My husband and I were in Venice many years ago and wandered into the less touristy part of town to find a lunch spot. We found a perfect alley-way restaurant that specialized in seafood, and sat outside at one of their three tables. This was their chalkboard menu:
We chose a whole sea bass for lunch, which was spectacular, and also enjoyed the house red. After all, it was Italy. And we were on vacation.
After dinner, the waiter turned to me and suggested a drink to help with digestion. Perhaps I looked like I’d eaten the whole fish by myself. But since he described an alcoholic-based drink and mentioned limone, I was all for it. It ended up being like a limoncello with cream. But even better.
Now, I’m not sure why I’ve even saved this photo. I truly, my dear blogger friends, was not intoxicated, as it looks. I was definitely enjoying my Sgroppino, but was caught mid-blink by my husband behind the camera. It’s maybe because of this drink alone that I kept this photo. It’s a great reminder of what an incredible time we had in Italy, as well as the memory of this great after-dinner drink.
When I got home, you can bet I looked for this drink online. Thank goodness for search engines! I knew how to pronounce it, but not how to spell it. But I found it! And it’s called sgroppino – SRO-PEENO, with the accent on the PEE.
There are actually two versions of Sgroppino, according to what I discovered online. One drink is definitely what I enjoyed in Venice – a creamy, bubbly lemon drink. The other drink doesn’t contain cream. I’m definitely trying them both out.
Here’s the creamy version:
Sgroppino al Limone, serves 4
2 cups lemon sorbet, softened
2 tablespoons vodka
1/3 cup Prosecco
4 tablespoons half and half
Whisk the lemon sorbet in a medium bowl until it is smooth. Gradually whisk in vodka, cream, and prosecco. Alternatively, you can use a blender.
Pour mixture into chilled champagne flutes and serve immediately.
verdict: Absolutely delicious, but I added twice as much Prosecco because I liked it more bubbly.
Here’s the non-creamy version:
Sgroppino, serves 4
2 cups chilled Prosecco
4 tablespoons chilled vodka
2/3 cup lemon sorbet
Mint leaves, optional
Mix the Prosecco and vodka together, then divide in between 4 chilled champagne flutes. Spoon a scoop of sorbet into each flute, and decorate with a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
verdict: I prefer the creamier version, but this is still a delicious drink. I really don’t know why vodka is in this version, because it is a little on the strong side for me. But it’s like an alcoholic ice cream float!
My husband I tend to stay away from tourist attractions, and prefer experiencing Europe as non-tourists, but if you’re ever in Venice, ride the darn gondola. It truly is magical. I don’t know if they all do this, but our gondolier sang!!!