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What is the difference between sherbet and sherbert - and also sorbet?
The original Turkish and Persian word was sherbert or serbet, which has led to the variant spellings. Sherbert is a spelling and pronunciation found in both American and British use. It descended from Arabic sharbah 'drink' and shariba 'to drink'. It was first a cold drink made with fruit juice, water, and sweetener and often cooled with snow. The meaning was transferred to fruit-flavored ices in the late 19th century and now more specifically refers to an ice made with milk, egg white, or gelatin. In Britain, the word mainly refers to the beverage. In Australia, sherbet is used as another name for beer. Sherbet is distinguished slightly from sorbet, the French term for a fruit-flavored ice served mainly between courses of a meal as a palate cleanser. Sorbet is derived from the same Turkish and Persian words as sherbet.