Dark background with glass of orange-coloured sorbet

Tangy Mandarin Sorbet

We created this Tangy Mandarin Sorbet when we needed a refreshing finish to a rich French meal. It cleanses the palate without weighing you down. It’s also easy to make, budget-friendly, and fits many dietary requirements.

Enjoy tangy mandarin sorbet as a dessert, or as a cool, fruity treat on a hot day.

Ingredients for tangy mandarin sorbet, photo shows peeled and unpeeled mandarin segments on a wooden chopping board

Tangy Mandarin Sorbet goes with …

Although we served this sorbet to finish a French dinner menu, it pairs especially well with Asian flavours. Try matching our tangy mandarin sorbet with Chinese food, such as our easy fried rice. It also provides cool relief after an Indian-inspired dish such as our chicken curry with greens.

Citrus is also popular in middle-eastern cuisine. Although middle-eastern dishes lean more towards oranges and lemons, why not try something different and use mandarin instead? Try serving our sorbet after a rich and spicy lamb tagine. Come to think of it, there are not many meals that this dessert would clash with.

Image shows tangy mandarin sorbet served in a glass with mint leaves and mandarin segment

Meal Prep

Sorbet is super easy to make, and can be made days ahead of your event and stored in the freezer. When we host dinner parties, we always look for at least one element of the menu that can be prepared in advance. Having something that we can just pull out of the fridge or freezer when we are ready to serve gives us more time to spend with our guests. It also gives us more prep time for other dishes on the menu.

market stall selling fresh fruit and vegetables.

Budget Friendly

We could have used oranges, lemons or limes for this recipe, but mandarins were in season at the time we created it, so they were plentiful, cheap and full of flavour. Always use seasonal produce when possible. It will save you money,  and the produce will be at its best both in flavour and nutrients. It also reduces your carbon footprint because the produce won’t have to travel from a different seasonal zone.

Speak to the vendors at your local market and ask them what’s in season and what’s good right now. Follow your local market on social media, or sign up to their newsletter to stay up-to-date with what’s in season. If you happen to be in Melbourne like we are, check out the The Queen Victoria Market’s website.

Tangy Mandarin Sorbet

Tangy Mandarin Sorbet is a light, refreshing way to finish a rich meal, or to enjoy on its own as a cool, fruity treat. It's the perfect palate-cleanser and pairs well with most cuisines, especially Asian. It's easy to make, budget-friendly, and can be made well in advance to give you a head start to your dinner prep.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Chilling & Freezing Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Middle-Eastern
Keyword: budget friendly, citrus, dinner party, easy, easy dessert, egg-free, egg-free dessert, eggless, family friendly, frozen, make ahead, meat free Mondays, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people


  • Ice Cream Churn


  • 2 x 8cm pieces mandarin peel thinly skinned to minimise pith
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • cups mandarin juice
  • 4 TBS lime juice
  • grated zest of one mandarin


  • Place mandarin peel, sugar and water in a saucepan and stir while bringing to the boil. When sugar is dissolved and syrup is boiling, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Remove peel and stir sugar syrup into mixed citrus juice. Add grated mandarin zest, and refrigerate until completely cold (overnight if possible).
  • Place 1½ litre-capacity empty glass or ceramic container in the freezer.
  • Pour sorbet mix into ice-cream churn and mix for 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape sorbet into your chilled container, smooth surface with a spoon, and return to the freezer to freeze hard.
  • When ready to serve, remove sorbet from freezer and place serving bowls or glasses in the freezer to chill. Allow sorbet to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before scooping into chilled serving glasses or bowls. Serve immediately with mandarin segments and sprigs of mint if you like.


Placing the container you'll use to store your sorbet in the freezer prevents the sorbet from melting when you remove it from the churn. If it melts it will form crystals and become icy.
Doing the same with the serving bowls or glasses helps keep the sorbet icy cold until it reaches the table. If you have space in your freezer, you can carry out this step much earlier – even overnight.

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