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Cocktail
May 06, 2022

From Venice To London: The History Of The Sgroppino

The traditional sgroppino (which means ‘untie a little knot’) was served to the aristocrats of Venice during dinner to aid digestion but also as a delicious little palate cleanser between courses.
Written by THE ART OF SHAKING

Last update: Jul 22, 2022 -

2 min read

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While there is most certainly a predilection among mixologists to really push the boundaries these days, trialling all sorts of intriguing and exotic ingredients and techniques when making their cocktails, there’s still an awful lot to be said about serving up the classics… as long as you can do so to perfection, of course!

If it’s a classic you’re after, look no further than the illustrious sgroppino. This particular tipple can trace its origins all the way back to the 16th century, the brainchild of some very forward-thinking Venetians who wanted to find a way to provide some sort of relief from the fullness of a big meal.

The traditional sgroppino (which means ‘untie a little knot’) was served to the aristocrats of Venice during dinner to aid digestion but also as a delicious little palate cleanser between courses. Made from milk-free lemon sorbet and a dash of alcohol, this is a tradition that still continues to this day… albeit with a tweak here or there.

The more modern take on the sgroppino pairs the sorbet with prosecco and vodka, as well as other fruit-flavoured sorbets – which means there’s a bit of scope for some creativity, even while staying true to the history behind the drink.

Of course, these days we take ice and frozen treats for granted, but back in the 16th century being able to serve up a chilly cocktail or two really was the height of luxury. Only aristocratic and wealthy households had sufficient means to keep an ice house anywhere on the premises and the mixologists of old had to make the sorbet by hand.

We’re incredibly blessed to have technology on our side so making sorbet and gelato isn’t quite as time-consuming or as hard work… so it should take you no time whatsoever to whip up your very own sgroppinos tonight.

But how exactly do you go about making this time-honoured cocktail?

For your ingredients, gather vodka, lemon sorbet (or your flavour of choice), three ounces of prosecco (plus an extra splash) and a pretty piece of mint for garnish.

From there, whisk your sorbet and vodka together with a splash of prosecco in a stainless steel bowl until it turns slushy. Metal bowls are particularly responsive to heat and temperature, so a stainless steel one will help keep your ingredients cool as you work.

Once the slushy consistency you’re looking for has been achieved, add in the rest of your prosecco and whisk it in slowly. Then pour into your champagne flute or martini glass, add a flourish of mint and serve with a smile.

If you’d like to try something a little different where the sgroppino is concerned, take a look at this recipe for a rose and blood orange version over on the Oh So Beautiful Paper blog. It’s sure to impress and will certainly show you just how delicious this drink is, no matter what form it appears in.

 

Looking for bartending courses online? Get in touch with The Art of Shaking today.

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