This is a refined version of a recipe we made at Carlyle back in 2009 for a night of drinks featuring Fernet Branca. That version was delicious but it didn’t freeze well as I’d have liked. A few months ago I acquired an ice cream maker, so I’ve been enjoying lots of fernet sorbet this summer tweaking the recipe to reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol, both of which impede freezing.
The texture on this one still isn’t perfect for a stylized restaurant presentation, but it’s much more stable. Perhaps it would be perfect with a better ice cream maker or a fernet with a lower proof than the ubiquitous Fernet Branca that I’ve been using. The important thing is that it tastes fantastic. “Awesome Sorbet” was the label I found on the container at Carlyle when we made the first batch, and it still lives up to the name.
The inspiration for this is the fernet and ginger ale pairing beloved by so many West Coast bartenders. Neither ingredient dominates the sorbet, but they add spice and flavor.
30 oz orange juice
4 oz lemon juice
4 oz fernet
1 1/2 oz ginger juice*
6 oz superfine sugar
Whisk ingredients in a bowl, spin in an ice cream maker, and put in freezer until frozen.
* I don’t actually juice ginger for this. I just blend chopped ginger with a little water and push it through a strainer.