Tu B’Av is a Jewish holiday with roots in an agricultural festival. Known as the holiday of love, it will be celebrated this year for about 24 hours starting at sundown on July 23.
Observed during the full moon, Tu B’Av historically marked the start of the grape harvest and was a time for joy, love and marriage (with young women dressed in white dancing in the vineyards).
In Israel it is now treated much like Valentine’s Day.
This nonalcoholic sangria sorbet with fresh fruit compote is a festive way to commemorate the day and the ancient grape harvest. Serve it by itself or with vanilla ice cream. You can also use the sorbet to mix up an adult cocktail or make a kid-friendly sangria sorbet soda.
Sangria Sorbet with Fresh Fruit Compote
Serves 6 to 8 (Makes about 1 quart sorbet)
Cinnamon sugar syrup:
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1¼ cups water
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups cinnamon sugar syrup, chilled
- 1½ cups 100 percent Concord grape juice, chilled
- ½ cup orange juice, chilled
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Compote and serving:
- 1 medium orange (about 8 oz.)
- 1 small apple (about 4 oz.)
- 1 medium peach (about 4 oz.)
- ½ cup halved seedless grapes
- 1 Tbs. orange juice
- Finely chopped fresh mint
Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has totally dissolved. Sprinkle in cinnamon and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat and store airtight in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use chilled.
Combine syrup, grape juice, orange juice, and lemon juice in the chilled container of the ice cream maker. Taste (it should be a little sweeter than you like, since freezing dulls the sweetness). If desired, add more sugar syrup or lemon juice. Follow manufacturer’s directions to churn. Pack into an airtight container and place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes before scooping and serving. Can be made and frozen up to 3 days in advance. If frozen solid, allow to stand 10 to 20 minutes before scooping. (For directions for making without an ice cream maker see below.)
Before serving, make compote. Peel orange. Chop orange, apple and peach into ¼-inch pieces. Combine with grapes and orange juice. Stir well. Can be made and refrigerated airtight up to several hours in advance.
Scoop or spoon sorbet into serving dishes and serve topped with (or on top of) compote. Sprinkle with mint.
To make sorbet without an ice cream maker, chill an 8-inch metal baking pan. Combine syrup and juices in pan. Stir well. Taste and adjust as above. Cover. Place in freezer. Stir sorbet after 1 hour breaking up any ice clumps. Return to freezer. After 2 hours, stir again. Stir again 2 hours later. Leave covered in freezer for up to 3 days. Remove a few minutes before serving. Scrape a fork across the top of the sorbet to turn the sorbet into crystals to serve.
Ice cream and sorbet: Serve mini or full-size scoops of sorbet alongside vanilla ice cream. Serve with compote.
Sangria sorbet soda: For each drink, chill a large glass. Fill ¾ of the way full with chilled plain seltzer and orange juice (proportions to taste). Just before serving, add a scoop of sorbet. Garnish with mint and place a thin orange slice on rim. Serve immediately with straw and spoon.
Adult sangria sorbet cocktail: For each drink, chill a cocktail or Champagne glass. Fill with a chilled screwdriver (orange juice and vodka) or a mimosa (orange juice and Champagne). Add a mini-scoop of sorbet. Garnish with mint and place a thin orange slice on rim. Serve immediately with a spoon.