Şerbet (Turkish) (Soda powder; Etymology: Turkish & Persian; Turkish şerbet, from Persian & Urdu شربت,Hindi sharbat, from Arabic sharba drink) (British and American English) historically was a cool effervescent or iced fruit soft drink. The meaning, spelling and pronunciation have fractured between different countries. It is usually spelled "sherbet", but a common corruption changes this to "sherbert".

Sherbet in Turkey is a traditional cold drink prepared with rose hips, cornelian cherries, rose or licorice and a variety of spices. It is believed that sherbet has healing effects. In the gardens of Ottoman Palace, spices and fruits to be used in sherbet were grown under the control of pharmacists and doctors of the Palace. Sherbet is still served following circumcision ceremonies or a childbirth to increase lactation of the mother.

Sherbet in the United Kingdom is a kind of fizzy powder made from bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar etc and usually cream soda or fruit flavoured. The acid-carbonate reaction occurs upon presence of moisture (juice/saliva). It used to be stirred into various beverages to make effervescing drinks, in a similar way to making lemonade from "lemonade powders", before canned carbonated drinks became ubiquitous. Sherbet is now used to mean this powder sold as a sweet. (In the United States and Australia, it would be somewhat comparable to the powder in Pixy Stix or Lik-M-Aid/Fun Dip, though having the fizzy quality of effervescing candy.)

Delivery methods

Sherbet has a dual role in the modern sweet world, acting in both solo form and as a decorative agent on other sweets. The most common occurrences are detailed below, but this list is not exhaustive. Dimensions of sherbet include granularity, colour, zing (acidity) and flavouring (normally a citrus fruit).

herbet lemon

The Sherbet Lemon is a hard lemon-flavoured boiled sweet with a centre of powdered sherbet. It is a popular sweet in the UK and other countries. These were created by a man named John Pearson. It is mainly produced by Cadbury Schweppes.

Paired with liquorice

Sherbet may be sold in a cardboard tube with a stick made from liquorice as a sherbet fountain. The stick is supposed to be dipped into the sherbet and licked off, where it fizzes and dissolves on the tongue, though many people prefer to tip the sherbet into their mouths and eat the liquorice separately.

When paired with liquorice, sherbet is typically left unflavoured in a white form and with a higher reactive agent so that it causes a fizzy foam to develop in the mouth.

Fruit flavoured with lollipop

Sherbet dips or Sherbet Dabs are also popular. Brands include the Dip Dab by Barratt (owned by Monkhill Confectionery, late of Cadbury Schweppes [ [ | Cadbury sells Barratt's Sherbet Fountain firm for £58m] ] ) or the Dib Dab by Swizzels Matlow. They consist of a small packet of sherbet, with a lollipop sealed into the bag. Once the lollipop has been licked, it can be dipped into the sherbet and then sucked clean, alternatively it can simply be used to shovel the sherbet into the mouth. It has been known for some 'Dip Dab' packets to contain two lollies and some unfortunately no lollies at all.

Another popular type of sherbet dip is the 'Double Dipper' where the packet is divided into three or four sections; one contains an edible stick which can be licked and then dipped into the other sections, each of which contains a different flavour of sherbet (for example strawberry, orange, cola).

herbet straws

Plastic straws filled purely with fruit flavoured sherbet. The most common lengths are 10cm and 50cm. The price of these straws range from 1p to £2.00 in the UK depending on size, make and flavour. Normally found in newsagents.

Flying saucers

Small dimpled discs made from edible coloured paper (rice paper), typically filled with white unflavoured sherbet (the same form as in Sherbet Fountains)

=Decorator functions=

Sherbet is incorporated into other sweets. For example it is used to give gum based sweets an interesting surface texture and zing (notably cola bottles, fruit strips).

