I made this lemon sorbet infused with thyme recipe in order to make a delicious and different gin & tonic. The combination was so delicious it got me wondering why we don’t put sorbet into our g &t’s more often. The texture of the lemon sorbet is very airy, and I will explain how I get it like that. Two scoops dolloped into a glass with ice and gin and tonic poured over makes for a very uplifted and delightfully refreshing summer drink.

Thyme infused lemon sorbet recipe

I used a local craft gin called Cape Fynbos, which recently won double gold in the 2020 South African Craft Gin Awards. Takealot sponsors these awards where 125 entries were judged blind by a panel of experts. 21 gins won double gold medals and you can check out the full list of winners here.

Thyme infused lemon sorbet recipe

Cape Fynbos Gin has fynbos botanicals infused in the tipple, so it pairs well with lemon sorbet. I added a thyme infusion for extra herbaceousness and it’s a very subtle addition which you could totally leave out.

Thyme infused lemon sorbet recipe

Lemon sorbet gin and tonic recipe

Lemon sorbet gin and tonic recipe

Tips on making sorbet:

I adore making ice creams and sorbets and the biggest challenge is to ensure that you have a smooth texture with minimal ice crystals. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this and I find adding a slash of booze and a beaten egg white softens the texture beautifully. The science would be about adding a protein and the alcohol stopping things from freezing which impacts on texture. If you add too much (and believe me I have been down this road) it doesn’t freeze and becomes a slush. I generally find for a small batch about 30ml is good and what I added here, and for a bigger creamier batch of ice cream, I can go as high as 50ml. For this lemon sorbet recipe, I added 2 tablespoons of Limoncello but gin would also work well especially if you are using the sorbet to make a gin and tonic as I did.

Recipe –  Makes just under a litre


Thyme infused lemon sorbet & a Gin & Tonic

A delicious and refreshing lemon sorbet recipe infused with thyme.

  • Author: Sam Linsell


1 1/2 cup sugar

1 ¾ cup water

34 thyme stalks

2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp lemon liqueur or gin

1 egg white


In a small pot bring the water to and sugar to the boil and ensure the sugar has dissolved. Take it off the heat and add the thyme stalks. Give them a light bash to bruise them and release the aromatics. All the liquid to cool and infuse further.

Add the 2 cups of lemon juice, lemon zest and limoncello and cover and cool in the fridge. You can make this the day before.

When you are ready to make the ice cream, strain the liquid into your ice cream machine and process. A few minutes before its ready to come out, beat an egg white to soft peaks and add it to the mix. Once. It totally incorporated, decant the sorbet into a chilled metal container and free to firm up further.

How to make the gin and tonic with lemon sorbet:

Add 3 blocks of ice to a glass, then top with 2 small scoops of thyme-infused lemon sorbet and pour over a tot of gin. Top with tonic water (I like the very fizzy texture of Schweppes) and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh thyme. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Keywords: lemon, sorbet, thyme, infused, gin, tonic, recipe, how to make a gin and tonic with lemon sorbet

A few of my other favourite ice cream and sorbet recipes:

Grapefruit & Campari sorbet

Crimson grape sorbet

Pina colada popsicles

Blueberry ice cream with maple and cinnamon

3 ingredient noo-churn chocolate vegan ice cream

Roasted plum ice cream with cinnamon & bay



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  1. Linda Botha

    I have an ice cream machine. Would it be ok to omit thr egg white?

  2. I love that the sorbet is so white! It’s just beautiful. Love the gin cocktail as well. Your sorbet would be perfect made into a sgroppino as well.

  3. Sam

    Hi Linda – yes you can totally omit the egg white.

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