Alternate title: Oh, Look At What I Done Did.
Some weeks ago, Pam and Maggy of Three Many Cooks invited me and my family over for dinner. Maggy and I had been exchanging emails for some weeks, and really hit it off online. But normally, my shyness would have made me less ready to accept the invitation. More often than not, I’m perfectly happy staying in the background, letting typed-out words do the socializing for me. This time though, I said yes.
I didn’t start stressing about it until we were on the road. Then I started giving myself a pep talk. “Good grief, woman, just relax,” I’d remind myself. “Be yourself!” Then of course, the other voice started talking too. “Oh yeah? Be yourself? But yourself is a dork! A major goob!” By the time we finally pulled into their driveway, I was a mini-tangle of nerves. So nervous that when I stepped out of the car, I think part of my foot slipped out of my sandal and I almost—ALMOST—fell to the ground, still holding my camera. “Yep. I’m Dork, nice to meet you.”
Of course, I had no reason to be nervous. Maggy, Pam, and David could not have been more welcoming, and all my stress melted away. And almost as soon as we walked in the house, Pam offered us something to drink. Her recommendation: a gin and tonic.
I need to come clean here. As far as drinks go, I’m a lightweight. In fact, make that a featherweight. Airweight, if possible. Helium-weight even. You get the picture. A few sips of alcohol, and my cheeks are flushed and burning. I blame this on my dad, who gets just as red with a only few sips of anything potent. When I do have something to drink, it’s usually a beer. A light beer. And the smaller the bottle, the better.
But I took a sip of that gin and tonic, and loved it. It was so refreshing and light, and the way Pam made it was just right for me. And yes, it might have taken me the entire evening into night to finish my one drink, but let me tell you, I enjoyed it.
Now, if you know me and my current ice cream craze, it was only a matter of time before the idea of a gin and tonic sorbet crept into my brain. And once it got there, it wouldn’t budge.
I ran the idea by Maggy, who told me I should totally go for it. So I did. I think it’s great for an outdoor party, either served in between courses to cleanse your palate, or even as a refreshing appetizer. Better yet, even if you happen to leave it unattended, you don’t just end up with semi-melted sorbet; you end up with a nice cold shot of gin and tonic, albeit slightly sweet.
It took me a couple of tries to get just the right mix I wanted, and here is my recipe. I’m know I’m not much of a drinker, but if you’re thinking of making this a more potent sorbet by adding significantly more gin, you might end up with slush rather than sorbet. (Unless slush is what you’re going for, in which case, pour away!) Remember that alcohol won’t freeze, which is why you can store a bottle of vodka or gin in the freezer without any problems.
Gin and Tonic Sorbet
1/2 cup sugar
1 large or 2 medium limes, zested and juiced
2 1/2 cups tonic water
3 fl. oz. shot gin
In a saucepan, make simple syrup by heating 1/2 cup water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat and add lime zest and juice. Let cool. Once cooled, add tonic water and gin. Taste it and make any adjustments according to taste. Let everything cool in the refrigerator, then strain into the bowl of your ice cream machine. Follow your machine’s directions to freeze the sorbet. Store in a freezer-proof container in the freezer to allow it to harden some more.
Serve in pretty little glasses garnished with more lime zest, thin little slices of lime, or rim the glass with lime sugar (a mix of lime zest and sugar pulsed together in the food processor).
Make this sorbet, keep it in the freezer, and the next time you have a cookout, surprise your guests with this. It’s absolutely refreshing, and a great way to cool down on a hot day.
In the meantime, take some out in the morning and tell everyone that you’re shooting photos for your blog.
Then “accidentally” leave it to melt.
And then do this.
And then just go back to bed because that’s it, there’s no way your day can get any better.