Meyer Lemon Sorbet


This picture reminds me of a Cooks Illustrated cover. I think it’s the blurry lemons in the background. My husband takes great photos of the food I cook.

I love all things lemon and I love simple recipes. You can get no more simple and lemony than this sorbet. It has four ingredients, lemon juice, water, sugar and a tiny bit of vodka. The vodka is used to keep the sorbet from freezing like an ice cube. Since alcohol doesn’t freeze, the sorbet maintains a softer, smoother consistency.

This sorbet has an intense flavor and can be used as a palate cleanser between courses of a big meal. I have one tip when making this – start by adding half a cup of sugar and taste the mixture. Keep adding sugar until you have the sweetness that you want. Don’t make the mistake of adding all of the sugar at once, because you can’t remove it once it’s added. When I made this, I strained the pulp out of the lemon juice. Sometimes I leave pulp in, but this time I decided to strain it, which resulted in a nice smooth sorbet. You can also add some fine lemon zest for a lemony zing and for some texture.

Meyer Lemon Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (~ 3-4 lemons)
1 teaspoon vodka (or up to a Tablespoon, to taste)

In a small saucepan on medium high heat, make a simple syrup by heating sugar and water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the lemon juice and vodka. Chill, either in the refrigerator, or by placing in a metal bowl over an ice bath.

Once the mixture has thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place sorbet in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve. The sorbet will always be slightly soft because of the alcohol.

Yield: ~2 1/2 cups of sorbet

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6 comments to Meyer Lemon Sorbet

  • Oh, I love sorbet! I must make this. I made a gelato al limone that was amazing, but I haven’t made it again because I’m trying to lower my amounts of heavy cream haha. I think this would be a perfect substitute!! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe and perfect photo.

  • Thanks so much for the recipe!! I made it last night and it was one of the best sorbets I’ve ever had. (PS… I wrote a blog post about it and linked to your site. Hope that’s okay!)

  • Glad you liked the sorbet. It’s one of my favorites!

  • Cathy

    I love Meyer lemon sorbet. I don’t make a simple syrup first, but simply combine the ingredients and let the acid in the lemon juice dissolve the sugar. And I add some Meyer lemon zest (1 tsp. or more) to give it a strong Meyer lemon flavor.

  • Donna

    This sounds so delicious!!!!
    what can I do if I don’t have an ice cream maker??

  • StylishCuisine


    I fear that this recipe will be tough to make without an ice dream maker. There are other fruit sorbets that you can make with a food processor, but they start with frozen fruit. Here’s one of my favorites:

    If anyone else has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

    Good luck!

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