Champagne Sorbet

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Champagne sorbet recipe, perfect dessert for the holidays or special occasions.

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

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


  • 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 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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Showing 4 of 14 Comments / Reviews

  • 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!

  • HornCologne

    Have been following along on your site for a while – keep up the good work and thanks for all the great recipes so far!

    Having become wildly suspicious of commercial foods with high-fructose corn syrup, I was wondering why this recipe uses both white sugar and corn syrup. Does the syrup serve another purpose beyond sweetening? Could one substitute “regular” sugar or something else for it?

    HFC and regular corn syrup are two different things. HFC (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is only available to industrial food product makers, not to regular consumers. Regular corn syrup has been used in baking and cooking for generations. For example, pecan pie is made with corn syrup. It’s used a lot in candy making because it helps keep the sugar from crystalizing.In this sorbet, it just helps keep the sorbet smooth, and prevents it from getting too icy. You can skip it if you want, but there is no need to skip it, especially if you have some on hand. ~Elise

  • 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.

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