DrinkWire is Liquor.com’s showcase for the best articles, recipes and reviews from the web’s top writers and bloggers. In this post, Boxes and Booze offers a boozy dessert.


A favorite local artist of mine enjoys fashioning intricate puzzle boxes to mimic actual desserts. He opens his “Puzzled Guy Patisserie” on rare occasion and the pastries fly off the shelves. His cakes, which are really puzzles, always make me want to mix things up with my cocktails, so to speak, as well.

Here’s something puzzling – a sorbet, which is actually a cocktail. I’m very slightly famous around citrus season for my ruby red grapefruit sorbet, which uses Texas Rio Star grapefruit, the most delicious in the world. I’m also rather fond of the Negroni, and all its variations. It’s one of the more versatile classics of the cocktail world, although many feel that it’s an acquired taste. This may just be the most delicious way to start you own infatuation with the Negroni, in that case. If you already love them, even better. The classic Negroni has equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. This combination of standard and lower proof spirits actually lends itself well to ice cream and sorbet making, since too much alcohol will make it impossible to solidify the solution (unless your ice cream maker gets down to -173.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Using a standard 80 proof gin is key (not higher proof versions like “Navy Strength”). Combining this with Campari, which is 48 proof if in the US, and vermouth (such as the rich and delicious Antica Formula, at 16.5 proof), results in a solution of around 50 proof, or 25% alcohol content. With straight 80 proof spirits you can add around 2 oz per quart and yield a softly scoop-able dessert.

The Negroni sorbet allows for a slightly more generous dose, if preferred. And we prefer! Here’s to sneaky sweet surprises in all shapes and sizes. Cheers!


Grapefruit Negroni Sorbet

  • 2 cups fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit fruit (such as Texas Rio Star)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Negroni cocktail (1 oz each of Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth)

Combine ingredients in an ice cream maker and freeze. Let it set in the freezer for a few hours before serving in cocktail glasses. Garnish with an orange twist or flower.


For more about these puzzling pastry puzzle boxes:

Boxes and Booze: Sneaky Sweets

For more Negroni variations:

Down for the Count

Fine Creations

Let the Good Times Reuleaux