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
- 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)
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.
Yield: Makes about 1 quart.