Champagne Sorbet

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

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

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 Boil champagne, sugar, corn syrup, zest: 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: Strain into a stainless steel bowl (will help cool down faster), add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice.

3 Chill: 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 overnight.

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.

4 Process in ice cream maker: Process the mixture in your ice cream maker (Amazon sells a good one) according to the ice cream maker directions.

5 Freeze until firm: 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 14 Comments

  • Melissa Bassil

    This sounds lovely! However, I’m based in the UK and corn syrup is not a common ingredient here. Can you suggest a suitable substitute?

  • Val briault

    I recently had a mid course shot glass of sorbet in a restaurant and just as it was served it had ‘popping candy’ sprinkled on it which gave it a lovely fizz so I’m going to try it for Christmas.
    Tesco have the cheapest in their baking section. £1 a pot!

  • Jade

    I just got an ice cream maker for xmas and ran across this recipe… I also got an ice cream “cook book” on boozy ice cream and they use gelatin to stabilize the solution so it will freeze (even with a cup of 80 proof in it.) I’m thinking of adapting this recipe to their method to (hopefully) keep some of the fizz! *crosses fingers*

  • Zoe

    What champagne did u use for the champagne sorbet?

    That was four years ago when we posted this. I do not recall which Champagne we used. ~Elise

  • Carol

    This was so unique and delicious. I still have champagne left from my wedding in Ocotober; this was the perfect use for it. I used fresh orange juice instead of grapefruit juice resulting in a perfectly balanced mimosa sorbet. I served it for brunch with a spinach-bacon quiche and fresh fruit salad. My guests loved it! I poured two tablespoons of champagne over each dish of sorbet just before serving and it really did give it a little extra kick. I will be making this again for sure. Thank you so much!

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