My fiance is a bit of a sorbet fiend, he would eat it almost every day if he could; but I think he got through this batch more quickly than any other sorbet I have ever made before…it must be the gin… And to be fair, this gin and bitter lemon sorbet is pretty much everything you could ever want from a sorbet – light, refreshing, not too sweet and a little bit boozy…
I was sent some samples of gin by Gin Explorer, which is a monthly subscription service, providing samples of world gins, none of which you would be able to find in a supermarket. The variety of gins available around the world is astounding, and despite gin being one of my favourite drinks I have tried very few of them beyond the usual Gordon’s, Bombay Sapphire and Hendrick’s so it was really nice to try something a little different. The gins I was sent were, 6 O’Clock Gin, Ish London Dry Gin, Zymurgorium’s Manchester Gin and Little Scarlet Strawberry Gin Liqueur. I particularly enjoyed the Zymurgorium’s Manchester Gin which had a strongly herbal flavour and a complex taste, and the strawberry gin liqueur because what’s not to like about strawberry gin?
The box also included a bottle of 1724 tonic water and an Infugintonic which are ‘teabags’ filled with different varieties of botanicals; you simply place one in your gin for 2 – 3 minutes to infuse the botanical flavours and then make up your gin and tonic as normal. Most of the flavours looked really interesting and different….except for the one that I received, which was ‘Classic Gin Tonic’ – a mix of lemon pieces and juniper which seemed a little pointless given that gin already tastes of juniper and I put fresh lemon in my gin and tonic…I would be interested to try some of the other flavours however. There was also a little pot of marmalade with a recipe to make a breakfast martini which was incredibly good! If you are a fan of gin and want to expand your gin knowledge then the Gin Explorer box is definitely for you, enter the Promo Code TAKEOFF to get £5 off their first edition. Exp 31st July. You can also buy full sized bottles of all of the gins and other products included from their Gin Festival shop;
On to the gin and bitter lemon sorbet. This is an incredibly light, refreshing, not too sweet sorbet which includes a very generous slug of gin. It is also very easy to make, you just infuse carbonated bitter lemon and sugar with juniper berries (to give more of a ‘gin’ flavour), then add lemon juice and gin and leave to cool before whisking in an egg white (which is what makes the sorbet so light) and freezing in an ice cream maker. I pushed the limits of the amount of gin you can include before you end up with a slushy rather than a sorbet (but a gin slushy wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway) so it is a fairly soft serve sorbet. It won’t freeze completely in the ice cream maker and will be more of a thick slushy consistency, but it will firm up a bit in the freezer overnight. Due to the large amount of gin and the slightly sharp flavour this is definitely a treat for adults only!
- 125g granulated or caster sugar
- 30 juniper berries, bruised
- 400ml carbonated bitter lemon
- 125ml fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 75ml gin
- 1 egg white
- Place the sugar, juniper berries and bitter lemon in a pan, bring up to a simmer and simmer gently for five minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Stir in the lemon juice and gin and refrigerate until cold.
- Gently whisk the egg white in a large jug until just frothy then pass the lemon mixture through a sieve into the jug and whisk to combine. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions; it will not freeze as firmly as usual due to the gin but should reach at least a thick slushy texture.
- Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze overnight, it will remain a soft-serve consistency but will become firmer (unless you don't have a very powerful freezer in which case you may need to use less gin).
I was sent some products to review but I wasn’t paid to write this post and all opinions are my own