Margarita Sorbet

Most of us have heard about, and possibly enjoyed, a frozen Margarita. But what if we took the freezing one step further? Let’s find out how well my favourite cocktail manages as a sorbet!

Margarita sorbet – an aerial view of a truly frozen classic

Margarita – a mix of lime juice, Tequila and Cointreau –  is a true classic amongst cocktails. As with so many culinary delights, its history remains a bit murky but most commentators seem to agree that it was invented in Mexico at some point during the 1930’s – 1940’s.

Most of the content of our sorbet: The Tequila and the Cointreau (or possibly Triple Sec, if you have no Cointreau) provides the alcoholic flavours. The plastic beaker contains the syrup (about to cool down). And the lime juice? – already chilling in the refrigerator when this photo was taken.

Since it is hot and summery at the time of writing, I decided to try my hand at a Margarita sorbet.

As you will see, the recipe is rather easy and straightforward – using fresh lime juice is key, and since the alcohol is bound to make the sorbet melt quickly/not hold together so well, I also added some gelatin for the sake of consistency. Now, not all of us like boozy ice cream, and while I hope you’ll not find the quantities I use excessive, you may well lower the amounts of Tequila and Cointreau I’ve used – if you do, you may also possibly not need any gelatin. However, the gelatin does make a difference for the consistency, and will delay the time it takes your sorbet from turning back into a puddle of liquid, especially on a hot summer day.

Step one: Make the syrup, squeeze the lime fruits

Count with about 3 lime fruits per 100 ml (about 2/5 cup) fresh juice (depending on the size of your fruits, of course: if your lime fruits are of the bigger kind, you may need less 😉

Get hold of your lime fruits and start with the zesting. To win time and save on wash-up, I suggest that you zest them directly over the sauce pan, because that’s where we want the zest to end up.

Yup – since the zest is destined for the sauce pan, we might as well zest the fruits directly into it.

With the zest safely in the sauce pan, squeeze the lime fruits and collect the juice in another bowl, cup or whatever works. We will add the juice later, so you can put it in your refrigerator to chill for now.

Back to the saucepan: Add most of the water and the sugar to the zest and bring to an almost-boil, making sure that the sugar has dispursed completely. This is our syrup – an important part of our sorbet base.

Step two: Chill everything

Your lime juice should already be in the refrigerator, and once the syrup has cooled down enough, it should also be put there to chill. Oh – and while you’re at it, you might as well put your bottles of Tequila and Cointreau/Triple Sec there too : as we know, ice cream production works best when all ingredients are cold from the start.

Step three: Prepare the gelatin, add it to the lime syrup and churn!

You have waited patiently for the ingredients to chill, and when you think the time is right, it is time to prepare the gelatin.

Gelatin is a very straightforward stabilister – let the sheet soak in cold water for about five minutes. Then heat up the small amount of water we have kept for this purpose and drop the water-dripping sheet into the boil. Whisk and the gelatin will disperse in no time at all.

If you look carefully, you can see the sheet of gelatin under the surface. Allowing the gelatin to soak up water (“to bloom”) before utilisng it is a necessary step in order to unleash its stabilising powers.

Now, without further ado, take out your lime syrup mix and add the alcohol. Then add the gelatin liquid and whisk well.

Whisk away quickly – we do not want any gelatin lumps to form at this stage. Should that happen, just strain the liquid before the churning.

The gelatin will begin to settle quickly but we won’t be waiting around for that! Pour the sorbet base into your ice cream machine and start churning right away. That’s it folks!

(No ice cream machine? Follow the advice in this post and try to still-freeze the sorbet in your refrigerator )


A truly frozen Margarita for the summer

Cheers! Our Margarita sorbet stands ready to brighten up a warm summer day or night!

Most things in life should be enjoyed in moderation, they say. That is clearly a piece of very good advice when it comes to alcohol. Our cocktail sorbet is ready to help – refreshing and true to the classic flavour combination that makes Margarita so popular. As I noted, you can adjust the amount of alcohol you use to best suit your own preferences – just remember that if you would like to add even more, you should also increase the amount of gelatin if you want the sorbet to hold together (and if you use much less, you may not even need any gelatin at all).


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Margarita Sorbet
Our truly frozen Margarita sorbet could well replace the drink and is bound to be much more refreshing. To ensure a pleasant consistency, a little gelatin is added to hold everything together (if you reduce the amount of alcohol, you might even skip the gelatin completely).
  • 400 + 50 ml (in total, a little less than 2 cups) water
  • 220 ml (a little less than 1 cup) fresh lime juice (about 7-8 lime fruits' worth)
  • 100 gram sugar
  • zest of three lime fruits
  • about 30 ml (about 1/10 cup) Cointreau (or Triple sec)
  • about 50 ml (about ⅕ cup) Tequila
  • about 1 sheet of gelatin
  1. Zest the lime fruits and put in a sauce pan together with about 400 ml of the water and the sugar.
  2. Bring to an almost-boil and ensure that all the sugar has dispersed. Set aside to cool and later, to chll in the refrigerator.
  3. Squeeze the lime fruits and set the juice aside to chill in the refrigerator.
  4. (Put the alcohol in the refrigerator too - it is best if everything is chilled)
  5. When the syrup and the juice have chilled for about 3-4 hours, prepare the gelatin mix:
  6. Put the gelatin in a cup of cold water and let it "bloom" for about five minutes or so.
  7. Put the remaining 50 ml of water in a sauce pan and bring to an almost-boil: when the time is right, add the gelatin sheet (dripping with water) and whisk until the gelatin has dispersed completely.
  8. Mix the chilled syrup with the lime juice and the alcohol, then add the gelatin liquid. Whisk well.
  9. Churn in your ice cream machine and enjoy!


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3 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    I’m trying to consider how to make a candy based sorbet. Specifically sour patch kids candy based sorbet. The biggest problem I am coming against is where to get the “bulk” of the sorbet from. Usually it’s from fruit or some sort of juice. I am thinking I can either make a thin syrup from the candy by melting it down and adding water to it and using that as the bulk, or using a relatively neutral/flavorless base such as sprit or ginger ale. I was wondering if you could give me some guidance on how to approach this. Thank you.

    • Anders says:

      Hi Kat,
      Great idea! I would probably go for a simple sugar syrup as the base (with the sugar content appropriately reduced to account for the sugar coming from the candy) and melt the candy therein. To reinforce the sour patch candy-character, I would also consider adding some (very) finely chopped pieces of the candy itself – either as an add-on, sprinkled on top of the sorbet before serving, or as a possible mix-in (then to be added once the sorbet has firmed up a bit during the churning process, or right after the churning has completed). Best of luck!

  2. This is great, perfect with ice cream day coming up

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