It’s not often we need to cook something fancy so when we had to make dessert for a degustation meal recently it needed a bit of research and practice. The gin and tonic sorbet tasted just as it sounds and was a great finish after four other meals. The egg white means it’s not icy like sorbet can be and the gin adds a definite flavour without being boozy. Plus it was relatively easy to make and didn’t need too much prep time to serve (a bonus at the end of a long night eating and drinking). Just allow enough time to chill and freeze it.
The recipe came from the BBC Good Food website but we found the freezing times needed adjusting. We served 8 rather than 6 with this amount but it was a degustation after all so it was only a small dessert glass full each. Here’s how –
Gin and Tonic Sorbet recipe
Ingredients – serves 6
- 400g caster sugar
- 400ml water
- 400ml tonic water
- 4TB gin
- zest and juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon plus slices to freeze for decoration
- 1 egg white
Two days before required: dissolve the sugar with 400ml water gently over heat. Increase the heat once dissolved and boil for a minute.
Pour the tonic water into a stainless steel bowl (or something suitable for the freezer) and add the sugar syrup to it. Put into the fridge until cool. (Overnight or all day).
In the morning the day before required: Once cool add the gin, zests and juices and stir. Cover and freeze until just frozen – 4-6 hours.
- The recipe says this will take 2 hours (and did in our practice run where we quartered the amount) but after 2 hours it was barely cold. To speed things up we divided the amount into 3 stainless steel bowls and it took 4 hours to get it semi frozen but could have done with another hour. Allow 5-6 here to get it to a semi frozen state – longer if you just have it in one large bowl. If necessary you can give it a fork through part way though to mix the frozen stuff on the outside of the bowl with the not frozen stuff in the middle.
Once just frozen whisk one egg white very lightly with a fork. Take out the frozen mixture and fork through lightly to blend. Add the egg white to the frozen mixture. Blitz both in a processor for just a few seconds to blend together. (This might need to be in batches if you have a stick blender). Move quickly so it’s not melting and don’t over blend – you’re not taking it back to a liquid state.
Put back in the bowl(s) to freeze until solid. Ours took 6 hours to freeze and was only just frozen (we did transport it frozen with chilly pads in this time which didn’t help) so ideally you would be making this the day before and could freeze it overnight to reduce the stress factor.
On the day: Use an icecream scoop to take out scoops and serve in glasses or fancy bowls. Pop a frozen lime or lemon slice over the edge of the glass. We also used viola flowers which are edible and pretty though don’t taste like much.
- The second time we made this the tonic water was getting flat but it didn’t seem to matter.
- Use more lemon if you don’t have limes. It won’t have the right balance of sweetness but is still ok.
- Crystallised mint slices would go nicely but we practiced during the week and couldn’t get this to work.
- If you are serving this at home and have space in your freezer you can put the mixture straight into your serving glasses or bowls after blitzing it with the egg white and freeze. It will freeze more quickly this way too and is one less thing to do when serving up.