Sgroppino: the recipe


Sgroppino is one of those Italian things that you might forget about, after years living abroad. It is one of those madeleine buried in your long-term memory, which pops up unexpectedly in a lazy summer afternoon.  

Sgroppino is a sort of lemon sorbet added with vodka and/or sparkling wine. Definitely summery, it is commonly served as a digestive or between a fish and a meat course to “clean” your taste buds. You can rarely find it in bars or cafes, while it popular in restaurants, in particular in those on the coast.

I had my first sgroppino in Versilia, on the Tuscan coast. Frankly, I think I never had one somewhere else. I approached it with a certain curiosity, during a hot June’s afternoon. I had just emptied the plate with my mixed salad, while sitting on the terrace of a restaurant in downtown Viareggio. Comfortably enjoying the shadow, I stared at the pavement cooked by the strong sunbeams. The waiter came to my table, asking whether I was up for a dessert. I kindly declined and I ordered the usual espresso. The waiter started cleaning the table and, with some hesitation, he asked: “not even a sgroppino?” “And what that would be???” I asked. After no time, he got back with a liquor glass full with a soft snowy-looking sorbet. Actually, it looked as a sorbet, but it was not: it was almost liquid, something you supposed to drink. “On the house”, said the waiter, storming away. I sipped it: it was refreshing, thirst-quenching. The vodka was barely perceivable and well contrasted by the cool feeling of the sorbet. Forget about coffee, sgroppino rules! :)

Needless to say, there are tons of recipes for sgroppino. You might find the original recipe declined in 100 different versions (if you can even figure what was the original one). The recipe I propose you today is with lime sorbet, I hope you will like it!


(Doses for 2 persons)

Blend all the ingredients and pour the sgroppino into small liquor glasses. Serve it immediately. Excellent to conclude a meal during a warm summer evening.