Aperol Sorbet Recipe (Perfect for a Frozen Aperol Spritz!)

This Aperol Sorbet is the ultimate treat for those who love a twist on the traditional. Combining the bittersweet, herbaceous flavors of Aperol with zesty citrus, this frozen delight is a sophisticated, refreshing experience. It’s perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day or adding a splash of elegance to your next dinner party. Plus, it’s surprisingly simple to make.

Sorbet in a coupe glass with a bottle of Aperol and fresh oranges in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Unique refreshing flavor: This Aperol Sorbet blends the distinctive bittersweet taste of Aperol with the freshness of citrus juices, offering a refreshing and exciting flavor experience, just like my Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet. It makes for a great palate cleanser or dessert option for those warm evenings.

Simple elegance: There’s something inherently sophisticated about serving a sorbet, especially one with Aperol. This recipe brings an elegant touch to any meal, making it seem like you’ve put in far more effort than you actually did.

Great for all occasions: Whether you’re ending a lavish dinner party or enjoying a casual backyard gathering, this bittersweet orange sorbet fits the scene. You can serve it in elegant glassware for a formal dessert or in simple bowls for a laid-back treat.

What is Aperol?

Aperol is an iconic Italian aperitif known for its sweet yet slightly bitter taste and vibrant orange hue. An aperitif, or “aperitivo” in Italian, is a light liqueur served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. I got to enjoy Aperol in many different forms on my recent trip to Italy – it’s on just about every menu!

Aperol has a complex flavor profile that strikes a delightful balance between sweetness and bitterness. It has a refreshing flavor of bitter orange, complemented by a variety of herbs and roots giving it depth and complexity. The initial taste is pleasantly sweet, quickly followed by bitter notes that don’t overpower but rather invigorate the palate. 

The most famous Aperol drink has to be the Aperol Spritz. You can easily make this recipe into an Aperol Spritz sorbet by serving it in a coupe glass topped with prosecco. I recommend a dry or brut prosecco to balance the sweetness in the sorbet. 

​Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for the sorbet spread out on a pink surface.

Water and sugar – This is the simple syrup base for the sorbet. I recommend using plain, white, granulated sugar. 

Aperol – These days, you can find Aperol at just about any bottle shop. 

Fresh orange juice – Use freshly squeezed for the best taste. I used blood oranges, but you can definitely use regular oranges as well.

Fresh lemon juice – This will add a tart balance to the sweetness of the sugar and orange juice to make the sorbet more refreshing.

Orange zest – Zest holds even more citrus flavor than juice does. I left mine in the sorbet as I like a little texture. If you want a completely smooth sorbet, you can allow it to infuse the sorbet base while it chills and then pour the base through a fine mesh strainer when you add it to your ice cream maker

Garnish (optional) – A sprig of fresh mint or thin orange slices can make it extra special and pretty.

Variations

Citrus switch: Swap in grapefruit juice for orange juice for a more bitter flavor profile, or swap the lemon juice for a bit of lime juice for some extra zestiness.

Floral or herbal flavor: Add a bit of elderflower tea or steep some fresh thyme when you heat the simple syrup for a floral or herbal layer of flavor. Remove the tea bag when the base is chilling in the fridge. 

Berry delight: Swirl in some berry preserves into the sorbet before you put it in the freezer. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Note: Before you begin, make sure your ice cream maker’s canister is completely frozen.

Step 1: Make the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow it to completely cool to room temperature before moving on. Then, add Aperol to the syrup.

Step 1 showing making the simple syrup and adding the Aperol to the syrup.

Step 2: Add the lemon juice, orange juice, and zest to the Aperol mixture. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Step 2 showing adding the orange juice and zest to the syrup mixture.

Step 3: Assemble your machine and pour the sorbet base into the frozen canister. Begin churning per the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, it’ll take about 25-30 minutes of churning.

Step 3 showing pouring the sorbet base mixture into the ice cream maker and churning the sorbet.

Step 4: Once your sorbet has the consistency of soft whipped cream or a thick smoothie, pack it into a freezer-safe container (see below for storing homemade sorbet). Press parchment paper to the surface of the sorbet and seal with an airtight lid or wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Step 4 showing the sorbet churning in the machine and then being packed into a ceramic dish.

Step 5: When ready to serve, allow to sit for a few minutes at room temp. Serve in an ice cream dish or coupe glass

Step 5 showing scooping the sorbet after freezing and then 3 scoops of sorbet with orange slices in a coupe glass.

