Sorbet is popular as a “diet-friendly” dessert, as it doesn’t have any of the fat found in ice cream.
Depending on the area, this is also sometimes referred to as sherbet (which isn’t actually the same thing!) Italian ice, etc.
When developing this recipe for Hedonistic Hops, it was an INSTANT hit.
Freshly made sorbet is always amazing on its own, but the little tingle of that something EXTRA from the hops really kicks it up to something special.
You're not likely to be able to pick the flavour out as having been hopped, it just tastes complex, kind of mysterious, and... gourmet. Fancy. Just a really nice spin on a traditional sorbet.
Choosing Hop Variety for Sorbet
We usually make this with either Northern Brewer pellet hops, or our homemade Citra® extract (more on that in a bit!), and both are amazing.
As I mentioned in my Hop Marinated Chicken & Vegetable Skewers post... generally speaking, when looking to use hops for cooking, you tend to want a low acid hop.
That post goes into a lot of detail about it, and has a long list of low-acid hop varieties, with some information on their flavour/aroma profiles, btw.
... conversely, as I talked about in my Hop Lemonade post... that guideline can go out the window, when working with a dish that is specifically acidic.
This sorbet is interesting, in that it could go either way.
Sorbet in general doesn’t have to be acidic... but this one is made from 3 types of citrus, so it IS acidic.
SO really, you can use any hop variety you like.
Because the base of this recipe is a mixture of citrus - rather than a fairly neutral canvas of JUST lemon, like the lemonade - I tend to stick to hops in the fruity / citrus / tropical family.
That said, pretty much any hop is going to work well with this. Go with what you like, or what sounds interesting to you!
Using a High Acid Hop in this Sorbet
With all of that said: If you’re using a high acid variety of hop, I recommend adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to the mix, after straining the solids out.
That will neutralize a bit of the acid, allowing for a smoother finish on the sorbet.
Hop Formats for use in Hop Sorbet
As I detailed in my Homemade Hop Extracts post, hops come in a variety of formats - pelletized, dry leaf / whole dried flowers, and fresh.
This recipe was made for hop pellets specifically, but you can swap in other formats of hops if you’d like.
When using fresh hops, we suggest using around an oz.
Just be sure to keep an eye on it, tasting as you go. Strain the sorbet mix off the hops when the it reaches your desired taste.
Dry Leaf Hops
When using dry leaf hops, we suggest using ¼-1/2 oz.
When using a high acid hop, we recommend sticking around the ¼ oz mark, but using low acid hops gives you a bit more leeway on the amount used.
Just keep an eye on it, and strain it when it reaches your desired taste.
First, note that when I say “hop extract”, I’m talking about the homemade variety, which is intended for culinary use - NOT commercial hop extracts intended for beer brewing.
These are very, very different products!
When using hop extract:
Skip the steeping step entirely. Add the extract after straining out the citrus zest solids - 1 teaspoon or so, to taste.
Fan of hops? You'll LOVE my cookbook, Hedonistic Hops: A Hop Head's Guide to Kitchen Badassery"!
Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops! Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!
More Cool Summer Treat Recipes!
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- 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 Orange
- 1 Lemon zest and juice of
- 1 Lime zest and juice of
- 3 cups Orange juice
- 1 tablespoon Hop pellets
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and citrus zest.
- Heat to a simmer, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down to low, allow to simmer very gently for 10 minutes.
- Remove syrup from heat. Add juices and hops, allow to steep for 3 minutes.
- Strain through fine cheesecloth and/or a coffee filter, discard solids.
- Allow sorbet to cool to room temperature, then transfer to fridge to chill thoroughly.
- Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to freeze fruit mixture.
- Serve immediately for a soft sorbet, or freeze for at least 1 hour for a more firm sorbet.
More Hops Recipes!
Are you - or do you know - a die-hard hophead? Just interested in learning more about adding a punch of flavour to your culinary repertoire? Either way, I have some more recipes for you!
Homemade Hop Extracts
Homemade Hop Spa Bath Set
HopCorn - Hopped Popcorn!
Hop Flavoured Beer Lollipops - Lollihops!
Hop Flavoured Dark Chocolate Truffles
Hop Marinated Chicken Skewers
Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze
Hoppy Citrus French Macaron Recipe
Hoppy Citrus IPA Glazed Wings
Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce
Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish
Hoppy IPA Pickles Recipe