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This recipe is one that we use as a ‘herbal vermouth’ in botanical martinis using whatever citrus is in season. You can use it as a thick, unctuous syrup or freeze it for a more traditional sherbet. Because it hasn’t had any heat applied, it tastes fresh and zingy and all those vitamins stay intact. It’s rich in antioxidants and limonene—a terpene present in the citrus peels of fruit. And of course vitamin C.

Yuzu herbal citrus syrup/sherbet


  • 6 fresh yuzu (or any other citrus you like)
  • 1 cup of organic sugar or honey
  • A handful of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • Kelp salt (a pinch)


  • Peel 6 yuzu and place the peel in a mortar and pestle (or blender).
  • Add 1/cup of organic sugar or honey
  • Muddle with your pestle (or blend) until the zest is running into the sugar
  • Now add a handful of fresh ginger and muddle again
  • Add the fennel, celery seeds and kelp salt and muddle again.
  • Juice your yuzu—add and mix
  • Leave overnight in the fridge.

The next day, strain through a fine strainer and check the taste. You are aiming for a sharp citrus-sour, with sweet, herbal and salty minerality. If too sweet, add more yuzu juice, if too tart add some sugar syrup.

The acid of the yuzu zest and juice melts the sugar and at this point it becomes a thick, concentrated syrup. You can add a little water to make it a smoother consistency if you like. You can use this as is or you can freeze it overnight for a more traditional sherbet consistency.

This is great used in zero ABV drinks like a botanical martini, or you can use it in more traditional cocktails—as either a syrup or just pour your spirit over the frozen sherbet and enjoy the changing flavour landscape of the melting concoction.

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