A Trio of Sorbets. Rosé, Aperol and Limoncello…with Fresh Herbs!

A fascination for putting some of my favorite summer drinks into play in a trio of sorbets hit me after I saw Abby Dodge’s challenge this month for #baketogether. Abby is our muse, providing us with inspiration but expecting we would indulge our creative sides with a twist on her theme. I have always loved putting a spin on foods with the addition of wine or liqueurs and I often indulge that love but never before in a sorbet. As I had time to mull over what I was going to do, I either had a brainstorm or a moment of insanity when I thought it would be fun to also incorporate some fresh herbs from my garden. I have the requisite parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme but also several lavender bushes, some lemon thyme, oregano, chives, cilantro and basil.

The idea continued to blossom (thankfully, so did my lavender!), going through several transitions until I decided on three. I wanted a lot from these combinations. Naturally I wanted them to taste good; a blending of flavors that seemed cohesive and not so far out of the box that they would seem unreasonable to either myself, my guests or my readers. I wanted some color but nothing too dark; I was hoping for a pastel to mid color range and on top of that, I wanted all three to look good together! I spent most of one day going back and forth with combinations until I finally decided on these three:

  1. Lavender Blossom and Rosé Wine with Blueberry Essence
  2. Orange Juice, Aperol Liqueur and Rosemary
  3. Lemon Thyme Limoncello

Lavender Rosé Sorbet

The first one would combine lavender, blueberries and lemon to flavor the sorbet. Combining those ingredients with a great summer Rosé seemed perfect to me. Light and faintly sweet, it would not overpower the lavender. I will admit…I wanted blueberries mostly for their color which is why I’m labeling it blueberry essence. The recipe only calls for half a cup and they are left to steep in the sugar water with the lavender but I did not press them completely for their juices because I did not want a dark sorbet. I wanted it more…well, lavender! You can see I got more pink…but I’m OK with that!

Orange Rosemary Spritz Sorbet

I love a drink called an Aperol Spritz which is Aperol liqueur and sparkling water. It already has a very herbaceous tone so this one was iffy…but I went with rosemary since I love combining citrus with rosemary. I wondered if the sparking water would make a difference in the taste so this one includes some effervescence! Aperol does not have an alcohol content as high as other liqueurs and this sorbet froze the best. Not available everywhere, I found it at Lukas Liquors in the Park Meadows area if you’re in Denver and want to try some.

Lemon Thyme Limoncello Sorbet

Last but not least. I’ve loved Limoncello since first tasting it many years ago during a vacation when we stayed in the North End of Boston. I loved it there, it was as close to being in Italy as I’ve ever been and when the proprietor of the restaurant where we had dinner the first night insisted we join him in a Limoncello…well, I was hooked. I’ve even made my own but this time used my favorite brand because the homemade stash was all gone. The most subtle herb flavor of all. I steeped 4 tablespoons of young stem and thyme leaves and think I could have  done even more. This is so adult tasting. Tart, a bit puckery and yes, with just a hint of herb.

The Results

I made these for myself and friends so I would have some taste testers…I like doing my own ‘throwdowns’ and having others help me choose a winner. These were all so well received it was not a night for winning so much as simply savoring.

The Lavender and Rosé Wine was the most appealing for those who liked a sweeter taste; it was definitely the sweetest of all. The orange and rosemary mix seemed to be favored by the men in the group; it definitely had a bit stronger punch. Surprising a bit because the percentage of alcohol in Aperol is less than a lot of other liqueurs but that touch of rosemary was very evident.

For me, I guess some things never change. I loved the Lemon Thyme Limoncello…it was all I could do after photographing these dishes to not slurp it all down. I won’t deny it was a strong lemon presence but with fresh squeezed lemon juice, fresh lemon thyme and the Caravella…what else could we have expected??!!

This was fun…and I’m not done. So easy to make and so many different varieties. Next? Basil something for sure!

Please Note: You can print each recipe individually but if you save any one of them to your recipe box, it will save all of the ingredients for all three. Please deselect any ingredients you do not need.

