Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with iced fruit (typically juice or puree), chocolate, wine, and/or liqueur. The origins of sorbet can be traced to a Middle Eastern drink charbet, made of sweetened fruit juice and water. The term "sherbet" / "charbet" is derived from şerbat/şerbet, "sorbet", which in turn comes from the Arabic شربات meaning "drink(s)" or "juice." .
The word "Sorbet" (pron. ) is French (pron. sɔʀˈbɛ) for the Ottoman Turkish word "Sherbet". Sorbets/sherbets may also contain alcohol, which lowers the freezing temperature, resulting in a softer texture. In North America, sherbet is often written and spelled sherbert.
Whereas ice cream has air whipped into it, sorbet has almost none, which makes for a dense and extremely flavourful product. Sorbet is served as a non-fat or low-fat (sometimes 3% fat) alternative to ice cream.
In Italy a virtually identical dish called granita is made, which is only really different from sorbet in that it has a crunchier texture because of the freezing process. As the liquid freezes, it forms noticeably large-size crystals, which should not be present in sorbet because of the stirring. Granita is also often sharded with a fork to give an even crunchier texture when served.
Agraz is a type of sorbet, usually associated with the Maghreb and north Africa. It is made from almonds, verjuice, and sugar. It has a strongly acidic flavour, because of the verjuice. (Larousse Gastronomique)
Folklore holds that Nero, the Roman Emperor, invented sorbet during the first century A.D. when he had runners along the Appian way pass buckets of snow hand over hand from the mountains to his banquet hall where it was then mixed with honey and wine. The Chinese have made concoctions from snow, juice, and fruit pulp for several thousand years.
Frozen desserts are believed to have been brought to France in 1533 by Catherine de' Medici when she left Italy to marry the Duke of Orleans, who later became Henry II of France. By the end of the 17th century, sorbet was served in the streets of Paris, and spread to England and the rest of Europe.
or mixed flavours