Lemon sherbet, (not to be confused with lemon sorbet), is a cocktail modifier that adds a bright citrus note to a drink.
The first step to making Lemon Sherbet is to prepare a lemon Oleo Saccharum, or “oil sugar”, a syrup that had its heyday in the 19th century made from lemon peels and castor sugar We’ve covered oleo saccharum in a previous article but we will repeat the instructions here.
The next step is to add freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice to the oleo saccharum until fully combined. The result is a bright citrus modifier that has many applications in cocktails and punches.
Use lemon sherbet in place of lemon juice and simple syrup, in a Sherry Cobbler, Gin Punch, in Daiquiri style drinks such as the Golden Rough, Manhattan Cooler and Jerry Thomas’ Brandy Punch from his book, Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide: How To Mix Drinks. Refer to this article for more cocktail inspiration with lemon sherbet.
How to Make Lemon Sherbet
- 120 g castor or superfine sugar
- peel of 2 lemons, white pith removed
- 120 ml fresh lemon juice, strained
In a bowl, combine the lemon peel and castor sugar and muddle. Stir the mixture every now and then and leave it overnight or until the sugar is dissolved by the lemon oil and you have a syrup. Remove the peels which you can use as garnish.
In a glass jar, combine the oleo saccharum with the freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice and shake until dissolved. If the mixture is too thick or has not fully dissolved, heat it gently or partly immerse the glass jar in a bowl of hot water and stir very slowly until it dissolves. Do not bring to the boil. Once the syrup has thickened, remove the pan from the heat.
Store the lemon sherbet in the fridge. It will last for approximately 2 weeks.
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