Influenza Sorbet

As a child, my grandfather would make his “special cough syrup” each year to help us get over our illnesses faster. In an old Mason jar, the cough medicine would sit at the top of our refrigerator (which at the time seemed so tall). All I could see was the bright red cherry floating and bobbing around the jar and it was all I could do not to spoon that sweet cherry out and devour it.

Recently, as the flu epidemic still continues to rage on, and health officials admitting the influenza vaccine is only 10% effective, it’s time we took matters into our own hands. For those of you suffering through this year’s influenza season, I have the answer you’ve been hoping for – you must eat ice cream. But not just any ice cream, an ice cream that will help strengthen your immune system, gently clears nasal passages, soothes your sore throat, increases inner warmth and comforts you all at the same time.

I was recently inspired by an ice cream flavor from Jeni’s ice cream shops, “Hot Toddy Sorbet” and added my own twist based on my grandfather’s special concoction. The next time you find yourself coming down with the flu, settle yourself into your favorite chair and indulge in the influenza sorbet – because you deserve it.

Influenza Sorbet

  • 2 cups fresh orange juice (I used clementine juice)
  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • One 3-ounce packet liquid fruit pectin or 5 tablespoons powdered pectin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Jack Daniels Whiskey – optional
  • 5 maraschino cherries, cut into halves – optional


1. Combine orange and lemon juices, sugar, honey, ginger and chamomile tea bag in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and remove tea bag. Tip: For a child-friendly version of this treat, omit the whiskey.

2. Add the pectin, cayenne, and bourbon, if using. Add halved cherries. Pour into a bowl, let cool, and then cover and refrigerate until cold.

3. Freeze in an ice cream machine until it is the consistency of very soft whipped cream. Then pack into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface (this is Jeni’s very good suggestion to keep your sorbet from forming ice crystals!), and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Tip: If you do not have an ice cream maker, simply transfer to a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer. Periodically, stir up the mixture to maintain a creamy, soft texture. The sorbet may take several hours to reach the desired consistency.

Feel better!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 1st, 2013
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10 Responses to Influenza Sorbet

  1. countrygirl says:

    sounds likea must try, i would probably through in some tart cherry juice, which is one of  go to remidies

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m interested to know what the cough syurp was, do you have the recipie for that still?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      My grandfather’s cough syrup is:

      1/4 lb. rock candy
      1/4lb. peppermint sticks
      4 slices orange
      4 slices lime
      6-10oz jar maraschino cherries
      6 oz. grenadine
      1 pint Southern Comfort Whiskey

      Use 1 quart fruit jar (large mouth). Refrigerate. Shake daily until candy melts into liquid.

      Dosage: 2 Tbs.

      candy stores have the rock candy. Don’t use hard peppermint round candies; they don’t dissolve.

  3. Shai says:

    Are you talking about those soft peppermint sticks? We use to stick those in oranges at girl scout camp outs and you could suck out the O J with them. The trick is to roll the oranges to loosen up the insides first.

  4. How long are the cough syrup and sorbet good for?

  5. star says:

    For sorbet  why  sugar  and honey why  not just  one or the other ?

  6. Merry C. Carey says:

    I’m allergic to Orange Juice and Chamomile, and try to avoid sugar, so I used Red Grapefruit Juice, an Echinacea tea bag, and cut out the sugar, just using my favorite dark wildflower honey. I thought I might need more honey but when I tasted it I thought it was sweet enough anyhow so I didn’t add any extra. I think it turned out quite nice anyhow. Remains to see how well it works. 🙂

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