How to Make Lemon Sherbet & Use it in Cocktails

Lemon sherbet, (not to be confused with lemon sorbet), is a cocktail modifier that adds a bright citrus note to a drink.

How to Make Lemon Sherbet

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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How to Make Lemon Sherbet & Use it in Cocktails was last modified: August 18th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.