Now that it’s almost summer, you’re probably gobbling down lots of frozen treats. If you overdosed on ice cream or are just craving something a little lighter, you might want to grab a scoop of sorbet or sherbet instead.
While both are icy, often fruit-flavored favorites that are great for keeping cool, you might be wondering if there is actually a difference between the two. It turns out there is, but it’s a subtle one (for those who aren’t lactose intolerant, at least). Sorbet lacks milk. It’s a frozen dairy-free dessert that’s made with sweetened water and fruit juice or fruit puree.
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Sherbet must contain milk or cream, and, in the United States, is federally mandated to have an overall milkfat content of one to two percent. In case you’re wondering, products with 2-10 percent milkfat are considered “frozen dairy desserts” and products with over 10 percent milkfat are just straight-up ice cream.
In terms of texture, sherbet is usually creamier than sorbet, given its minimal dairy content, however both sherbet and sorbet are great options if you’re looking for a cold dessert that’s light and fruity.
Whether you like it scooped in a bowl, piled high in a cone, or on top of a boozy cocktail, below are some of our favorite recipes that incorporate sorbets and sherbets.
Not sure what to do with your bounty of summer peaches? Try making sorbet with your latest haul from the farmers market. Get our Peach Sorbet recipe.
Mixed Berry Sherbet
A blend of raspberries and blackberries with a hint of lemon juice make for one of the best sherbet flavors imaginable. You can’t go wrong with this classic. Get our Mixed Berry Sherbet recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Raspberry Sorbet Bars
Dreamy Orange Sherbet Punch
What better way to top your picnic off than with this fizzy, non-alcoholic punch? All it takes is ginger ale, pineapple juice, orange juice, and orange sherbet, and you’ve got summer in a glass. Get our Dreamy Orange Sherbet Punch recipe.
Assorted Latte Bowls, Set of 6, $24.95 at Anthropologie
Champagne and Sorbet Float
If you’re looking to booze up raspberry sorbet, this cocktail is an ideal choice. The addition of lavender syrup and sparkling wine complement the tart berry flavor perfectly. Get our Champagne and Sorbet Float recipe.
Chocolate Coconut Sherbet
If you’re craving sherbet but are lactose intolerant, try using coconut milk instead. It pairs with chocolate especially well, making this recipe a hit for everyone (regardless your ability to process dairy). Get our Chocolate Coconut Sherbet recipe.