing the dry ice in a small cooler with the sorbet in an bowl with no lid. Close the cooler and let the sorbet sit in the cooler for several hours to a day. Since dry ice is frozen CO2, it will add the fizz that was lost in making the sorbet.

    Anyone remember getting carbonated ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream truck as a kid?

    Also, has anyone tried this recipe with an Italian sparkling wine like one from the Asti area. They typically are 9% or less alcohol. Perhaps the boiling will not be necessarily?

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