SUNDAE SUNDAY: Citrus sorbet fizzes, with a splash of cascara


In case you haven’t been reading here much, I make a frozen dessert (nearly) every Sunday in this Sunday Sundae series, but in five months of sundae creations, sorbet has egregiously been overlooked. Until now, that is.

With the clock approaching 2pm today, and I hadn’t been able to secure a daytime Good Eggs delivery as planned, I almost resigned to the fact that I’d miss my third Sunday Sundae in a row. The cause of two sundae-less weeks, teaching a Sunday evening series of Pastry Fundamentals, was a worthy and fun one, but it came at the cost of ice cream and the blog.  

Thankfully, a pile of must-use-now citrus in my fridge called to me, as did some excess cascara syrup I was able to take home from work, and I knew what had to be done: christen my ice cream maker with some damn good sorbet and pair it with my favorite Blue Bottle drink.  

And damn good this is: tart, smooth, and the perfect consistency for a fizzy drink straight from the machine.  If you’re in the same pinch for time as I was this week, sorbet steps in as a quicker option to frozen deliciousness.

While I focused on grapefruit and a hodgepodge of oranges, feel free to use whatever mix of citrus strikes your fancy or is crowding your kitchen, and if you can’t get a hold of cascara syrup*, skip it.


Citrus sorbet fizzes, with a splash of cascara

By: Kathleen Hayes; adaptations and yields listed by component below

Citrus sorbet - by Kathleen Hayes and adapted from The Spruce Eats; yield: 1 quart


Simple syrup

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar


  • 1 cup simple syrup (save extra from above for another use)

  • 2 cups mixed citrus juice - I used 3 grapefruits, 1 blood orange, 2 ½ lemons, and 2 Valencia oranges

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of vodka


  • Make the simple syrup by warming up water to a near-boil and then adding in your sugar until it dissolves, forming a syrup.  Take off the heat and let cool before using.

  • Stir together the simple syrup, citrus juice, vodka and salt until combined.  

  • Put a container (I use the middle size of this Le Creuset one) in the freezer so you have a cold dismounting option for your finished sorbet

  • Pour into your ice cream machine and follow its instructions for spinning and freezing.

  • The consistency of the sorbet was perfect to use right after it spun, but your experience may vary depending on your machine.

Other drink components


  • Lemon wedges, 1 per drink

  • Sparkling water

  • Cascara syrup, ½ teaspoon per drink

Special equipment



  • In each small tumbler, measure out the cascara syrup and fill glass halfway with sparkling water. Stir.

  • Scoop 1-2 scoops of sorbet into each glass and garnish with a lemon wedge. Serve and enjoy immediately.


  • Skip the cascara syrup or try a different flavoring.

  • Experiment with different mixes of citrus.  The blood orange I used provided the gorgeous shade of pink more so than the grapefruits, so keep that in mind.

  • Adjust how much sorbet you put into your fizz: adding a lot will migrate it into a nice slushy territory (which is precisely what I did post-shoot).

*PS - have no idea what cascara is? The lovely Blue Bottle content team, with whom I work regularly, did a great write-up on it over on Blue Bottle’s blog. Check it out, and order my favorite drink the next time you’re at a Blue Bottle!


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