Lemon makes one of the most refreshing varieties of sherbet, best enjoyed on a hot day. The word sherbet comes from the Persian sharbat, itself an adaptation of the Arabic for drink, sharab. Sherbet entered the English language as sorbet, which is now more of an iced dessert or palate cleanser than a drink. British readers of a certain age will remember the sherbet fountain, a fizzy powder sold in a cardboard tube with a piece of liquorice to suck it through. This is a distant relative of Azerbaijani sherbet, as the powder was originally intended to be mixed with water to create a drink.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 hours
Serves: 4 to 5
- 100 g/4 oz piece of sugar loaf or granulated sugar
- 568 ml/1 pint water
- 3 medium-sized lemons
- a few threads of saffron
- a few coriander or basil seeds
- ice cubes
- Put the few threads of saffron in a cup and add boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse.
- Grate the rinds of the lemons and add to hot water.
- Add the coriander or basil seeds and leave to infuse for 3-4 hours.
- Strain the infusion. Add the sugar and the juice of the lemons and stir well until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice if required.
- Cool in the refrigerator.
- Add the saffron infusion. Pour over ice cubes to serve.