Sgroppino: Venice Untied
Recipe and photos by Tom Weber
Ever heard of a Sgroppino? Well, it's a lemon-flavored,
creamy-smooth, frothy alcoholic beverage.
More a digestivo (digestive) or liquid dessert
than an aperitivo (cocktail), the Sgroppino was created
by the inventive and masterful Venetians back in the 16th century.
Sgropin, as it's called in the Venetian dialect,
means to untie a little knot the kind one finds in his/her stomach
following a rather large meal. Further away from La Serenissima
it's called a Sgroppino, or simply Sorbetto.
Made with milk-free lemon sorbetto (sorbet) and
a bit of alcohol, the Sgroppino was served in aristocratic Venetian
homes during dinner to cleanse the palate between the first and second
courses normally fish to meat and to also help digest all that was
consumed at the tail-end of the dinner. That tradition continues today,
with a few minor twinks to the centuries-old recipe.
Today, the classic Sgroppino is made with lemon
sorbetto, vodka and Prosecco sparkling wine. Variations include
strawberry, grapefruit or mandarin sorbetto vice lemon, and,
for some, a bit of limoncello (lemon liqueur), too.
Here's the recipe I've tested out at my place and my
friends were quite impressed.
Step-1: Thaw-out the sorbetto to a creamy consistency
then place in an aluminum mixing bowl and whisk lightly.
Step-2: Pour in the vodka, whisk lightly, followed by
the Prosecco and whisk a bit more.
Step-3: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the
mix in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Step-4: Dampen the glasses and place in the freezer
Step-5: Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and give
the mix one final whisk to re-froth.
Step-6: Pour the mix into the pre-chilled glasses up
to the top, garnish with a lemon wedge and some mint leaves, then serve.
The next time, or first time you find yourself in Venice,
untie those knots by asking for a Sgroppino, during or
after dinner. It's the Venetian thing to do.