Grapefruit-Champagne Float Recipe

Grapefruit-Champagne Float Recipe

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

This sorbet can be whipped up a few hours before guests arrive. Serve the float in individual flutes or bowls, or as a large punch with the sorbet floating in the center. I use 2 to 3 ounces of Champagne for a medium-sized scoop, which should get you around 8 servings with one bottle of Champagne.

I recommend a citrus- or fruit-forward gin here; the juniper shouldn't be too strong. Bluecoat is perfect, but Nolet's or the more affordable New Amsterdam are great alternatives. If you can't abide by a trace of gin in your dessert, vodka will do just fine.

  • Yield:Serves 8 people
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes, plus time for sorbet to chill


  • 4 cups chilled fresh ruby grapefruit juice, from about 8 grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gin (see note) or vodka
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses, for serving


  1. 1.

    In a large bowl whisk together grapefruit juice, sugar, and gin until sugar dissolves.

  2. 2.

    Stir in lime and orange zest. Add lime juice, lemon juice, and salt incrementally to taste. The sorbet should taste as tart as it is sweet. Chill well if grapefruits were not chilled already.

  3. 3.

    Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, then chill for two to three hours in the freezer before serving.

  4. 4.

    To serve individually, serve scoops in bowls or champagne flutes and top with two to three ounces champagne and about 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses. Or serve sorbet in a large mass in a punch bowl, scooping off chunks as needed.