Embrace seasonal ingredients and have some fun too, with Philippa Davis' gin, tonic and elderflower sorbet

There is no better time to celebrate the very best of British produce and enjoy a few seasonal treats. If you’ve started to spot elderflower, save your bounty for something a little different. Philippa Davis’ recipe for gin, tonic and elderflower sorbet makes a refreshing – not to mention fun – change to the classic sundowner. Use edible flowers and mint tips to give a final flourish.

For more elderflower inspiration, try our elderflower and vanilla madeleines. They make an excellent treat packaged up for a friend. But if the temptation gets too much, they are best enjoyed straight from the oven. Or there are few better homemade treats than elderflower cordial – follow our best elderflower cordial recipe for the perfect summer refreshment.

Or if it is the boozy sorbet that tempts you, we have one that is deliciously naughty. Our blood orange, cardamom and tequila sorbet is best served supremely chilled with a final, generous dash of tequila.


This pretty and refreshing sorbet will take longer to freeze than others due to the alcohol content.

  • 100ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 150ml lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)
  • 500ml cold tonic water
  • 65ml gin
  • 80ml elderflower cordial
  • 1 egg white
  • A few edible flowers and mint tips to serve

Gently melt the sugar, minus 1 tbsp, with the water in a pan then take off the heat and cool.

When cool, gently stir in the lemon, tonic, gin and cordial.

You can now churn this in an ice-cream maker until almost frozen or place in a freezer for about 10 hours. Then blitz in a food processor to get rid of most of the ice crystals.

Once churned or blitzed, whisk the egg white with the 1 tbsp of saved caster sugar until it forms stiff peaks, then fold through the sorbet.

Freeze for at least another 10 hours.

Serve in chilled glasses with a few edible flowers and mint tips sprinkled on top.