Light, crisp, fresh and fruity, the Portuguese vinho verde is my favorite wine. It isn’t the slightest bit fussy, it’s easy to drink and is surprisingly thirst-quenching. On my way back to the train station from the Palácio Nacional de Queluz outside Lisbon, I stopped at a little cafe and had a few glasses of vihno verde with floats of lemon, orange and grapes. It was the perfect cap to a bright, warm day of wondering through the beautiful home and lovely gardens of crazy Dona Maria I. Ever since, I have been slightly obsessed with the flavor profile of white sangria. I’ve done a gelée dessert with it, I’ve made a jelly with it to fill almond sponge cakes, and now I’ve done it as a sorbet. I’ve added a few more compatible flavors to make it a bit more complex and add some body to the sorbet. This sorbet is bright, crisp and quite refreshing with a little spiciness— the perfect finish to an alfresco meal on one of these upcoming bright, sunny days.
Sangria Blanca Sorbet
(makes about a quart of sorbet)
1 cup white wine
1 cup simple syrup
1” piece of ginger
Quarter of a vanilla bean
1 green apple
Combine the wine and simple syrup in a saucepan. Zest and juice the lemon and orange into the saucepan. Peel the ginger and grate it into the saucepan (don’t just chop the ginger, you want the juice that results from actually grating it). Scrape the vanilla bean and add it to the saucepan. Core and chop the pear and apple and add them to the saucepan (leave the skins on). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently until the fruit is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool and steep. Transfer the fruit and liquid to a blender and blend well. Strain the mixture, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Chill the sorbet base, then churn it in an ice cream maker. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer container and freeze for several hours before serving. Alternately, you can pour the strained liquid into a baking dish and still-freeze it. Scrape it with a fork to make a granité.