Margarita Sorbet


There are sorbets, and then there are sorbets with benefits. This sorbet, inspired by the classic cocktail, is one of those. Besides being delicious, refreshing, and easy to make, this gives you a low-key buzz, as there's just enough tequila to make you grin, but not enough to make you giggle.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
10 hrs
Total Time:
10 hrs 25 mins
1 quart

As I may have mentioned before, I worked at a Mexican restaurant while attending culinary school. In addition to learning a lot about the realities of life in the kitchen, I was also able to gain some valuable experience as a bartender. I use the term loosely, since I was only allowed behind the bar when someone called in sick — and I only knew how to make like three drinks.

That was fine, since 95% of the orders were either beer or our famous Margarita. The owner was quite proud of it: He used to make a big show of going across the street to his house to mix up a batch of his top-secret sour mix. Anyway, people loved it, and most ordered it over ice, as he highly recommended (almost demanded). But occasionally someone would insist on having it blended into what's commonly referred to as a "frozen Margarita."

We'd do it, begrudgingly, but we'd also make fun of these poor, unsophisticated souls who apparently didn't know any better. However, what snobby bartenders consider a terrible cocktail can make for an amazing frozen dessert, with just a little tweaking of the formula. By the way, if you don't have an ice cream maker, don't worry! There are so many hacks for how to make this without one. All you need are some ice cube trays and a blender, then you're all set. But, no matter how you produce this delicious treat, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Margarita Sorbet
Chef John

For more Chef John, be sure to subscribe to Food Wishes on YouTube! Click the "Join" button there to get Chef John's bonus video footage and behind-the-scenes pictures, live chats, and other Food Wishes member exclusives.


  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 4 medium limes, zested

  • 3 cups cold water

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons triple sec

  • cup tequila

  • coarse-grain sea salt for rim of glass

  • lime wedges for garnish


  1. Pour sugar into a saucepan, add lime zest, and shake to combine. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

  2. Add water to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Stir over the heat until the mixture is clear and very hot, but not quite simmering yet. Remove from heat and strain the lime syrup into a container. Let cool all the way to room temperature.

  3. Stir in freshly squeezed lime juice, triple sec, and tequila. Refrigerate mixture until ice cold before transferring into your ice cream machine.

  4. Churn sorbet according to machine directions, and then transfer into an airtight container. Freeze thoroughly before serving. Overnight is best.

  5. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass, with a small wedge of lime if desired. More tequila can be drizzled over the top, depending on your mood.

Chef's Notes:

If you don't want this alcoholic, you can boil tequila and Triple Sec for 1 minute in a pan to cook off the alcohol (be careful, as it can flame up), and then cool and add to the mixture. But the lack of alcohol will affect the texture, and the sorbet may have an icier, less soft, and smooth texture.

You can add a pinch of salt to the sorbet mixture if you like.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

273 Calories
0g Fat
62g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 273
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 52g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 38mg 190%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 144mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love