Sherbet (frozen dessert)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rainbow sherbet
Place of originNorth America
Serving temperatureFrozen
Main ingredientsWater, sugar, dairy products, flavoring (typically fruit juice, purée, wine, or liqueur, and occasionally non-fruit flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or peppermint)

Sherbet (/ˈʃɜːrbət/), often referred to as sherbert (/ˈʃɜːrbərt/),[1] is a frozen dessert made from water, sugar, a dairy product such as cream or milk, and a flavoring – typically fruit juice or purée, wine, liqueur, and occasionally non-fruit flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, or peppermint. It is similar to, but distinct from sorbet, which lacks dairy. [2]

Rainbow sherbet typically combines three flavors, each in its own color.


Sherbet comes from the Persian word Sharbat which is an iced fruit drink.[3]


Commercially produced sherbet in the United States is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as a frozen product containing one or more optional dairy products.[4] Sorbet, on the other hand, is made with sweetened water and no dairy, similar to Italian ice.

Sherbet was originally made with real fruit, and still may be, instead of imitation flavoring.[5][6]

In Canada, sherbet is defined as a "frozen food, other than ice cream or ice milk, made from a milk product". A typical Canadian sherbet may contain water, a sweetening agent, fruit or fruit juice, citric or tartaric acids, flavouring preparation, food coloring, sequestering agent(s), and lactose.[7]

Historic recipes[edit]

Some early 20th-century American recipes for sherbet added egg white or gelatin, or substituted them for dairy, to get a creamy texture.

The American Kitchen Magazine from 1902 distinguishes "water ices” (such as what is commonly known as Italian ice) from sherbets, explaining that "sherbets are water ices frozen more rapidly, and egg white or gelatin is often added to give a creamy consistency". In one recipe for pineapple sherbet, water may be used in place of milk.[8]

According to The American Produce Review (1913), "Sherbet is a frozen product made from water or milk, egg whites, sugar, lemon juice and flavoring material". A base was made of water, sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice.[9]


  1. ^ "The Scoop on Sherbet vs Sherbert". Merriam-Webster. 23 June 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-04-20. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  2. ^ "What's the Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet?". Food Network. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  3. ^ "Sherbet | Definition & Ingredients | Britannica". Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  4. ^ "Requirements for Specific Standardized Frozen Desserts". 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
  5. ^ Gallery, Christine (12 June 2017). "What's the Difference Between Sherbet and Sorbet?". The Kitchn. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  6. ^ Marshall, Robert T.; Goff, H. Douglas; Hartel, Richard W. (2003). Ice Cream. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-0-306-47700-3.
  7. ^ "Sherbet". Canada Food and Drug Regulations. Government of Canada. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  8. ^ The American Kitchen Magazine. Home Science Publishing Company. 1902.
  9. ^ The American Produce Review. 1913.