Daab sherbet

This is a popular variety sold in Calcutta's oldest existing sherbet shop The Paramount, near College Square. Established in 1918 by the late Nihar Ranjan Mazumdar, Paramount originally was the meeting point for those involved in the Swadeshi Movement. []


Sherbet has been used in parts of both the UK and Australia as slang for an alcoholic drink, especially beer. This use is noted in a slang dictionary as early as 1890, and still appears in list of slang terms written today (especially lists of Australian slang). "We're heading to the pub for a few sherbets." - … pints of beer."Fact|date=August 2008

In the UK "Showbiz Sherbet" sometimes refers to cocaine, which is also consumed as a powder.Fact|date=August 2008

In the 1990s, "sherbet dab" began to be used as Cockney rhyming slang for a "taxi cab". Its use in this sense is restricted to London dialects, for instance "It's raining, let's get a sherbet"; meaning "It's raining, let's take a taxi cab".Fact|date=August 2008

ee also

* Italian ice
* Sorbet
* Swizzels Matlow - notable manufacturer of sherbet products
* [] for instructions to make sherbet.


External links

* [ Of the Street Sale of Ginger-Beer, Sherbet, Lemonade,&C.] , from "London Labour and the London Poor", Volume 1, Henry Mayhew, 1851; subsequent pages cover the costs and income of street sherbet sellers.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sherbet — Sher bet, n. [Ar. sherbet, shorbet, sharbat, properly, one drink or sip, a draught, beverage, from shariba to drink. Cf. {Sorbet}, {Sirup}, {Shrub} a drink.] 1. A refreshing drink, common in the East, made of the juice of some fruit, diluted,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sherbet — (n.) c.1600, zerbet, drink made from diluted fruit juice and sugar, from Turk. serbet, from Pers. sharbat, from Arabic sharba(t) a drink, from shariba he drank. Related to SYRUP (Cf. syrup) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sherbet — ► NOUN 1) Brit. a flavoured sweet fizzing powder eaten alone or made into a drink. 2) (especially in Arab countries) a drink of sweet diluted fruit juices. 3) N. Amer. water ice; sorbet. 4) Austral. humorous beer. ORIGIN Arabic, drink ; related… …   English terms dictionary

  • sherbet — or sherbert [shʉr′bərtshʉr′bət] n. [Turk ṣerbet < Ar sharba(t), a drink, var. of sharāb: see SYRUP] 1. Brit. a beverage, originally from Asia, made of watered fruit juice and sugar and served cold 2. a frozen dessert like an ice but with… …   English World dictionary

  • sherbet — sher·bet (shûr’bĭt) n. 1) also sher·bert ( bûrt′) A frozen dessert made mainly of fruit juice or fruit purée, usually with sugar and milk or cream. 2) Chiefly British A usually fruit flavored effervescent powder, eaten as candy or made into a… …   Word Histories

  • sherbet — [[t]ʃɜ͟ː(r)bət[/t]] sherbets 1) N UNCOUNT: oft N n Sherbet is a sweet dry powder that tastes fizzy and is eaten as a sweet. [BRIT] ...sherbet dips. 2) N VAR Sherbet is like ice cream but made with fruit juice, sugar, and water. [AM] ...lemon… …   English dictionary

  • sherbet — /sherr bit/, n. 1. a frozen fruit flavored mixture, similar to an ice, but with milk, egg white, or gelatin added. 2. Brit. a drink made of sweetened fruit juice diluted with water and ice. 3. a frozen fruit or vegetable purée, served either… …   Universalium

  • sherbet — [17] Like syrup, sherbet goes back ultimately to the Arabic verb shariba ‘drink’, whose initial /shr/ sound was originally imitative of the sound of noisy drinking or slurping. From it was derived the noun sharbah, whose plural sharbāt passed… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • sherbet — [17] Like syrup, sherbet goes back ultimately to the Arabic verb shariba ‘drink’, whose initial /shr/ sound was originally imitative of the sound of noisy drinking or slurping. From it was derived the noun sharbah, whose plural sharbāt passed… …   Word origins

  • sherbet — UK [ˈʃɜː(r)bət] / US [ˈʃɜrbət] noun Word forms sherbet : singular sherbet plural sherbets 1) [uncountable] British powder with a fizzy taste that is eaten as a sweet 2) [countable/uncountable] American a sorbet …   English dictionary

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