Bloody Mary Sorbet

In order to replicate those divine qualities of ice cream in the absence of sugar we need to understand what role sugar plays in the ice cream and how to replace it with an acceptable substitute.  The function of sugar in ice cream, outside of the obvious delicious sweet factor, is to lower the freezing point of the ice cream batter to form the scoopable chewey quality reflective of really good ice cream. Without an ingredient to lower the freezing point of the batter, it would freeze like a solid brick of ice, loosing that intricate smooth airy texture we worked so hard to achieve.   So why does sugar lower the freezing point of water and what other delicious things can we add to our ice cream to lower the freezing point?

The temperature at which a liquid freezes depends on how fast the liquid molecules are moving.  Lets think about water.  At high enough temperatures water molecules have lots of energy and move around super fast causing them to form vapor (like steam above 100 C/212 F), at low enough temperatures the molecules have very little energy and are super slow couch potatoes, condensing down and preferring to sit close together on the couch holding the hand of many other molecule friends around them, forming a structure resulting in a solid state (like ice at or below 0C/32F).   If the liquid is no longer pure and has something dissolved in it (such as sugar) at low temperatures the water molecules have a hard time finding a spot on their couch of relaxation to connect to their other molecule friends due to the big sugar crystal clutter taking over the couch.  Thus  at the same temperature at which water would have frozen, a sugar mixture would still be liquid because they water molecules haven’t formed their friend matrix structure.  It would require lowering the temperature even further to freeze the mixture.  Increasing the quantity of the impurity further decreases the freezing temperature.

Since most ice cream recipies add approximately 1 cup of sugar, lets take a look at the freezing temperature of a liquid in which we add 1 cup of a particular ingredient to 1 qt of liquid.


Freezing Point


Freezing Point (C)













Here we can see that while sucrose (common table sugar) is good at lowering the temperature by approximately 2 degrees, both glucose and fructose (fruit sugar), do a much more adequate job at lowering the freezing point.  Salt on the other hand does phenomenally better at lowing the freezing temperature by approximately 17 degrees.  This property of salt is one of the reasons why snowy cold climates salt the roads so that the water doesn’t form ice at normal freezing temperatures (or melts ice at freezing temperatures).  Obviously no one would want to eat something with 1 cup of salt in it, but it is another delicious ingredient that we can add to our ice cream to serve the same purpose as sugar.  In this case to depress the freezing point by the same amount sugar does we only require 2 Tbs salt. This is also quite a lot of salt for the normal pallet so in the recipe below I will add some alcohol in order to help depress the freezing point further.



3 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon horseraddish
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Vodka (or preferred alcohol)
Olives, pickle, celery or cilantro for garnish

1) Combine all ingredients and blend
2) Adjust to taste
3) Churn according to ice cream maker instructions
4) I mushed up some olives and swirled it in at the last minute to make an olive swirl
5) Enjoy


I’m sure every type of alcoholic beverage has been done up in every way imaginable but as a craver of salt and lover of the tomatoey bloody mary, this sorbet was just exquisite and the texture even when frozen was very reminiscent of a commercial sorbet!!