Rose Wine and Lavender Sorbet
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A light and herbaceous blend perfect with a light and slightly sweet Rosé wine.
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp lavender (I might lessen this next time...just a bit)
  • 1¼ cup Rosé wine
  1. Combine water, lemon juice, sugar, blueberries and lavender in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid from solids, pressing gently.
  4. Add wine and chill several hours until very cold.
  5. Process with ice cream maker til firm, put into container and freeze.
  6. Scoop into martini glass; garnish with lavender and serve.
Orange and Rosemary Sorbet
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A very grownup version of orange sherbet!
  • ¾ fresh squeezed orange juice (I didn't have quite enough...mine actually has a bit of pink grapefruit too!)
  • ¾ cup sparkling water (OK, this was probably not necessary but in keeping with an Aperol Spritz...I had to!)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp rosemary
  • ½ cup Aperol liqueur
  1. Combine juice, sparkling water, sugar and rosemary in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid from solids, pressing gently.
  4. Add Aperol and chill several hours until very cold.
  5. Process with ice cream maker til firm, put into container and freeze.
  6. Scoop into martini glass; garnish with rosemary sprig and serve
Limoncello Lemon Thyme Sorbet
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Sweet, lemony and tart and slightly herbaceous...just perfect!
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ to ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I did ½ cup; I loved the tartness but do it to your own taste)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp lemon thyme
  • ½ cup Limoncello
  1. Combine water, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon thyme in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid from solids, pressing gently.
  4. Add Limoncello and chill several hours until very cold.
  5. Process with ice cream maker til firm, put into container and freeze.
  6. Scoop into martini glass; garnish with lemon thyme and serve.


  1. Nuha says


    those recipies sound very yummy. But hat could I use instead of the alcohol? Just more water?

    Best regards,


    • Creative Culinary says

      Well, the limoncello one is probably the easiest to revise as you can basically create it with basically lemonade and lavender. The Rose would be difficult to replace and for the one with Aperol I would use some orange juice maybe as it has a lot of orange flavor. Since I experimented with those it’s hard to tell you exactly how much but there are plenty of basic sorbet recipes available, click on the link in my post to Abby Dodge’s page; that’s where the original recipe is; maybe you could revise easier seeing that basic one?

  2. says

    This post came up in the “you may also like” portion as I was checking out the watermelon martini and I had to click on it. How did I miss these?!? Your sorbets sound incredibly mouthwatering and they have already become “must makes” in my mind. The sorbets were my very first time I participated in #baketogether. Back then I don’t think I had “met” you yet ;) Lovely lovely sorbets!!
    Kate@ FoodBabbles Most Recent Post: Pina Colada Angel Food Cake Roll ~ #BakeTogether

    • Creative Culinary says

      That was a long time ago it seems…for you even before baby! Thanks Kate; they were such fun to play with.

  3. says

    How very RGB of you! I fully endorse and support the use of multiple herbs. Sorbets are the perfect application. :-) Come visit me, and I’LL host a throwdown!


    • Creative Culinary says

      Wouldn’t that be fun…I know we would have a total blast. Be careful what you wish for; I may show at your door any day you know.

  4. says

    These sound fabulous – and I’m wishing I had one ready to eat right now! I’m guessing I’d prefer the lemon one also – love limoncello, love fresh lemon juice. BTW, if you do try something basil, check out my corn and basil ice cream disaster on my blog from last year – they don’t all work out!
    Cooking with Michele Most Recent Post: Premium Ice Cream Made at Home

    • Creative Culinary says

      They were…guess I was lucky huh? I will scope out the corn and basil ice cream; disasters are fun. When they happen to someone else!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Seems it’s the number one choice but then…it is Limoncello; so fabulous all by itself right?

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Jessica; it was definitely an experiment that did not go awry! We might have a bit after ‘testing’ them but it was sure fun!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Shh…don’t tell but the other night when my friend was over? We put a small scoop of each in our bowl. It was warm. They all ended up melting together and even that was fabulous…and yes, we ended up drinking from our bowls! Lesson learned…really the martini glass is the best idea!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Lana…thank you. The Lavender Rose is beautiful and tastes EXACTLY like what you would expect; a nice slightly sweet Rose with an undertone of lavender. Sure is pretty too!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks so much Shelby…it was fun to do and no one was more excited than I was that they actually turned out so successfully; well, except maybe my friends that ‘helped’ me. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      Made me laugh out loud for reals…me too; and thank you so much! And yes, I might have stumbled those blondies…cause I think I will trust you that I have to make them. For tonight. To have with my movie and Rolo McFlurry. Oh yeah, decadent is us!

  5. says

    Stunning! What a fantastic group of sorbets with tasty combos of flavors. I would love some of the Lemon Thyme Limoncello Sorbet on my lil’ mountain retreat this weekend!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Chris…wishing you had some. It is SO good. When my friend was here last night I asked her, ‘You think too puckery?’ and her reply? ‘No, only too perfect.’ Made it all worthwhile!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks…certainly my goal and yes, even I think that in this post, it was realized! My BFF loved that one best too Angie.

