Grapefruit Sorbet

This grapefruit sorbet is inspired by the Paloma cocktail. It is blushingly tart and sweet, a straight-shooting sorbet made with fresh grapefruit juice spiked with a bolt of tequila.

Grapefruit Sorbet

This beautiful grapefruit sorbet is a frosty dream inspired by the paloma cocktail. It’s a straight-shooting sorbet made with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice spiked with a kiss of tequila. The perfect jolt of citrusy sweetness to finish a meal.

sorbet served in a white cup on a marble counter

Grapefruit Sorbet: The Technique

Citrus juice that has been heated tastes different than juice that hasn't. To keep this sorbet bright and fresh tasting I cook just a portion of the citrus juice with the sugar - and only long enough to let the sugar dissolve. I find this keeps the flavor more clear, direct, and (in my opinion) better!

Sorbet Variations!

You can take this grapefruit sorbet in a number of subtly different directions, and I've noted a few of them in the headnotes down below. That said, you should play around and take notes.

  • Citrus options: The base in the recipe below is made primarily with fresh grapefruit juice, rounded out with some orange juice. Feel free to play around with your citrus varietals. I used a lot of ruby red grapefruits, and navel orange juice plus a couple small blood oranges. That's how you get that blushing color.
  • Tequila and salt: Play around here as well. I like to introduce a whisper of smoky flavor into this sorbet. It's cuts into the inherent sweetness, and you can do it in two ways here - mezcal or smoked salt. If you use a smoky noted mezcal in place of the tequila called for, you'll get it. Alternately, you can play around with a smoked salt. A subtle smoky backdrop works really well alongside the grapefruit notes, but don't go overboard. Think of the smoky flavors as seasoning.
  • Ginger-spiked: Spiking this grapefruit sorbet with a kiss of ginger juice is another idea. It lends a bit of kick and spice, and stays with you for a bit. Grate a little knob of ginger on a Microplane, and then press any fresh juice against a strainer. Add the fresh ginger juice to the other citrus juices.

Grapefruit sorbet served in a white cup

More Sorbet and Ice Cream Recipes

 

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Grapefruit Sorbet

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Be sure to use freshly squeezed juice here. I like to use red ruby grapefruit, and if you have a blood orange or two, by all means, yes. You can use tequila or mezcal here – if you like a hint of smokiness  use a mezcal with more of that flavor profile - so good. Or, use tequila and a bit of good smoked salt like Halen Mon Gold.

Ingredients
  • 3 1/4 cups grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mezcal or tequila
Instructions
  1. Strain the juices. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine ½ cup of the grapefruit juice with the sugar and a couple pinches of the salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the syrup with the remaining grapefruit and orange juice and another couple pinches of salt in your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add the mezcal roughly five minutes before the sorbet is finished churning, and when sorbet reaches desired consistency, serve immediately or quickly transfer to an airtight container to chill in freezer.
Notes

Makes one quart.

Serves
6
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
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