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Citrus Basil Sorbet

A refreshing lemon and orange sorbet with the surprising and delightful hint of basil, which rounds off this treat beautifully!

Overhead view of Citrus Basil sorbet with slices of orange, lemon and basil.

What happens when you combine citrus fruits with aromatic basil? Magic! That’s what happens, pure magic! The basil adds a sophisticated layer of flavor to this lemon and orange sorbet.

A teensy bit of vodka stops it from freezing too solid, ensuring a beautiful texture. This doesn't have enough vodka in it to put this in the ‘boozy sorbet’ category (we have a couple of those here too😁). However, you can absolutely leave out the vodka as it doesn’t affect the flavor - just the finish and ‘scoop-ability’!

This grown up sorbet makes a great palate cleanser between courses, but it also gets rave reviews for dessert, or just for those moments when you’re standing in front of an open freezer looking for something sweet to hit the spot… or is that just my Sunday night ritual?

No ice cream maker? No problem! We have directions for a granita'd version below too! xoxo Kirsty

A spoon of Citrus Basil sorbet with slices of orange, lemon and basil.

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 2 cups (475ml) water

  • 1-1/2 cups (290g) sugar

  • tiny pinch of salt

  • 30 basil leaves (divided - 20 whole, 10 julienned)

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice

  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) vodka - optional

Combine the water, sugar and teensy pinch of salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring from time to time until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and add 20 basil leaves. Allow the basil to steep for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes have passed, remove the basil leaves from the sugar mixture. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice and vodka, stir to combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before churning it in your ice cream machine.

NOTE: If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you can pour it straight into a shallow dish, stir in the julienned basil leaves, put it in the freezer, and scrape through it with a fork every hour or so until it has all frozen. To serve as a granita, scrape little mounds of the ice into dessert cups.

When you’re ready to churn the sorbet, pour it into the machine’s container and add the julienned basil. Churn according to the machine’s instructions and freeze for at least 3 hours, or until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Side view of Citrus Basil sorbet with slices of orange, lemon and basil.

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