Sparkling Sorbet


A glass of Sparkling Sorbet – is there a classier way for an ice cream fan to celebrate?

Sparkling sorbet could well be the same as “Champagne Sorbet” but then again, you may not have access to the precious French bubbles. While few sparkling wines rival genuine high-class French Champagne, there are luckily other good sparkling wines out there – and usually in much more accessible price-brackets. Like Champagne, they will do perfectly well in this Sparkling Sorbet!



Sparkling wines – Champagne and other 

Being European and all, it seems appropriate to recall that (at least within the European Union, and the many countries with which the EU has agreed the matter) “Champagne” is not a generic term for sparkling wine. It is a so-called geographically protected label, indicating that the sparkling wine comes from the French district of Champagne, and not from somewhere else.

Apart from Champagne, however, there exist many other venerable sparkling wine-traditions (such as the Spanish Cava, the Italian Spumante, the German Sekt and, for some other regions of France, Crémant), several of which are also using the classic ‘Champagne method’ when it comes to production.

As long as you don’t sacrifice all quality ambitions for the sake of price,  any good sparkling wine will work nicely in this Sparkling sorbet. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to splash out on a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon to get really good results:-).


Sparkling Sorbet – How to do it

The present recipe is adapted from one by Morfudd Richards (of Lola’s Ice Creams-fame). It is easy to make, but given the fleeing nature of the bubbles in sparkling wine and a rather quick rate of melt-down, it is recommended to enjoy the  sorbet relatively soon after preparation!


The recipe calls for a sugar syrup (like most sorbets). As discussed in the general post on sorbet-making here, you could either prepare it by heating up water and then dissolve sugar there … or skip the heating up and just shake around the water and the sugar until you have a sugar syrup. Since this sorbet is best enjoyed shortly after preparation, the fast method should work perfectly well.


Making this sorbet without an ice cream machine

While the recipe was prepared with an ice cream machine, you might as well try to make it without one – just blend all the ingredients together, put the mixture in a freezer-safe container (with the lid on!) and leave in the freezer for about 45 minutes-1 hour.

Then, remove from the freezer and beat the sorbet base thoroughly with a fork, a whisk or some other suitable tool. Repeat 1-3 times every 45 minutes/1 hour.

The first time, you will probably only churn down some small icy parts of the mixture that have started to form along the sides of the container. Churn anyway, since that will speed up the freezing of the rest of the mixture.

When you repeat the process, you will find that the sorbet base has frozen more and more for each time. Your hand-churning will ensure that the ice crystals formed will be reduced in size – making your final sorbet smoother. Also remember that since this sorbet contains alcohol, it will take longer to freeze than a sorbet without alcohol (plan ahead, so you know you can be around to do the hand-churning).


Sparkling Sorbet
  • 500 ml sugar syrup (250 ml sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 250 ml sparkling water)
  • 400-500 ml sparkling wine of good quality
  • 2 tablespoons inverted sugar (like honey; agave nectar or corn syrup would also do)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 6 tablespoons)
  1. Mix together the sugar syrup. Beat in the invert sugar.
  2. Blend the sugar syrup, the sparkling wine and the remaining lemon juice.
  3. Churn in your ice cream maker according to instructions (avoid overchurning!)
  4. Consume on the spot or put in freezer-safe container, cover with plastic film and lid, and put in the freezer.
  5. As this sorbet does not store well, it should preferably be enjoyed soon after preparation and not saved for a later day!

“Grape shot!” by Lou Mayer


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2 Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    Would the egg test work with a liquid containing both gas and alcohol?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Natalie,
      Yes, within reasonable limits: Alcohol does not really matter but gas bubbles might affect the result. Sparkling wine is normally not “bubbly enough” to make much of a significant difference. The situation might, however, be different if you are preparing a sorbet based on carbonated soft drinks (check out the picture of the Egg test in the post about the Shirley Temple sorbet, and you will see what I mean).

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