Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

A sherbet, basically and historically, is a cold, sweetened, non-alcoholic drink, usually based on a fruit juice. The earliest recorded word for it seems to be sharâb, the classical Arab term for a sweetened drink. However, in the late Middle Ages this word developed its current Arabic sense (a sense prevailing in both Turkish and Syrian Arabic) of an alcoholic drink. A different word was therefore needed for a non-alcoholic sweetened drink, and this emerged as sharbât. The Turkish term s(h)erbet comes from this newer word.