Sophisticated Champagne Gelato

So first, I tell you about a humble and frugal French toast casserole on National Caviar Day. You couldn’t expect me to tell you about anything other than sophisticated Champagne Gelato on National Junk Food Day, right? That’s what I thought.

This gelato, originally a sorbet but since I’ve gone and added milk in place of the juice, I can’t really call it that anymore, is nothing short of incredible. It is decadence in a cone/cup/champagne flute. It’s rich. You may not be able to eat a full serving. You definitely will wish that you could. There’s no mistaking the flavor for anything but champagne, and its richness is just begging you to top it all off with some chopped fresh strawberries or raspberries. It’s smooth and creamy, and even after a month and a half of sitting in my freezer (I’ve been so distracted by all of the desserts we have in my house!), the consistency is still spot-on. The alcohol prevents it from freezing solid, giving it a very smooth slushy-type consistency. There’s nothing like it on a hot, summer day. You’ll feel like royalty with each spoonful. 

There’s just one caveat: I didn’t save the recipe. Well, I saved the original, but this is so far from that, it’s hardly the same recipe anymore. I really shouldn’t tell you about it, because for all I know the changes that I remember making are not at all the changes that I actually made. There’s this chance that I’m leading you down a path to failure. But I can’t not tell you about this gelato, either. I can’t look at it every time I open my freezer and pretend that it isn’t there. And who knows how long it’ll be before I’m faced with a half-empty bottle of champagne that I need to use up. You’ll just have to risk it this time. If it makes you feel any better, I’m pretty confident in my memory.  And the next time I find myself with extra champagne, you can bet I will make it again – and this time, I will save my notes like a good little food blogger.

Champagne Gelato
Rich, creamy, smooth – this (vegan!) frozen treat is the perfect escape from the heat of summer. Top it with berries for an even more decadent experience.

Yield: approximately ½ quart
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight chilling
“Cook” Time: 20 minutes plus 6 hours chilling

The Ingredients
¾ cup sparkling wine or champagne1
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tablespoon light corn syrup
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice

The Method
Combine the champagne, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a vigorous boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and strain into a glass or stainless-steel bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled partially with ice cubes, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until it has come down to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight to chill completely.

The next day, chill the champagne mixture in an ice cream maker according to the machine’s directions (mine took approximately 20 minutes). It should have a mostly-frozen, slushy-like consistency. Transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer to firm up even more, at least 6 hours. Serve straight from the freezer; no thaw time needed.

Source, adapted: Simply Recipes

1I made this because I had extra champagne after I made my White Chocolate & Champagne Layer Cake for graduation. I know most normal people would just drink extra champagne, but seriously, this is so much better.

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