Expert Tips

Freeze your equipment: For the best results, make sure your ice cream maker’s canister is fully frozen. It should be in the freezer for at least 12-24 hours before you plan to churn.

Don’t skip the chill: Ensure your sorbet mixture is thoroughly chilled before churning. A cold base will freeze more efficiently, resulting in a smoother texture.

Balance the flavors: Taste your sorbet base before chilling it. If it’s too sweet, add a little more lemon juice; if too tart, a bit more simple syrup. Remember, freezing dulls flavors, so it should be slightly sweeter or tarter than you’d like the final product to be.

Top with bubbly: Top your Aperol Sorbet with some dry prosecco for a fun, frozen cocktail!

Prosecco being poured over a coupe glass full of Aperol sorbet.

How to Store Homemade Sorbet

Proper storage is crucial for keeping homemade sorbet’s taste and texture intact. You have a variety of options for storing your sorbet, such as:

If your chosen container is non-stick, it’s wise to line it with parchment paper to avoid damaging the surface when scooping. Regardless of your storage choice, it’s important to cover the sorbet’s surface directly with parchment paper before sealing it with a tight lid. If a lid isn’t available, wrapping the top with several layers of plastic wrap is a good alternative. For a more sustainable option, consider a snug-fitting silicone lid, available in various sizes to fit most containers perfectly.

For optimal preservation, place your sorbet in the freezer’s coldest spot, typically at the back, far from the door. This position ensures the sorbet remains evenly frozen, preventing ice crystals or freezer burn from forming. For the freshest flavor and best texture, enjoy your homemade sorbet within two weeks.

FAQ

What is the difference between sherbet and sorbet?

Sorbet is a dairy-free option made from fruit juice or puree and sugar, making it a refreshing and light treat. Sherbet, on the other hand, includes a small amount of dairy, typically milk or cream, giving it a creamier texture compared to the icier sorbet.

What flavors go well with Aperol?

Aperol’s unique bittersweet flavor pairs wonderfully with citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, and lemon. It also complements herbal and floral notes, such as thyme or lavender, and can be balanced with sweet elements like berries for a more rounded taste experience.

Is Aperol the same as Campari?

While Aperol and Campari are both Italian aperitifs and share a similar flavor profile with their characteristic bitter and herbal notes, they are not the same. Think of them as Italian cousins. Aperol has a lower alcohol content, a sweeter taste, and a more mellow bitterness compared to the stronger, more bitter Campari. Most people find Aperol to be a lighter, more approachable option. 

Aperol Sorbet with prosecco in a coupe glass garnished with thin slices of oranges.

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Sorbet in a coupe glass with a bottle of Aperol and fresh oranges in the background.

Aperol Sorbet Recipe

Melissa
Combining the bittersweet, herbaceous flavors of Aperol with the citrusy zing of fresh orange and lemon juices, this Aperol Sorbet is a frozen delight that is just as easy to make as it is refreshing!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chilling/freezing time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes
Course Aperitif, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 252 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar (white, granulated)
  • ¾ cup Aperol
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • Orange slices for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-step – make sure that your ice cream maker’s canister has been frozen for at least 12-24 hours prior to churning the sorbet. It’s completely frozen when you shake the canister and there is no longer any sloshing of liquid. 
  • Combine the water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until all of the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once the syrup is cool, add the aperol, orange juice, lemon juice, and orange zest to the simple syrup. Place the sorbet base in the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. 
  • Assemble your ice cream machine using the completely frozen canister. Pour the sorbet base into the canister and begin churning according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically this takes about 25-30 minutes of churning and your sorbet should end up with the consistency of soft whipped cream or a thick smoothie. 
  • Pour sorbet mixture into a loaf pan or similar freezer-safe container. Press parchment paper directly on top of the sorbet, then top with an airtight lid or wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 4 hours. 
  • When ready to serve, allow to sit at room temp for a few minutes before scooping. Garnish each serving with orange slices, if desired.

Notes

Tips:
  • Taste your sorbet base before chilling it. If it’s too sweet, add a little more lemon juice; if too tart, a bit more simple syrup. Remember, freezing dulls flavors, so it should be slightly sweeter or tarter than you’d like the final product to be.
  • Top your Aperol Sorbet with some dry prosecco for a fun, frozen cocktail!

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal
Keyword Aperol, ice cream machine, orange
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OMG! This is amazing! I love an Aperol spritz and this is like a beautiful frozen version. Do not miss!