Have you ever made a cocktail and thought it so delicious that you rushed over to your neighbor’s house to share and you both killed it in less than ten minutes? Have you?!?! Well, neither have I…at least not with a cocktail proper. But, I did make this Gin Rickey Sorbet and do that. Consequently, I don’t believe we can be labeled “lushes”. We were only eating dessert, after all.
A Gin Rickey reminds me of hot summers in West Egg, New York. The classic cocktail makes me think of lazing the sweltering afternoons away whilst two suitors attempt to woo me into being their best girl. Rickey’s are definitely the Great Gatsby in liquid form. They certainly made me feel elegant and posh…maybe tipsy, but I, honestly, think they’re the same thing.
A Gin Rickey is definitely a refreshing cocktail in that you don’t have a heavy liquor bogged down by mixers. Instead, you have a light-tasting gin, coupled with mineral water and a twist (or more) of vibrant lime juice. It’s, hands down, my favorite “big girl” drink.
Rickey’s are also conversion friendly- as witnessed in this spin on the drink.
My Gin Rickey starts with a generous amount of lime zest to add an extra measure of citrus to the finished sorbet. I follow it up with a healthy shot (or three) of good quality liquor. Hendrick’s Gin is my preferred libation because of the nuances of rose and cucumber that the booze possesses. The key to any good dish, whether it’s a meal or a drink, is quality ingredients. If you use a nasty, cheap ingredient, you- and your guests- will know it.
Once the gin and the lime zest have mingled, add the light corn syrup. Yes…I said, “Corn syrup.” Corn syrup, unlike simple syrup, will not water down the sorbet mixture. Corn syrup won’t dilute the sorbet, which creates a “creamier” sorbet with an enviable amount of body. Sugar lowers the freezing point of anything it’s introduced to. The more sugar added to a sorbet, the lower its freezing point will be. That’s what creates our creaminess.
But, in order to make a proper simple syrup we’d need to add the same amount of water. The balance of the sugar/water would then cause our sorbet to be more akin to frozen sugar-water than a boozy lime sorbet. We avoid all that, and make life simple, by using the liquid (invert) sugar that is corn syrup.
This corn syrup will also give our sorbet, made with lime juice (i.e., no pulp) more bulk and body. Something we wouldn’t be able to accomplish with just simple syrup. Hopefully, I’ve sold you on the use of corn syrup…if not, just drink the gin and you’ll be compliant in a matter of shots.
The key ingredient in a gin rickey is the mineral (or sparkling) water. Again, frozen concentrated sorbets are not the time to skimp out on quality. For me, quality sparkling water is San Pellegrino. Choose one of your favorites, but make sure you’d drink it out a glass before you make a sorbet with it.
Now, we add the freshly squeezed lime juice to the sorbet mix, and we’re done with our prep! Use fresh juice whenever you can. Personally, I’ve NEVER been a fan of that “pre-squeezed” lime juice. A bag of limes won’t break the bank, I’m almost sure of it.
Now, let’s pour our lushy concoction into our ice cream machine and churn away! Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for churning time. My ice cream maker is an older version, but this one is a great alternative.
Once your gin sorbet looks like that (mine churned about 30 minutes to get to this state), transfer it to an ice cream container, or spoon it into a loaf pan like this:
Allow it to freeze for an additional 3-4 hours to get it nice and firm before scooping into bowls. I like to sass it up by scooping the Gin Rickey Sorbet into old fashioned glasses. Serving the frozen version as you would the original cocktail is totally something Daisy would do.
Try to stay cool and enjoy your sorbet responsibly. Pin this recipe for later, and check out these other sweet treats to beat the heat. Man! I’m a poet and a scholar. Hugs!
Gin Rickey Sorbet
Yield 2 qts
Taste a frozen spin on the popular cocktail. Use a high-quality gin such as Hendricks.
zest of 2 limes (about a tbsp)
1/2 cup gin
3 cups light corn syrup
3 cups sparkling mineral water (like San Pellegrino)
2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch of kosher salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lime zest and the gin. Rough up the lime juice by smashing it with a spoon, or by whisking it. This step is basically muddling the zest.
Combine the remaining ingredients and stir gently.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according the manufacturer's instructions. After about 30 minutes, or once the sorbet has taken on a "wet snow" appearance, transfer it to a storage container. Allow to freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Scoop into serving dishes and enjoy!
Due to the alcohol content in the sorbet, this recipe is not intended for people 21 years of age or younger.
To make a simple lime sorbet, just leave out the gin.