November 16, 2011
I really enjoy a grown-up Gin and Tonic.
It's just so elegant, the slight tartness and bitterness reflecting perhaps a jaded, though slightly more sophisticated and realistic view of the world, than the vodka cruisers of our adolescence.
On our anniversary, BigJ and I enjoyed a fantastic degustation menu at one of our favourite swanky restaurants. Now the oysters were great, the pork belly melted in our mouths, but the thing that I actually loved the most was a tiny scoop of sorbet served as a palate cleanser between courses. Maybe because it was such a yummy combination of flavours- Cranberry, Lime and Gin. The tartness and bitterness contrasting beautifully with the sweet iciness to freshen up our mouths, I promised myself I would recreate this icy alchemy at home.
There are a few secrets to a good sorbet.
You want a nice soft scoopable mix. The bigger chunky style ice crystal mix ix a granita, and doesn't have the same silkiness in your mouth that melts away quickly on your tongue
One tip is AIR. The more air you can incorporate into your mix the better. The mix will be light and fluffy and dissolve faster. You can achieve this by either churning your mix in an ice cream machine that constantly beats the mix as it freezes, or by pulling the mix out of the freezer a couple of time during the freezing process to whizz around in a blender or food processor, even just a good whisk will do.
The second tip is SOFTENING the ice crystals by including some glucose or alcohol, or both. These help stop the mix freezing too hard as both don't freeze easily themselves.
And lastly, SWEETENING. Freezing depresses the sweetness of things. There are probably very interesting scientific reasons behind this, but you just need to know to up the sweetness by about a third. Don't be off put when you taste the mix before freezing it, it really does need that extra sugar to be palatable.
Cranberry Lime and Gin Sorbet
1 3/4 cup Cranberry juice
(thanks to Christie's comp. over at FigandCherry)
1/8 cup Gin
1/8 cup Lime juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup liquid glucose
1. Make the sugar syrup by combining the 3 ingredients in a saucepan over high heat and bringing to the boil. Boil for about 30 seconds, or until the mix no longer looks cloudy in the pan. Cool thoroughly.
2. Combine the Cranberry juice, gin and lime juice. (I know it's bottled, but I can't squeeze fresh ones with my hands in splints) Mix the two together.
3. Pour the cold mix into an ice cream churner and follow manufacturers instructions, OR put the bowl in the freezer, and popping the semi-frozen slush into a blender or food processor a couple of times as it freezes.
4. Use a warm spoon to scoop lovely little balls of sorbet and serve in between courses at your Christmas get-together, or as a substitute for a Gin and Tonic before dinner.
That's about the extent of my sorbet wisdom, except to tell you that this recipe is really quite yummy indeed, so I hope you give it a try!
So Dear Readers, what's your favorite Grown-Up drink of choice?