Home Audrey’s Travel Recipes Sgroppino: Untying the Knot in Venice

Sgroppino: Untying the Knot in Venice

Audrey's Recipes

Ever heard of a Sgroppino? Well, it’s a lemon-flavored, creamy-smooth, frothy alcoholic beverage.

canal scene, Venice, ItalyMore 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.

lemon sorbetto, Prosecco sparkling wine and lemon

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.

Sgroppino recipe

 Here’s the recipe I’ve tested out at my place and my friends were quite impressed.

sorbetto in an an aluminum mixing bowl

Step-1: Thaw-out the sorbetto to a creamy consistency then place in an aluminum mixing bowl and whisk lightly.

Prosecco wine being added to mix

Step-2: Pour in the vodka, whisk lightly, followed by the Prosecco and whisk a bit more.

bowl covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator

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 to chill.

mix given one final whisk to re-froth

Step-5: Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and give the mix one final whisk to re-froth.

finished sgroppino

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.

sgroppino garnished with a lemon wedge and some mint leaves

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.


View the list of travel recipes here.

View the list of past travel recipes at our old site here.

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