June is here, and that summer sun is starting to peek through the clouds. It’s time to enjoy the sunshine, head outdoors, and pull out some of those favorite summer recipes- smoky BBQ, fresh salads, and light, fruity chilled cocktails!
Now besides the ever- classic Margarita, sangria is my favorite hot-day libation. Even though red wine can be rich, warm, and intense, it’s fanastic and fresh mixed with some dark berries and citrus. This sorbet, adapted from a recipe by the ice cream master David Lebovitz, is perfectly icy, refreshing, and easy to make. One of the best things about it? The wine flavor really comes through, and the alcohol doesn’t cook out.
If you have an ice cream maker, certainly use it! However, it’s not necessary and turns out amazing with just a freezer and a blender. It takes a few hours, so do some advanced planning if you want to serve this at an afternoon get-together or evening soiree.
Italian Red Sangria Sorbet
adapted from David Lebovitz
makes approximately 1 quart (1 liter)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons invert sugar (or corn syrup, honey)
1 bottle fruity red wine (I used an Italian Red- the Sartori Valpolicella, a medium bodied, slightly sweet wine with berry flavors)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec)
1 cup orange slices, chopped with as much pith removed as possible
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, invert sugar, water, wine, and Grand Marnier and bring to a boil. Let boil for about a minute to completely dissolve the sugars. Remove from heat.
In a food processor or blender, combine the orange slices, raspberries, and blackberries and puree until smooth. Stir them into the wine and sugar mixture, and let sit for 20 minutes.
Strain the mixture into a shallow container (cake pans or large a tupperware container work great) with a fine mesh strainer.
Put the container in the freezer. Let freeze to a semi-soft stage (about 2-3 hours), then remove and put the entire mixture in the blender, and puree until smooth. This will break up any large ice crystals, creating a smoother texture. Pour the mixture back into the container, and place back in the freezer. Check the texture, and repeat the blending/freezing process until you’re satisfied with the result. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 trips to the blender. I used only one.
Scoop into bowls or glassware, and garnish with orange slices, fresh berries, and mint leaves for a bit of color.
Tips and Alternatives:
- The freezing/blending method works great, but of course if you have an ice cream maker, feel free to use it!
- Feel free to mix up the berries/citrus in this recipe. Orange and dark berries are amazing, but adding strawberries, blueberries, or different citrus like lime or even apple would be delicious too. Just keep the volumes the same- 3 cups, or so, of fruit.
- Pick a red wine you actually like! Since the alcohol doesn’t cook out of this recipe, the flavor will really shine through (in a good way, of course!) You can also use a Rose, or blush wine for a lighter flavor.
- No need to buy expensive, fresh berries if you are on a budget. Frozen berries work perfectly. No need to defrost them before processing, either!