Champagne Sorbet

DessertNew Year'sValentine's DaySorbet

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.

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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.

Champagne Sorbet

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. LyncD

    Oh. I forgot. I used maple syrup instead because I didn’t have corn syrup. It is a unnoticeable substitute.

  2. LyncD

    It’s delicious. I had half bottle of Prosecco left over from a small celebration and made this sorbet recipe. Easy. Fruity with a slight kick.


  3. 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?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. 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!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. 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*

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