Today marks the beginning of National Ice Cream Month, but some July days are too hot and sticky even for ice cream. Rather than a rich treat loaded with cream, eggs, and chunky bits, the palate instead craves something cold, slightly sweet, and fruity. Times like these call for ice cream’s sorely underrated cousin: sorbet.
Yes, you could go to the grocery store and buy some, but it’s super simple to make it at home, provided you have an ice-cream maker. If you’re married, the likelihood of owning an ice-cream maker is probably around 60 percent, just because it looks so enticing sitting in the appliance aisle at Crate and Barrel or Bed Bath & Beyond when you’re scanning items for your wedding registry. (But what is the likelihood that you’ve actually used it in the past year?) If your house is without said machine, chances are you have a friend who’d be willing to dust off the one sitting in his or her basement for a bowl of this concoction: Vodka Rosemary Peach Lemonade Sorbet.
Inspired by a cocktail recipe featured in May’s Gourmet magazine, this sorbet nicely balances the sourness of the lemon (lots of lemons, really — enough to yield two cups of juice and a heaping pile of zest), the sweetness of a summer peach, the bite of vodka, and a subtle reminder of the earthiness that rosemary brings to all dishes, sweet and savory. Though the original cocktail didn’t include peaches on the ingredient list, the fruit provides the necessary bulk to make a satisfying quart of sorbet. Other seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, would be a fine substitute. The vodka helps to round out the sorbet’s flavor, but you can omit it if serving the sorbet to minors or non-drinkers. A fair warning, though: After the first taste you may not want to share with anyone, so be prepared to have an alternate dessert on hand.
Vodka Rosemary Peach Lemonade Sorbet
Makes 4-6 servings
2 c fresh lemon juice, divided
1 c water
1 c sugar
8 whole rosemary sprigs
½ c vodka
2 tsp lemon zest
2 c roughly chopped peaches
- Combine 1 c lemon juice, water, sugar, and rosemary into medium saucepan over high heat.
- Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes to create a simple syrup.
- Remove saucepan from heat, remove the wilted rosemary springs from the syrup, and cool slightly.
- Combine remaining 1 c lemon juice, vodka, lemon zest, and syrup in a large bowl.
- Puree the peach chunks in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Add pureed peaches to lemon mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or until completely chilled.
- Pour chilled mixture into ice-cream maker and follow machine’s instructions.
- The sorbet will likely be very soft when done. If you prefer a firmer sorbet, scoop it into a plastic container and freeze it for several hours in the back of the freezer.
- When ready to serve, garnish sorbet with a small sprig of rosemary and enjoy!