Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sherbet n.

also sherbert
[Turk. sherbet (ult. Arab. sharbah, a drink), a cooling drink made of fruit juice and water sweetened, often cooled with snow]

1. grog or any warm, alcoholic drink.

[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[UK]A. Binstead Gal’s Gossip 119: Play light with the ‘sherbert’ at supper.

2. (also sherb) any form of alcoholic drink; usu. beer; also as old sherbert.

[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Mother’s Duplicate’ Sporting Times 7 Jan. 1/4: ‘Funny sayin’s and ways, I suppose?’ said the chum, / Not forgetting the sherbet to swill.
[UK]Harrington & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] You’re a thing of the past, old dear [lyrics] He said nasty things, no doubt, when the sherbert [sic] was about.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 347: Sherbet. Anything intoxicating.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 189: He took to the sherbet, which made him a bigger liability than ever.
[Aus]D. O’Grady Bottle of Sandwiches 93: We [...] had a few sherbets and a feed.
[UK]K. Bonfiglioli Don’t Point That Thing at Me (1991) 60: Probably had a glass of sherbert with him once in a while.
[UK]New Musical Express 17 Nov. n.p.: You go into the Green Room first, and you have a few sherberts to round the edge off the Drynamil.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 9: A few sherberts was to be the next cab off the rank.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] He’s had a few sherbets himself.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 28 Jan. 7: The place is so trendy, even Leonardo DiCaprio has been in for a few sherbets.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 102: Let’s go downstairs, have a little sherb.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 53: The newsreader’s had ‘a few too many sherbets’.

3. beer; also as old sherbert.

[Aus]J.M. Hosking ‘Roll’n Smith’ Aus. First and Last 99: Smithy’s first name is Herbert. / He has a liking for the sherbet.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Legends from Benson’s Valley 26: ‘Have a sherbert,’ I said, ‘it’ll do yer the world a good.’.
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 200: Sherbert (the old) Alcoholic drink, particularly beer.
B. Staines Wot A Whopper 24: After a while the Maori became thirsty and retired to his car for a few sherbets.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 133: The liquid itself may be described as [...] throat oil; sherbert; a jar (or two. . .).

4. cocaine [resemblance to a popular UK sweet, a sherbet dab, a bag of sherbet powder with a liquorice ‘straw’ through which it is sucked up].

[UK]Guardian Guide 8–14 Jan. 52: You’ve seen the gear. You know it’s top-line sherbet.

In compounds