Lemon Basil Sorbet

This easy-to-make Lemon Basil Sorbet combines two of the most refreshing ingredients, lemons and basil, to make a delicious frozen dessert that will become a go-to recipe. 

Three scoops of sorbet topped with a sprig of basil and lemon slice.

Ingredient Notes

Water and granulated sugar – This makes a simple syrup that is responsible for sweetening and the medium in which to infuse the basil flavor. 

Fresh basil leaves – I find that buying a whole basil plant is a more affordable and better option than buying the pre-picked basil in the grocery store. Don’t worry about picking out the stems – these also have flavor and can be used to infuse the simple syrup just like the leaves. Whatever you do, make sure to only use fresh basil and never dried. 

Lemons – Fresh lemons are absolutely essential as bottled juice does not provide you with the best flavor and can leave an aftertaste. Plus, you’ll need the zest as well as the juice. To make zesting and juicing citrus easier, I use a microplane to zest and an electric citrus juicer to juice my lemons.

Step-by-Step Instructions 

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

Step 1 showing adding the sugar to the water and the basil to the simple syrup.

Step 1: Dissolve the sugar in water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and add the fresh basil. Allow the syrup to completely cool, then remove the basil leaves.

Step 2 showing adding the lemon juice to the syrup and the sorbet base being added to the ice cream machine.

Step 2: Add the lemon zest and juice to the syrup. Then, add the mixture to your ice cream machine. 

Step 3 showing the ice cream machine churning the sorbet.

Step 3: Churn per the machine’s manufacturer’s instructions (typically about 25-30 minutes). The end result should have the consistency of a thick smoothie. 

Step 4 showing packing the sorbet into a container and pressing parchment paper to the surface.

Step 4: Pack the Lemon Basil Sorbet into a freezer-safe container and press parchment paper to the surface of the sorbet. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or top with an airtight lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours. 

Step 5 showing scooping the sorbet.

Step 5: When ready to serve allow to sit at room temp for a few minutes to make scooping easier.

Tips and Variations

Swap the lemons for limes to make a Basil Lime Sorbet. Or, go half and half with lemons and limes like I did in my Lemon Lime Sorbet.

Top a few scoops with a lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade for a sorbet float

Try different toppings such as berries or shaved coconut.

Ice cream scoop resting on the surface of the sorbet's surface.

Homemade Sorbet Storage

Always use a freezer-safe container such as a loaf pan or reusable ice cream container to pack your sorbet in.

If your container has a non-stick coating, line the container with parchment paper prior to adding your sorbet to avoid scratching the coating when scooping later. 

Place your container in your freezer as far away from the freezer door as possible to prevent ice crystals or freezer burn.

Consume within two weeks for best flavor and texture.

Sorbet in a coupe glass on a pink surface.

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Three scoops of sorbet topped with a sprig of basil and lemon slice.

Lemon Basil Sorbet Recipe

Melissa
This easy-to-make recipe combines two of the most refreshing ingredients, lemons and basil, to make a delicious frozen dessert that will become a go-to recipe.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling/Freezing Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 209 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh basil (loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of about 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)

Instructions
 

  • ​​Important pre-step: make sure that your ice cream machine’s canister has been frozen for at least 12-24 hours prior to churning. It’s completely frozen when you shake the canister and there is no sound of sloshing of liquid.
  • Make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove it from heat and add the basil leaves. Allow the syrup to completely cool and then remove the basil leaves.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice to the simple syrup.
  • Assemble your ice cream machine and add the lemon basil syrup to the frozen canister. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Typically, it takes about 25-30 minutes of churning and the result will have the consistency of a thick smoothie.
  • Pack the sorbet into a freezer-safe container and press a piece of parchment paper to the sorbet’s surface. Seal tight with plastic wrap or an airtight lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, allow the sorbet to sit at room temp for a few minutes to make scooping easier.

Notes

Storage Tips
  • Use a freezer-safe container such as a loaf pan or reusable ice cream container to pack your sorbet in.
  • If your container has a non-stick coating, line the container with parchment paper prior to adding your sorbet to avoid scratching the coating.
  • Place your container in your freezer as far away from the freezer door as possible to prevent ice crystals or freezer burn.
  • Consume within two weeks for best flavor and texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 52gVitamin A: 322IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.3mg
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