Even though there's no ice cream maker in the MSV kitchen, there is a food processor. And given that, it's not tough to whip up some tasty frozen stuff, and the imperfections in texture literally melt away once you dunk a scoop of frosty, spicy-sweet, completely irresistible ginger sherbet into a glass of something fizzy and refreshing.
If you do have an ice cream maker, by all means, use it. If not, just blend, freeze in chunks using an ice cube tray, and blend it all again when ready to serve. Easy. And so, so good.
Vegan Ginger Sherbet
2 cups coconut milk
1 3x1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
6 TBSP natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a quart jar and blend with an immersion blender until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is very smooth, about a minute. Strain to remove the ginger hairs, pour into an ice cube tray (you'll have slightly more than one standard plastic tray will hold), and freeze.
When ready to serve, slide a thin, dull knife or spatula along the side of each cube and gently pry out--this should happen fairly readily. Add 2-3 sherbet cubes per person to a food processor and process until creamy. It will be a bit sandy and icy at first, but after half a minute or so, the whole mixture will pull away from the processor tub and cohere into a creamy, semi-firm, consistency that can be scooped easily.
Now to put that sherbet to work. But even if you have no interest in floats, pay attention, because this watermelon-basil syrup is hard to resist. It makes an addictive soda that's fruity, herbal, and unbelievably light without tasting thin. One sip leaves you wanting another. And that might go double once the ginger sherbet gets things all creamy and gently spicy.
Equal parts syrup and club soda make a delicate drink that can be enjoyed all alone over ice or spiked--go simple with vodka or go for a low-key, totally affable warm-weather whiskey drink: 2 oz Watermelon-Basil Syrup, 2 oz club soda, 1 oz rye (we used Bulleit), and 1/2 oz orange liqueur. Serve over ice, finish with a squeeze of lime.
Breezy Watermelon-Basil Soda
equal parts Watermelon-Basil Syrup, recipe follows, and club soda
yields 1 2/3-1 3/4 cups
1 lb watermelon (2 1/2-3 cups 1-inch cubes)
1 dozen medium-large basil leaves (about 5 grams, or 1/4 cup loosely packed leaves)
1 lime, sliced, ends discarded
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup water
Add the watermelon and basil to a pitcher and blend with an immersion blender. Add lime slices.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat the sugar and water. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat immediately, let cool a minute, then carefully add to the blended watermelon. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 1 hour. Strain (you won't press on the solids, exactly, but stir the whole thing to help it along) and discard solids. Chill until ready to use. Stir well before each use.
And now for something simpler. This is actually what got this post started. Ginger sherbet was made, and Ginger Sherbet Framboise Floats were had. And had and had.
Ginger Sherbet Framboise Floats
1 12-oz bottle Lindemans Framboise Lambic
ginger sherbet (see recipe above--use 5 frozen sherbet cubes)
Pour 6 ounces beer over 1 scoop of ice cream and serve.