Lemon Grapefruit & Lilac Sherbet

TEXT by Renee Byrd | PHOTOGRAPHS by Will Frolic For Food


It's no secret that we eat with our eyes first, which is probably why this recipe is so incredibly unresistable. As spring lilacs quietly bloom each spring, filling the air with a fragrant lure as you walk by, the weather is also steadily warming and the first hints of summer are whispered in the air. This recipe, by Pure Green contributor Renee Byrd, of the beautiful blog Will Frolic for Food, is perfect... the season's first sherbet.

THIS SHERBET WAS INSPIRED BY TWO THINGS: the bunches of fragrant lilacs bobbing in the wind outside of my house and my fathers adoration of sherbet. I grew up in a house with parents who were passionate about fruit and vegetables (especially preparing vegetables just right). Any time a juicy fruit landed on the counter it was devoured in minutes. I had to be sneaky to get my hands on any before it disappeared. There was always a tub of fruity ice cream or sherbet in the freezer—yes, the neon-colored kinds. What dessert didn't involve chocolate (my mothers doing) almost always involved peach, mango, blueberry, coconut, or lemon/lime. So, after a nostalgic craving for tangy sweet sherbet of ye ol' days long gone—and a cringe at the thought of what's in store-bought sherbet (hormone-laden dairy, refined sugar, food colorings, oh my!)—I decided a coconut sugar sweetened, fresh citrus variety was just what I needed.
The liqueur in this recipe is integral to maintaining a scoopable texture once you take it out of the ice cream maker and set it in the freezer to solidify; but if you're looking to make it kid friendly omit the liqueur and eat the sherbet immediately, soft-serve style. 




Tangy, creamy, and refreshing, this dairy-free sherbet is the perfect match of citrus and floral flavors like elderflower and lilac.


  • 1.5 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • zest of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (skim the cream from the top of the can)
  • 1 teaspoon St. Germaine liqueur
  • handful fresh, pesticide-free lilac blossoms
  • *Optional: Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones


  1. Mix together the grapefruit and lemon juice.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the mixed juice with the lemon zest and coconut sugar. Place over low heat until the coconut sugar is just dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix the sweetened juice together with the rest of the citrus juice, coconut milk, and St. Germaine.
  4. Add the sorbet base to the bowl of a high powered blender and blend on high until the texture is creamy and even.
  5. Place the sweetened juice in a glass container and cool completely in the fridge, until cold -- at least 2 hours.
  6. Add the sorbet base to your ice cream machine and make according to your ice cream makers directions.
  7. Spoon the sorbet into a loaf pan (I like to line mine with parchment paper) and freeze until the sorbet is firm, around 3 to 4 hours.
  8. If you freeze overnight let sit out at room temp for a bit before serving, as sorbet can get quite hard.
  9. Scoop the ice cream out and serve topped with fresh lilac buds, or to your liking. Scoop them into ice cream cones if you like!

ABOUT RENEE: Renee is a writer, photographer, and vegetarian food blogger based out of Central Virginia. She is an advocate for mindful, vibrant living and clean eating. When she's not developing recipes, snapping photos, or clacking away at her keyboard you can find her playing music in various bands and teaching yoga. Follow along on her blog Will Frolic for Food and instagram @frolicchocolate.