• Yield: Makes 1 quart, 8 servings

Nothing but vibrant and refreshing,­ it’s lemon heaven.


  • 1 cup (gently packed) fresh lemon verbena leaves

  • 1 cup superfine sugar

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 3 cups cold water

Grind the lemon verbena leaves and sugar together in a food processor until the mixture turns into a bright green paste, about 30 seconds; stop to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add the lemon juice and process for 15 seconds longer, then add the water. Strain the resulting liquid through a fine sieve to remove any bits of leaf. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Variation: Scented Geranium Sorbet

Substitute 16 medium-size scented geranium leaves, such as old-fashioned rose or Mabel Gray lemon geranium, for the lemon verbena.

Herb Additions

The pure lemon flavor of the verbena blends well with other herbs. For a compound herb flavor, grind any of the following with the lemon verbena leaves and sugar:

  • 1 cup sweet cicely leaves

  • 6 rose geranium leaves

  • 1/4 cup French or Mexican tarragon leaves

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Adapted from The Herbfarm Cookbook, by Jerry Traunfeld.