Make an Herb Flower Sorbet: Basil Blackberry Sorbet

| August/September 2004

  • Blackberry Basil Sorbet is a beautiful deep, maroon color that looks stunning in a frosted glass.

Serves 4 to 6
I threw this together when some local television photographers came by right before lunchtime. I often try to feed reporters garden fare so they can better understand the garden they are photographing. Blackberries were in season, and the ‘Ruby Queen’ basil was looking especially good. The resulting sorbet has become one of my summer favorites.

• 1 cup water
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 or 5 fresh basil leaves (‘Ruby Queen’, cinnamon or any of your favorite basils work for this)
• 3 cups blackberry juice (use bottled, or make by cooking down fresh or frozen blackberries, straining and reserving the juice, and adding water if needed)
• Juice of ½ lemon

1. In a blender, combine the water, sugar, basil leaves and half the blackberry juice. Blend well to dissolve the sugar (or you can heat half the juice and dissolve the sugar if you desire; the blender method works faster for me).

2. Blend the leaves until well pulverized, add the remaining blackberry and lemon juice, and chill well, about 1 hour, before pouring into sorbet or ice cream mixer.

3. Serve as a dessert with a basil leaf garnish.

Jim Long is a contributing editor to The Herb Companion and author of several books, including Fabulous Herb and Flower Sorbets (Long Creek Herbs). He can be reached at

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