Fruity Beer Sorbet

Lambic beers, or “sour beers,” are spontaneously fermented Belgian ales often flavored with fruits. I’ve been making fruit and lambic sorbets and ice creams for years. (Chef Jonathon Sawyer at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland gave me my first sip of American craft sour beer, which I fell in love with instantly.) Sorbets require a lot of sugar to remain supple when frozen, so they easily can get too sweet. However, when you add good-quality ale you balance that sweetness. Also, the natural sugar content of the alcohol means you won’t have to add as much sugar as you would in a regular sorbet recipe. I use this recipe to make cherry lambic sorbet, black plum & black currant lambic sorbet, and peach lambic sorbet, but you can make any combination you like.–Jeni Britton Bauer

LC (Hiccup) Note

Go ahead. Try and stop at one spoonful of this cool, creamy, ever so slightly intoxicating concoction. We dare you. [Hiccup.]

Fruit and Sour Beer Sorbet Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • Makes about 1 quart


  • 1 pound fresh stone fruits (cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, or, if desired, a combination)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup lambic, chilled


  • 1. If using peaches, plums, or apricots, peel the fruits. Remove and discard the stones (that is to say, the pits). Purée the fruit in a food processor until smooth. You should have somewhere between 1 and 2 cups of puree.
  • 2. Combine the puréed fruit, sugar, and corn syrup in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Immediately remove from the heat. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours.
  • 3. Strain the purée, if desired, through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in the beer and, if you can stand to wait, refrigerate the mixture until chilled.
  • 4. Pour the mixture into the chilled canister of an ice cream or gelato maker (you may need to work in batches to prevent sorbet overflow) and spin just until it is the consistency of very softly whipped cream. Pack the sorbet into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. You can take it from here.
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