This recipe originally posted in April of 2013. Because this Italian cocktail is so delicious and unique, I decided to re-publish the post.

My husband and I were in Venice in 2008 During a blissful 3-week tour of Northern Italy. One day, we wandered into a less touristy part of town to find a lunch spot and discovered 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, as you can see.


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 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 because of this drink alone that I kept the photo, but it’s also a great reminder of the unexpectedly wonderful time we had in Venice.

When I got home, you can bet I looked for this drink online. It’s called sgroppino – SRO-PEE-NO, with the accent on the PEE.

There are actually two versions of Sgroppino, according to what I read. One drink is definitely what I enjoyed in Venice – a creamy, bubbly lemon drink. The other drink doesn’t contain cream.

Here’s the creamy version:

Sgroppino al Limone, serves 4

2 cups lemon sorbet, softened
2 tablespoons vodka
2/3 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.


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.




My husband and 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!!! And it was lovely.


82 thoughts on “Sgroppino

  1. We had a similar experience in Spain one year – just went into a random restaurant and were blown away by a house salad – I mean that thing could have fed an army and then came out the suckling pig. (the booze was pretty good too so i seem to remember)

  2. We just knew that as, non-touristy types, that we’d loathe Venice. Instead, we absolutely loved it—and the touristy aspects of it just added to its charm. Go figure. I hope to go back one day. In the meantime, I’ll be trying both of these libations!

  3. oh does this sound just refreshing and wonderful…i will have to make this soon…i think i would prefer the creamier version as well…lovely post..sarah

  4. What a wonderful couple you are! And I love the way your smile takes centre stage on the photos! The sgroppino might have had a little bit to do with it … but Mother Nature definitely did the greater part!

  5. the Venice people call that “sgropin”.::))…and is a speciality of the Veneto region::)…it is served, normally as “intermezzo”…very nice that you have prepared it by yourself too….!:)) when will you come to Italy again??

  6. this drink looks and sounds so wonderful and you look so happy. you must have had a marvellous time in italy. cheers sherry

    • It was lovely. I didn’t think I’d enjoy Venice for some reasons. I’m always hesitant about touristy cities. But it was such a great experience.

  7. Looks like I didn’t see this post in 2013… but I will take the creamy version! We spent one of my milestone birthdays in Venice – loved the city and yes we did take a gondola ride. Unfortunately, it was rainy the few days we were there.

  8. It’s time to return to Venice with your husband , I love to go back myself ( it’s been a long time) . I think I am going to treat the girls from my book club with your drink.

    • What a great idea! I just made some the other day and used the blender. Definitely use sorbet, though, all I could find was ice cream and it wasn’t the same.

  9. Sounds like an amazing trip. I’ve enjoyed all of those ingredients separately, I’ll wager they’re lovely together. As always, love the photos!

    • I’m more Italian than French and I really love Italian songs, like the ones Dean Martin used to sing, and the Gypsy Kings, so I was really happy. Don’t care too much for French songs.

    • I’m so glad I tried it in Venice. Trying to google it without knowing the spelling was another story!!!

      • Well, I grew up in a family of musicians and both me and my sister attended music school; also, I go to Venice quite often and must say that sometimes I still cannot define if there is too much wine singing or is it just nerdy me , LOL ….

  10. You don’t look inebriated in that photo – just deliriously happy! And why not, with that drink in hand!

    I definitely want to make this for dessert some evening!

    • I think I’m always deliriously happy on vacations! But especially those when the weather is perfect and I get to eat and drink outside.

    • Oh right. I always forget that half of the world is in the other hemisphere! Typical silly American!

  11. We just got back from Venice, and it really is a magical place! I totally second your suggestion to get away from the traditional tourist spots…we discovered some amazing restaurants off the beaten path. I don’t think we stumbled across sgroppino, though…but I want to run (not walk) to the kitchen to make one now. It sounds delicious!

    • I’m not even a lemon “freak?” You know how some people make everything citrus? But I can guarantee you’ll love this cocktail. I just made this for friends the other night just for an aperitif of sorts. It’s not heavy with the sorbet.

    • I assumed you’d know about it. But I’ve never seen it on another blog, and I follow many, so I thought I’d repost it.

  12. What a gorgeously refreshing drink. I have a similar picture in Cinque Terre in Italy sampling limoncello for the first time, and yes I did look intoxicated too :) Like you, we too stay off the beaten track when it comes to travel. Just booked tickets to Northern Spain in August on the Bay of Biscay. Great post and a lovely shot of you and hubby in the gondola. :)

    • Thanks. We certainly looked younger. I’ve since gotten bangs. My daughter calls them “poor people Botox!“

  13. You are so cute! Sadly, we did not ride the gondolas in Venice, but I have it back on our bucket list, we were there for such a short time. The drink looks refreshing and tasty. I am not a cream person but I think I would like this drink, it looks like more of a dessert to me though. I have quite a few lemons on hand (left over from a shoot), perhaps I’ll check out some lemon sorbet recipes! Thanks Chef Mimi.

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