Gin and Tonic Sorbet
As a high-ball drink, Gin and Tonic (“G and T”) has quite a long history. Spread and popularised by the British in colonial India, the drink was not only considered refreshing but also healthy (as Tonic water contained quinine, used to prevent malaria. The juniper-flavoured gin was added to counter the bitterness).
I’m not sure about its history as a sorbet, but if you like G and T, it is a great combination. This classic recipe, fundamentally devised by Caroline and Robin Weir, is extremely easy to make, very refreshing and comes with all the proper flavours!
A glass of this sorbet could probably well replace a welcoming drink – which is even more fascinating, considering what a small amount of alcohol actually goes into the recipe (and please, don’t try to add more gin; this one will already be difficult enough to freeze. If you still do, prepare for further freezing time).
Gin and Tonic Sorbet (yields close to 1 litre)
8 tablespoons of Gin
500 ml (2 full cups) simple sugar syrup
375 ml (1.6 cup) Tonic water
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg white (can be excluded, with some negative stability consequences. Not fond of raw egg whites? Great alternatives include Italian meringue or aqufaba; see below for links)
Combine all ingredients except for the egg white, stir, taste and possibly add some more lemon juice if you like. Make sure the mixture is chilled before churning it in your ice cream machine (it goes without saying that if all ingredients already come straight from the refrigerator, there is no need to chill the mixture further before freezing it).
Take a fork, beat the egg white loose and add it to the sorbet after 10-15 minutes of churning (and then continue to churn until ready).
While you can exclude the egg white, it will add to the structure and stability of the final sorbet. Those who don’t want to use any raw egg whites and look for further refinement/less health hazardous alternatives should check out and add either Italian meringue or the trendy vegan alternative Aquafaba.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine and still-freeze, add the egg white (or the Italian meringue/Aquafaba) when the sorbet base has become almost firm for the first time (probably after 1-1 1/2 hours in the freezer).
Highly recommended: extra freezing
While the amount of gin might seem quite small, it will still – like all alcohols – affect the freezing process. In other words, if you don’t like the idea of the sorbet melting down really fast, this is one of those times when it is advisable to put the sorbet in the freezer for a few hours before serving time in order to gain some further, necessary stability and shape-retention.
Simple sugar syrup à la the hurried bartender (no heating required)
A word on the sugar syrup. Since this sorbet is inspired by a drink, I took the opportunity to try the hurried bartender’s way of making simple sugar syrup. No heating is required – just take equal parts of water and of sugar, mix them together and shake/whip/stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. Presto – ready to use! I can report that this simple sugar syrup works perfectly well, and will start using it also for other sorbets.