Freestylin’: Draped in Velvet punch

Sorbet is the perfect cocktail mixer and ice in one—pulverized fruit, juices, and sugar, all frozen together. A shot of liquor over a scoop of sorbet is all you need for a killer cocktail. It can also serve double duty—as dessert and a boozy post-meal beverage.

One of Jeni and Charly’s favorite sorbet cocktails follows a simple formula: 4 parts sorbet, 2 parts vodka or gin, a touch of salt, and an herb garnish. Plus an optional add of sparkling water for a little fizziness. We’re Freestylin’ this recipe (find the original on page 176 of Jeni’s second book) with something we’re calling it Draped in Velvet—a name inspired by the star ingredient: velvety, rich, and regal Blackcurrant Lambic Sorbet.


Draped in Velvet
Serves roughly 25

1 bottle gin
2 cups Rosemary simple syrup*
Juice of 1 large lemon (or more to taste)
3-4 pints Blackcurrant Lambic Sorbet
1 bottle sparkling water
Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Pour gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a punch bowl. Add scoops of Blackcurrant Lambic Sorbet, to taste. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. And serve immediately.

*We made rosemary simple syrup with 2 cups sugar dissolved into 2 cups water, steeped with the needles of 3 rosemary sprigs.

What is Freestylin’?

We’re glad you asked. Jeni designed her second cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, like a mixing and matching game. Her idea: Master one base recipe (like an empanada dough, pie crust, or macaroon cake), and then swap out ingredients or combine them with other recipes to create an entirely new dish that’s uniquely you. This is how Jeni cooks at home. It’s what she calls cooking between the pages, or Freestylin’. Our Freestylin’ blog series is where we share riffs on Jeni’s recipes for even more inspiration.