What if I told you that you could make a cool and refreshing dessert with just three ingredients?
“Sounds awesome. What are the 3 ingredients?” you’d probably ask.
Well, the first is Campari. It’s the Italian aperitif that gives a Negroni cocktail that wonderful, bracing bitterness. And me being Ilocano, I love bitter flavors, so I love Campari. I’ve used it before in a Filipino-inspired cocktail here.
“Cool,” you’d say. “What’s the second ingredient?”
Fresh juice from Filipino calamansi limes. Calamansi juice has a great tangerine/orange aroma to it, with the sour flavor of a lime.
“Now you’ve got bitter and sour. I thought this was a dessert,” says you.
Relax. I said there were three ingredients. The third and final ingredient delivers on sweetness, it’s Tang!
“That fake powdered stuff that astronauts drink? Tang? WTF?” you’d probably say to me in disbelief because you’re all uppity and can’t be bothered with processed foods and only drink fresh orange juice squeezed from oranges grown on a Yeti/Chupacabra organic co-op and juiced by virgin unicorns.
Yes, Tang is highly processed, full of artificial flavors and colors (it’s neon orange for Christ’s sake), and has a good amount of fructose. But it’s very much a part of Philippine culture. Like Spam, condensed milk, instant coffee, and other American “convenience” foods, Tang made its way to the Philippines during America’s military presence there, and then quickly became appropriated and prized amongst Filipinos. Tang ain’t nothin’ to f*ck with. And besides, Tang is fun. Tang is for the children!
“Are you going to stop making Wu-Tang references?”
“Alright. Whatever. So that’s 3 ingredients, but I still don’t see a dessert.”
Mix all three ingredients together, chill the mixture overnight in the fridge, then toss it into your ice cream maker for sorbet. The resultant sorbet is incredibly refreshing and almost grapefruit-like. With bitterness from the Campari, a touch of sourness from the calamansi, and sweetness from the Tang, the sorbet makes for a great palate cleanser as well. Campari. Calamansi. Tang. Together at last.
“That looks fantastic. But what if I don’t have an ice cream maker, smart guy?”
Pour the same mixture into popsicle molds, then freeze for Campari Calamansi Tang Pops. Boom.
“My mind is blown. I’m glad we had this conversation,” you’d be correct in saying.
- 2 cups prepared Tang (follow the directions on your Tang package to mix proper amount of powdered Tang with 2 cups of water)
- 1/3 cup Campari
- 1/3 cup fresh Calamansi juice
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, then place in refrigerator until chilled.
- Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately.
- If making popsicles, there is no need to chill the mixture in the refrigerator prior to freezing, just pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.