Delicious French Lime Sorbet

Delicious French Lime Sorbet in glasses

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Cool/Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 pint
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
139 Calories
0g Fat
37g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 139
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tangy sorbet is the perfect end to a heavy and hearty dinner, and the most refreshing afternoon treat on a hot summer day. It also is a great palate cleanser if you're hosting a multiple-course dinner. All in all, it might be your new favorite light treat. Just four ingredients and water and a few minutes of preparation are all that you need, as the heavy lifting is left to the ice-cream maker, which will churn and freeze the mixture to icy perfection. If you've ever had lime sorbet in a restaurant and found it mouthwatering, you won't be disappointed with our recipe.

Sorbet is a lighter alternative to ice cream or other standard desserts like cakes or pastries. It's also a vegan-friendly treat, as by definition sorbet doesn't have anything but fruit or a flavoring, sugar, and water. This is not to be confused with sherbet, which is also fruit based but does contain milk. The short list of ingredients in sorbet makes it a great dessert to serve to a mixed group of people who may have various food sensitivities.

Lime sorbet is a simple dish, but by making it correctly and garnishing it in a pretty way, you can make quite an impression with it. Plan ahead, as the mixture needs to cool and then chill completely—at least three hours total—before you can pour it into the ice-cream maker.

"This mouth-puckering, refreshing sorbet will light up your taste buds. The sweet and sour levels will differ depending on your citrus, so be sure to taste the mixture before freezing. Note that frozen treats taste less sweet after chilling, so it should taste a bit sweeter than you'd like." —Laurel Randolph

Delicious French Lime Sorbet/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest

  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Sorbet Base

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Delicious French Lime Sorbet ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water, sugar, and lime juice to a simmer. Stir constantly to help the sugar dissolve.

    Water, sugar and lime juice in a saucepan on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Once all of the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and cool it to room temperature, about 1 hour.

    Sorbet base in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Stir the lime zest into the sorbet mixture. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.

    Sorbet base with lime zest in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Churn the Sorbet

  1. Pour the chilled sorbet base into your ice-cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Delicious French Lime Sorbet in an ice cream maker

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Once churned, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze until it's time to serve.

    Delicious French Lime Sorbet in a container

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • For this recipe, we recommend you use freshly squeezed lime juice. Bottled will work if you have it, but the taste will be dulled.
  • On average, 8 to 10 medium to big limes should yield the necessary juice to fill up 1 cup, but note that some limes are less juicy than others, so you might need slightly more fruit.
  • Key limes are extra tangy and will yield an especially sour sorbet. You will need about three times as many Key limes as you would regular, Persian limes.

Recipe Variations

Use our recipe as a template for other citrusy sorbet flavors by simply swapping the juice and zest of lime for other citrus juice and zest. Oranges, lemons, blood oranges, tangerines, or grapefruits are perfect to make refreshing and delicious sorbets.

How to Store and Freeze

  • The sorbet will set up further in the freezer after churning. It's best served after two hours in the freezer.
  • Lime sorbet will keep for a month in an airtight container in the freezer. Let it warm up for a few minutes on the counter before scooping.