The Monday Treat – Watermelon and Campari Sorbet while there’s still summer left to enjoy it

It’s a well known piece of folk wisdom that we should make hay while the sun shines. I like to amend this to “eat watermelon while the sun shines.” Philosophers may want to argue the toss, but it’s a pretty fair guess that summer will not be with us forever.

Impossible as this is to really believe, here in the dog days of August, Labor Day is just around the corner, magazines are full of cashmere and coats, and in just three of four weekends time, ice cream will not seem like a necessity to daily life and marital harmony.

This is the time to wear white while it’s still acceptable to do so, and sit in beer gardens, and have picnics and walk on the Highline and appreciate shorts and flip flops in an urban setting.

Here’s my NYC-centric summer to do list. What’s on yours?

Watermelon Sorbet

The Campari tip came from my friend Hilary, who is the owner of an outré liquor cabinet. You want to drink maraschino cherry sours? She’s got them. Cointreau and Grand Marnier and Triple Sec? Check. So when she tells me she’s tested out a good range of watermelon / booze combinations and this is the best one, I’m inclined to take her at her word. And I love the sharp sour hit of Campari – usually over ice with soda, so I had it to hand, ready for experimentation. It gives the sorbet a deeper sour citrus note, and if it’s possible, makes it an even prettier pink.

For a very quick sorbet, freeze the melon cubes, then blend with a pinch of sugar and a splash of Campari – serve in a cocktail glass with a teaspoon. But for the real deal:

Lime illustration for watermelon sorbet recipe4 cups watermelon puree (which is about 5 lbs of watermelon blended)
Juice and zest of half a lime
¼ cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp Campari
  • Heat 1 cup of the watermelon puree with the sugar, whisking until the sugar dissolves
  • Add the rest of the puree, the lime and the corn syrup and whisk to combine
  • Take the puree off the heat and add the Campari
  • If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in and proceed according to its instructions. Otherwise, pour the mixture into a plastic container and freeze for 4 hours (or overnight)
  • Let the frozen mixture stand at room temp for a few minutes to soften slightly, then process (or blend) and freeze again
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4 Responses to The Monday Treat – Watermelon and Campari Sorbet while there’s still summer left to enjoy it

  1. jennremke says:

    I really would love to do all those last minute summer things with you!

  2. David Knowles says:

    Day on bikes on City Island sounds great,but where is it ?
    Never heard of watermelon beerbut it sounds interesting—next time in NY?
    Got a large watermelon on Sat to use while Chris/Edmond here but I am the only person to eat it –masses left over and no idea what to do with it !

    • Kate says:


      So City Island is a beach up on the top edge of the Bronx. It’s got lots of great seafood restaurants – could be fun to check it out with you – I’m very taken with the idea of slightly off season autumnal summer destinations, so I’m totally up for the trip out.

      As for the melon, you could chop it into chunks and freeze it, then blend it from frozen to make lovely drinks – very nice in the morning for breakfast. That’ll get rid of it super fast.

      Or you can make an easy salad by cutting it into chunks and adding about half as much again in chunks of feta cheese – a handful of flat leaf parsley and a handful of black olives are good additions too. Drizzle with some olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of black pepper and serve with some warm pita breads. We’ve been eating this for dinner about once a week all summer, usually with some hummus.

      You can also add cold cous cous (though make sure it really is cold – warm cous cous and warm melon = slime fest) to the salad to make it a more substantial dish, and serve it as a side with some BBQ lamb or chicken and another green salad and pittas – total feast.

      I’ll save you a bottle of watermelon beer – but when you come out it will be pumpkin beer time, which is awesome. If you type Pumpkin Beer into the search box it takes you to a piece I wrote about it, with some pictures. It’s going to be good.

      Lots of love

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