Grapefruit and Champagne Sorbet

Grapefruit and Champagne Sorbet
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Cool! And refreshing.

We’ve remarked in the past that the Ruby Red grapefruits we’ve been getting this year are fantastic. They’re probably some of the sweetest, tastiest grapefruit we’ve ever had, but, unfortunately, the season is nearly over. With that in mind, we picked up an extra bag of Ruby Reds at the local fruit stand, with the intention of making one last great grapefruit dish. As you can see by the title, we went with a sorbet.

We saw this recipe in Sweet, by Valerie Gordon, and, if you’re interested in trying your hand at a variety of sweets (cakes, pies, candy, cookies), this book has a bit of everything. And it all looks really good! We will say that we left out the Campari, as we didn’t have any; we guess that’s our loss, but let’s scratch out this sorbet!

Grapefruit and Champagne Sorbet

Yield: 1 quart

Grapefruit and Champagne Sorbet


  • 2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbs)
  • 3/4 cup Champagne

Abbreviated Instructions

Squeeze and strain grapefruit juice. Place sugar and 1 cup of grapefruit juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously until sugar is completely dissolved. Return to reserved grapefruit juice. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Chill for several hours.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer.


Ingredient discussion:

Aww, this recipe calls for only 3/4 cup of Champagne, when most bottles are 750 ml (about 3 cups), so what are you going to do with the rest? We know what’s going to happen to ours, and, if you have similar plans, buy a Champagne you like. Yes, squeeze the grapefruit and the lemon. It’s just not that hard. With our juicy grapefruit, we only had to squeeze three. For the sugar, we gave a suggested range. Obviously, if your grapefruit are very sweet, use the lower end of the range.

Procedure in detail:

squeezing a grapefruit
Squeezing fruit isn’t hard, but freshly squeezed juice tastes so much better.

Squeeze and strain juice. Squeeze and strain grapefruit until you have about 2 cups of juice. You do want to strain the juice because you want your sorbet smooth. It’ll be easiest if you keep the juice in a container with a pour spout, such as a large measuring cup.

straining juice
We only have this little strainer right now. We’re looking for something bigger to make our life easier.
sugar and juice
Heat the juice and sugar mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. No one likes crunchy crystals in their sorbet.

Make syrup. Combine about 1 cup of the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the sugar dissolves. Return the grapefruit syrup to the juice and stir to combine.

adding syrup back
After making the syrup, just pour it back into the juice. Why did we go to that trouble? To eliminate sugar crystals!
squeezing a lemon
Yes, squeeze the lemon, too. This sorbet uses Champagne, so go all the way.

Add water and lemon juice. Now, add the water and the (freshly squeezed) lemon juice, making sure to strain the juice, of course.

Chill. Cover and place in the refrigerator, right next to the bottle of Champagne, until completely chilled, at least three hours, or preferably until you want a glass of Champagne.

adding champagne
Add those tiny bubbles to the sorbet mix.

Add Champagne. Taste the bubbly, make a toast to whomever you’re with, and stir in the Champagne.

churning sorbet
Pour the sorbet into your ice cream freezer and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Freeze and churn. Set up your ice cream freezer and churn the sorbet according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Serve. Just a little scoop (or two, we won’t tell) to clear the palate should be perfect.

Making this recipe got us thinking. Why hasn’t anyone ever made Mimosa sorbet? Or, if they have, why haven’t we heard of it? Wouldn’t that be just the thing at a Sunday brunch? We’ll file that idea away for later, and remember, if you make Mimosa sorbet, you got the idea from us (we hope).

This sorbet turned out very well, quite grapefruit-y, but we’re not sure that it’s the best use for Champagne. It was hard to taste, as it was overwhelmed by the grapefruit, and the alcohol in the Champagne means that the sorbet takes a bit longer to freeze. Still, it’s sorbet, so it’s not as if we’re complaining, but we’ll say 4 stars.

Worth the trouble?

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