  6. says

    Oh, my! They are so elegantly poised! Forget about tea time! [Scrolling back up again!] What a treat, Barb! I woke up to this today, but chores always get the best of my schedule…

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      And thank you for visiting; you are always such a sweet supporter. Me, Limoncello and @charcutepalooza!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks sweetie…I fear I have started something. I used to keep my ice cream freezer in the basement. No way now; I do believe I will need a sorbet in the freezer every day this summer!

  7. says

    Oh, how I wish that I had one of those Limoncello Thyme Sorbets for dessert right now! They all look so beautiful and refreshing that I would love to try them all….but the lemon one first, please? :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by to see me and for your kind comment on my blog! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Good to meet you Candace…thoroughly enjoyed your blog and thank you for paying a return visit!

  8. says

    Oh – I would be so torn between the orange and the limoncello.
    Gorgeous photos. I want to lick the screen.
    Looks like you are enjoying the summer!

    • Creative Culinary says

      When my girlfriend and I had some outside last night and they melted together? Priceless! (Still…I’m Limoncello all the way…shh, don’t tell).

  9. says

    You are amazing! The presentation of these sorbets is outstanding and the recipes for them are so unique. Get these patented or trademark or….whatever you have to do and then call a distributor :)

    Wonderful Barb, just wonderful!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Sure thing. I’ll do that in between my web business, my retail business and my food blog. Wanna be my CEO? :) – Thanks so much!

  10. says

    Do you remember the other evening when I was telling you how I only comment when I have something to say? Well, I absolutely have something to say about this!

    You have totally outdone yourself here, and I LOVE all three sorbets (though, I am slightly partial to the limoncello version). The addition of the herbs is just spectacular. Perfect and refreshing for summer!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I very much remember so it’s doubly nice to have you comment Jen! Only wish we could share some together; I would make double the Limoncello!

  11. says

    Wow oh wow! It’s a damn good thing I am sitting on the floor or I would plotz with the gorgeousness of these sorbets! I am not only impressed you made 3 but the colors and flavor combos are astonishing! I kid you not I am flabbergasted with each of them! Oh what i wouldn’t give to taste! I must try making them. I know JP would go nuts since they are spiked :-)

  12. says

    Oh my goodness those all look so lovely and refreshing. Great job!! The orange is calling my name though. Mmm…hammock and sorbet, my weekend is planned.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Sounds like the perfect combo doesn’t it? Just don’t go spilling that perfect combination of ice and drink all over your Red self!

  13. says

    Barb – these sorbets and the photographs are just beautiful. So refreshing and summery. I love making sorbets, and these are perfect for pilfering my garden of all the herbs that are already taking over! :-)

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks so much Kimmy. This was fun but a challenge. Hot weather kept me from even trying to photo for a couple of days for fear they would melt too quickly. Then finally a cooler but overcast day; luckily bright enough for a photo but not so much sun coming in the window to make this a post about puddles and herbs!

  14. says

    What great combinations! Your sorbets all look fantastic and extremely refreshing! I really like the lavender rosé one.



    • Creative Culinary says

      I love all of them Rosa…it is by far the prettiest…and you can certainly taste the wine!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I seriously doubt the flavor was impacted one bit by the sparkling water…but just felt I must; I love Aperol Spritzes!

    • Creative Culinary says

      With or without the herbs…the Limoncello is fabulous. Probably the slushiest of the three, but I was OK with that. Think adult snowcone.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I just couldn’t decide which to do so decided to do all three! So glad I did, it was such fun coming up with combinations. And getting photos before everything was a big puddle. :)

  15. says

    These are gorgeous and sound perfect for this point in the summer. I’ve not heard of Aperol so appreciate the introduction. I wonder if you note any change in the freezing behavior when making it with the addition of the alcohol? When I’ve made ice cream with alcohol I note it seems to not become as traditionally firm (even after removing it from the ice cream maker and letting it sit overnight in the freezer). Have not tired with sorbet. The photos are all perfect Barb.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I expected the alcohol to allow me to freeze all of the mixtures overnight without forming a rock hard mass and that was true. All three were different. The orange/Aperol sorbet was the firmest, the lavender rosé softer but it still held a round shape and the Limoncello was my adult slushy! Differing amounts of product in the mixes I concocted combined with different alcohol percentages in the liquor used affected the end result; all which I thought were acceptable even if unique from each other.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ll tell you it was hard to photo in the morning and not indulge…but I persevered and waited til the afternoon. :)


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