Nothing beats a frozen treat in the middle of a hot summer day. Ice cream is an obvious choice for a cool treat, but there are actually so many more options that everyone can enjoy, even those with special diets. One of them is sorbet. But what is it? Is it the same as ice cream? Is sorbet vegan? Turns out sorbet can be a vegan-friendly frozen dessert that's a refreshing substitute for ice cream. Let me break down its ingredients for you. 


cream, strawberry, ice, sweet
Angela Pizzimenti

Sorbet is a frozen dessert typically made with only a few ingredients – water, sugar, and fruit. There are also some varieties that don't contain fruit, like this chocolate sorbet, which in my opinion is as rich as ice cream. Keep in mind that sometimes sorbet contains honey, which is not vegan. As you can see, the ingredient list is so simple that you can make your own sorbet at home – check out this blueberry basil sorbet, this or this icy tequila lemon sorbet if you're craving this refreshing dessert. 

Sorbet vs Sherbet

sweet, sorbet, strawberry, ice, cream, beef, berry
Collette Block

It's important to know that sorbet is not the same as sherbet. Sherbet contains a small amount of milk fat, making it unsuitable for a vegan diet. To differentiate both of them at an ice cream parlor, take a look at the color. Sorbet looks watery and the colors are very bright, while sherbet looks a little bit pale and creamy, almost like ice cream.

How to Ensure Sorbet is Vegan

sweet, milk, dairy product, cream, sorbet, ice
Tommy Galfano

Regardless of all this information, it's always best to ask the scooper for the ingredients in each frozen dessert because the sorbet might contain honey or a splash of milk or even egg yolks. 

#SpoonTip: When you ask the ice cream scooper, say that you're allergic to milk or honey to make sure they double check the ingredients. 

Whether you're vegan or lactose intolerant, or if you just want to switch it up, now you know when you can enjoy this refreshing dessert and how to make sure it's suitable for your diet. The key is asking the ice cream scooper nicely if their sorbet is vegan or to read the ingredients in the container if you're buying it at a supermarket. And if you want to be 100% sure, try making your own at home!