On the 4th of July we have root beer floats; on the 14th of July we have champagne floats! I made these with a simple, homemade organic strawberry & vanilla sorbet that I whipped together last night. You could buy sorbet but I prefer to make it at home with organic berries and whole vanilla beans. This is, of course, so I can control the quality of ingredients and assure it's safe for my daughter with food allergies. (In other words, I have an allergy-mom's natural distrust when it comes to ingredient labels. That, and I'm a little neurotic about how the fruit in conventional sorbets and sherbets is handled. Have you ever wondered if it's even cleaned before it's used? I like to scrub the heck out of mine! ) Besides, sorbet is one of the the easiest desserts to make with an ice cream maker, so why not? Make a simple sugar syrup, stir in the puréed fruit and churn in an ice cream maker, et voilà!
I garnished these with a skewer of fresh blueberries in honour of Bastille Day - bleu, blanc et rouge! The kids had theirs sans champagne, naturally, with all the blueberries they could eat.
Luckily these blue, white and red floats happen to work just as well for Independence Day, too. You know... if you need a reason to have champagne floats twice in two weeks. Cheers!
Organic Strawberry Sorbet
1 pound (0.5 kg) organic strawberries, washed and hulled
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
2 TBSP lemon juice
pinch of salt
Place the sugar, vanilla beans and pod and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla pod.
Meanwhile, clean and hull the strawberries. Purée them in a food processor until completely smooth. Strain the purée through a fine mesh sieve into a freezer safe bowl.
When the sugar syrup is cool mix it into the strawberry purée. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 2 hours.
Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Return the sorbet to the bowl, cover and freeze until solid.
Strawberry Sorbet Champagne Float
Place a scoop of sorbet in the bottom of a wine glass. Pour champagne or sparkling wine around the sorbet and garnish with fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint.