Hay Hay It’s Donna Eats Sorbet Day!

July 04th, 2007  | Category: Ice Cream & Sorbet

Campari Orange Sorbet

Laura of Eat Drink Live is hosting this month’s HHDD and she picked the best summer theme possible: Sorbet!

I rarely drink alcohol. And when I do, I drink Campari and Campari only. If I feel thirsty, I drink it mixed with mineral water (which also help release the flavors). If I feel festive, I prefer it with orange juice. And if it is a rather chilly day, nothing warms me up more than a Campari straight up.

For quite a long time, I have been thinking about how it would taste in a sorbet. I am glad I tried. Campari Orange Sorbet is as good as the drink itself – if not better. I topped it with candied orange peel and served on a hot summer night.

All About Campari

Campari originated in Navaro, Italy in 1860. The secret recipe belongs to Gaspare Campari and incorporates over 60 ingredients. While the recipe is confidential, a few of them are known to be orange peel, quinine, rhubarb, ginseng and bark from Cascarilla trees that grow in the Bahamas.

The charming red color (C:27, M:100, Y:100, K:29) of this bitter comes from cochineal dye. The dye is derived from a female cochineal insect, which lives on cacti, feeding on its moisture and nutrients. The insect produces carminic acid, which is extracted from the body and eggs to make the dye. The insects are killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Each method produces a different color, which results in the varied appearance of commercial cochineal. It takes about 155,000 insects to make one kilogram of cochineal.

Note: Campari ceased using cochineal derived colorant in the vast majority of its worldwide production (including the US) in 2006.

Campari Orange Sorbet




  • 2+1/2 cups fresh orange juice (from 10-12 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Campari
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of half a lemon

Candied orange peel

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place orange juice, juice of half a lemon and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, pass through a fine-meshed sieve, add the orange zest and chill the mixture in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
  3. Mix in the alcohol and freeze in your ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. For the candied orange peel, peel an orange and cut lengthwise half an inch wide and 3 inches in length. Remove the bitter white pith as much as possible. Put the strips in a saucepan together with sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove the strips from the sugar mixture and place on a parchment paper to cool.
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  1. 1 - Pille on July 4th, 2007

    Aaargh, that sounds delicious! I made a sorbet for HHDD as well, but won’t be posting it until the weekend. I was really hoping to win that David Lebovitz’s book, but now I’m note sure how good my chances are after all:)

  2. 2 - Cenk on July 4th, 2007

    Hi Pille – Everything you bake looks delicious and I am sure your’s will look perfect. Can’t wait to read your post. Let the best sorbet win!

  3. 3 - Rosa on July 4th, 2007

    That sorbet looks wonderful! I love it’s color and delicate texture…

  4. 4 - Hilda on July 4th, 2007

    What a wonderful idea and one I’ve not seen yet! I love Campari too, and I bet orange sorbet is much better for having it in there.

  5. 5 - Zeynep Seda on July 4th, 2007

    Wooaahh, colors are amazing! So vibrant, brilliant as always!

  6. 6 - Cenk on July 4th, 2007

    Rosa, Hilda, Zeynep Seda – Thank you!

  7. 7 - Sean on July 5th, 2007

    Mmmm … what a lovely idea for sorbet. I famously have a dislike for orange, but I’m sure the Campari would win me over.

  8. 8 - Cenk on July 5th, 2007

    Hey Sean – Glad you liked it!

  9. 9 - Anali on July 6th, 2007

    You have such a wonderful blog! And this sorbet looks heavenly!

  10. 10 - Shaun on July 6th, 2007

    Hi Cenk – I honestly had no idea so many ingredients went into making Campari. I just thought it was so some special bitter orange, and that’s it. I am even more surprised about the nature of the colour…Is that the same insect Aztecs used for their glorious reds? This is an interesting ingredient for a sorbet…Are there any Turkish liqueurs that I should know about? 😉

  11. 11 - Cenk on July 6th, 2007

    Shaun – Yes, it is the same insect Aztecs used. I am quite surprised to learn all of these as well. As far as Turkish liquors, the most famous of all is Rakı. You can read about it here.

  12. 12 - Kristen on July 8th, 2007

    This looks so delicious and refreshing. I love your photos!

  13. 13 - Cenk on July 8th, 2007

    Thank you Kristen!

  14. 14 - Sylvia on July 9th, 2007

    This campari orange sorbet looks amazing. I like Campari too but I never had your wonderful idea to make sorbet,I love.
    By the way your photos are magnific

  15. 15 - Cenk on July 14th, 2007

    Thank you Sylvia. You really should try this. I’d love to hear your comments.

  16. 16 - rachel on July 16th, 2007

    I’ve made something similar with blood oranges and campari. I love campari!!

  17. 17 - barbara on July 17th, 2007

    I wish I liked Campari. It seems to be such a sophisticated drink, but I find it too bitter. I love how you have used it in a sorbet. Thanks for joining HHDD.

  18. 18 - joey on July 20th, 2007

    This is my first time to visit and boy what a great entry! This sorbet sound luscious and glamorous! I love it already 🙂

    Btw, you have totally won me over on Campari…that is what I’m having my next night out! 🙂

  19. 19 - Marona on July 20th, 2007

    I love Campari orange drink! I’ll try to make this sorbet, I think I will like it too.
    Thanks for the recipe. Great blog!

  20. 20 - Chocolate Gourmand Blog » Blog Archive » Tangelo Sorbet with Cointreau on August 5th, 2007

    […] How do other people make orange sorbet?I looked around for some recipes for ideas, since I wasn’t sure if I should add water or not. Many recipes called for boiling the zest to extract flavor and this usually meant added water unless you want to boil juice. Cafe Fernando has a great recipe for orange sorbet with no added water. Meanwhile, Cafe Lynnylu has a great blood orange sorbet recipe with one cup of water. On the other end of the spectrum, Gluten-Free Girl has a blood orange sorbet recipe with 2 cups of water to one cup juice. […]

  21. 21 - segun on September 11th, 2008

    This campari orange sorbet looks nice. I like Campari but I never had your wonderful idea to make sorbet,only what is baffle me is campari orange from italy or france i really want to no.thanks

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