Cook the Book: Grapefruit Campari Sorbetto

Cook the Book: Grapefruit Campari Sorbetto

[Flickr: SMercury98]

When I was very young (under ten years old) I was lucky enough to be treated to some very fancy meals, probably fancier than I should have. Please feel free to call me spoiled but I have clear memories of finger bowls and courses broken up by tiny scoops of sorbet known as an intermezzo. My incredibly generous grandparents were quick to inform me that the intermezzo was meant to cleanse and refresh the palate and was not a bonus dessert, but I was happy either way.

I think the last time I experienced the intermezzo was in elementary school, but this Grapefruit Campari Sorbetto from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto somehow caused all of those memories to flood back. The bracing combination of bitter grapefruit and herbal campari is the ultimate palate cleanser, whether you choose to serve it in between courses or after a meal.

This recipe adds just enough sugar to make these two bitter ingredients into a bittersweet apertif of a sorbetto, somewhere between a cocktail and dessert. When making the base be sure to taste since the amount of sugar you use depends on the sweetness of the grapefruit juice. Sweet Ruby Red grapefruits will require significantly less sugar than their white counterparts.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto to give away this week.

  • Yield:1 1/2 pints


  • 3 cups fresh grapefruit juice (from about 4 large grapefruits), strained and chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Campari


  1. 1.

    In a blender, combine the grapefruit juice and sugar, and blend until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Campari, pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine, and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.