Sgroppino - A Refreshing Venetian Treat

I was first served this drink after dinner with my wife, Julie, and a few friends at a small, family-run restaurant on Campo San Margherita in Venice. Dinner was delightful and as we began tucking into our desserts, the waiter - who probably also was the owner - without any prompting, announced that he was going to serve us one of Venice’s most famous digestivi.

After sending his assistant off to fetch the ingredients, he prepared the Sgroppino (pronounced scrop pee' no) at our table, whisking the ingredients in a chilled metal bowl until the mixture was light and fluffy as a mousse and then immediately served it to us, his now-captivated guests. It was wonderful and a revelation. Equally delightful was that he never charged us for the drink - it was a gift! Is that a great country or what?

Since then, I have prepared it for guests several times after dinners at home or as a cool and restorative drink to friends and family. It is a wonderful, refreshing drink that is relatively simple and quick to prepare.

This is my recipe which I believe is fairly standard:

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
1-1/2 cups lemon sorbet
1-1/2 cups Prosecco
¼ cup grappa (or vodka)
1 tablespoon limoncello (optional)
sprigs of fresh mint  (optional)

The preparation couldn’t be simpler:

Place all the ingredients (except the mint) in a chilled metal bowl. Quickly whisk the ingredients together by hand until a light and frothy mousse forms. Spoon the mixture into pre-chilled champagne flutes or cocktail glasses, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve immediately.

While it's simple to prepare, there are several things to keep in mind in the preparation:

  • Be sure to use lemon sorbet and not a sherbet and it's also best to use a dry, quality Prosecco such as Adami's NV Brut Prosecco or Nino Franco’s “Rustico” NV Prosecco di Valdobbiadene.
  • Resist the temptation to whisk the sorbet-Prosecco mixture too vigorously or it will separate and become limp and soupy.
  • The glasses in which the Sgroppino is served should be chilled in advance.

It's a wonderful Venetian drink you're sure to enjoy. Salute!

Richard Marcis

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