This grapefruit and Campari sorbet is the perfect balance between sweet and bitter with a light texture which I love. It is also very easy to make with a minimal amount of heating, cooling and churning going on. Ice cream in general has to be the easiest dessert to make, and once you start making your own, its difficult to settle for anything but the best. With a sorbet, you want to taste the essence of the ingredients you are using. Without any cream or milk, the flavours should be bright and clean.
I saw a friend tweet a pic of an ice cream made with this flavour combination recently and couldn’t tell if it was an ice cream or a sorbet but I fell in love with the idea. I decided to make it the latter as I felt the flavours would be better suited without any cream. This is perfect as a dessert or palate cleanser and I was thinking it could be lovely scooped into a glass and topped up with bubbly and served as a drink too.
Campari is a lowish alcohol liqueur that is drunk as an apéritif with a bitter flavour from the citrus and herb infusions. It forms the base of the famous Negroni and Americano cocktails and is most often served with soda and garnished with a twist of orange. I find those cocktails a little too bitter for me as I’m sensitive to the bitter flavour profile, but I am however a big fan of pink grapefruit and have been eating it regularly for breakfast for over 20 years. The Paloma is my all time favourite cocktail too. I have only used 40 ml of Campari in this recipe as it’s a fine line when adding alcohol to sorbet before they don’t freeze well. I find around 50ml max to this quantity of liquid is as far as you can go. If you are wanting to intensify the Campari flavour, it would be best to add more afterwards.
The egg white and Campari (alcohol) give the sorbet it’s lovely light texture. It almost seems aerated and is why I like to add it. You could leave the egg white out if you are vegan. The downside with this recipe is that with all the natural ingredients and alcohol, the crystals melt very quickly. You will want to serve it straight after scooping.
*Cooks notes ~ I like to beat the egg white to a soft peak stage before adding it, along with the alcohol, to the sorbet and around 5 minutes before it has finished churning. I have a fabulous semi-industrial Italian ice cream maker so I have never attempted making it by hand. You could take a look at my passion fruit sorbet recipe where I give instructions on how to make it by hand. This is a standard method as I’ve seen published in many places. A tip I have found that helps with keeping the ice cream or sorbet cold when decanting is to pre freeze a metal container and use that to store the ice cream. I like to use a small loaf tin which you could line with dampened baking paper.
Recipe – Makes about 600ml
- 200gm sugar (about 1 cup)
- 400ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
- 100ml water
- thick zest of a grapefruit, cut with a vegetable peeler
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten to soft peaks
- 40ml Campari (2Tbsp +2tsp)
Place the grapefruit juice, sugar, water and peel in a pot and bring it to a boil. Stir and ensure that all is the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Strain the cooled liquid and place in a freezer proof container and freeze for around 3 hours. You just want to get it ice-cold.
Pour this into an ice cream machine and churn until almost done. Add the whisked egg whites and the Campari and continue to churn for a further 5 – 8 minutes. Decant into a metal dish that has been pre-frozen. Cover and place in the freezer immediately.
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