Icy drinks might seem like a modern invention, but today’s chilly concoction goes back hundreds of years to Venice! This updated version of a classic Sgroppino is a bright, tart Prosecco cocktail made with lemon sorbet and Vodka whipped up until frothy.
Sgroppino, pronounced “scro-peen-yo,” is derived from the Venetian word "sgropìn," which means to “untie” or “loosen.” It was historically served to the elite as a digestif to “loosen” the stomach after a rich meal, as they were the only ones able to acquire blocks of ice during the time.
While ice is easier to come by these days, Sgroppino has kept its lavish, celebratory spirit. The basic flavor has remained the same, but the recipe has evolved to include Prosecco, which adds a nice crisp effervescence to the cocktail. Lemon sorbet replaces lemon, sugar, and ice, which makes it a snap to make-ahead and build on demand. You can serve it as a cocktail to kick off and “loosen” the night, between courses, or even as a light and refreshing dessert.
Lemon sorbet might have you thinking this is a summer drink. But, with lemons being in their peak season during the winter, it’s the ideal time for citrus salads, lemony cocktails, homemade Limoncello and more.
And, if you’re stocking up on bubbly Prosecco to celebrate during the holidays, or you have a few extra bottles leftover, this is the perfect way to pop it open and take full advantage. Whip up a batch to make as an elegant New Years Eve cocktail or to serve alongside a holiday brunch spread.
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What’s in a Sgroppino? Ingredients for this Prosecco Cocktail
It takes just a few simple ingredients to make this Venetian cocktail!
- Lemon sorbet: Tart and refreshing, this brings most of the frothy texture and brightness to the drink. Use an intensely lemony sorbet for the best flavor.
- Vodka: Any neutral flavored vodka will work in this recipe. Don’t go too low or too high price-wise, as any nuanced flavors from the spirit will be overtaken by the lemon sorbet.
- Prosecco: The bubbly topping for this cocktail. A brut Prosecco works best, as you don’t want too sweet of a wine to compete with the already sweet sorbet. Here, La Marca Prosecco from the Veneto region of Italy has some citrus notes and a crisp, clean taste that melds well with the lemon sorbet.
- Lemon peel: Adds a nice visual appeal and aromatic quality, but you can leave it off if you’d like to keep it simple. Or, use a vegetable peeler or small knife to slice of strips of lemon peel a few hours ahead of the party, then keep them at the ready between two paper towels.
How to make a Sgroppino
First, put your shakers away because this Prosecco cocktail requires a whisk! Sgroppino has a frothy quality to it that requires you to whisk together the vodka and lemon sorbet for proper aeration first. Or, if you have a handheld frother, that will also work!
- Combine the vodka and sorbet. In a small mixing bowl, vigorously whisk 1 ½ ounces of vodka and 2 scoops (¾ cup) of lemon sorbet until frothy. This should come together in under a minute and be smooth but with many little air bubbles.
- Divide. Spoon the mixture between two coupe glasses or wine glasses. Top off each glass with a splash of Prosecco.
- Finish and serve. Optionally, a lemon peel garnish highlights the flavor of the drink and provides additional lemon aroma. Candied lemon or candied orange peel would feel extra special here as well.
What to Serve with a Sgroppino
This celebratory drink is fabulous all on its own, or as a sweet ending to a lighter-fare meal. If you’re having salmon or seafood, try this instead of a traditional dessert.
Or batch up several Sgroppino cocktails and pair alongside an Asparagus Quiche for an elegant weekend brunch. Just don’t wait too long to drink a Sgroppino, as the drink will naturally separate after a time. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic option replace the vodka and bubbly, with your favorite seltzer water.
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Sgroppino (Italian Prosecco Cocktail)
- 1 ½ ounces Vodka
- ⅔ cup lemon sorbet
- 3 ounces Prosecco
- Lemon peels, for garnish (optional)
- Whisk. In a small mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together the vodka and lemon sorbet until smooth but frothy.
- Divide. Spoon into two wine coupe glasses and top with the Prosecco.
- Garnish and serve. Top with a lemon peel if desired and serve immediately.
- Don’t wait too long to drink a Sgroppino, as the drink will naturally separate after a time. You can extend the life for a few minutes longer by serving in chilled glasses.
- If you’d like to spruce up the drink even more, try garnishing with a candied orange or lemon peel.
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