Sorbet: Watermelon, Mexican Lime, Campari

Here’s a terrific dessert for your Summer dinner party. WtrmlnCampcu2.jpg

Although not native to the region, Sandía is a Texas Mexican staple, as any Mexican-American family will tell you. Watermelon (Sandía) and Mexican lime are a natural blend in agua fresca, of course, but the addition of Italian Campari may give you pause.  Fear not. It harmonizes beautifully.  The right proportions and blending make this a truly complex bitter-tart-sweet, grown-up dessert.  Glazed Spearmint adds contrast both in texture and color.

Italy’s Campari was already connected to Mexico and our Texas Mexican region because until 2006 its color used to come from the crushed Cochineal beetle that lives in the nopal, cactus, of Texas and Mexico.  The little insects are in those white powdery specks in the pic.

Our ancestors, the Texas (Indians) Native Americans, had discovered and widely used the beautiful radiant red color. Until 2012 Starbucks  used it to produce the lovely hue in its “Strawberry Frappucino.” (Farnham, 2012).

This recipe is from my book, Truly Texas Mexican, avaliable at Barnes and Noble and Amazon

Recipe: (serves 4)

4 cups watermelon cubes
2 1/2 Tbspn Mexican lime juice
1 1/2 fl oz simple syrup (make simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water and heating until fully dissolved)
3 oz Campari
12 Spearmint leaves
For mint glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp corn syrup

The method is really very simple.  It’s actually the ratio/proportion and balance of the ingredients that is critical.  So, just blend all the first four ingredients until totally smooth and freeze, stirring occasionally, until the sorbet freezes completely.  Scoop into sorbet dishes and garnish with the glazed Spearmint.  I love this dessert.
To glaze the Spearmint leaves, heat the three ingredients in a small pan.  Using a candy thermometer, heat gradually to the soft ball stage, 235º F, and remove from heat.  When it cools down, dip the mint leaves, shake off excess and place them on a platter until you are ready to garnish.  These add a wonderful finishing taste to the sorbet.

Farnham, A. (2012, March 26). [Web log message]. Retrieved from

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2 thoughts on “Sorbet: Watermelon, Mexican Lime, Campari”

  • Campari! We drink it for apéritif all the time in France! I always have some at my home, love it on ice with orange juice, or with soda water, or Schepps! Will absolutely try this sorbet, thanks Adan!

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