Summer, especially this summer, is all kinds of hot. The appeal of sucking down the most liquid form of ice you can find is undeniable. The best answer is often a frozen cocktail. I think most people will agree. If they don’t, it’s probably because they associate them with neon machine made slush. To those people I offer the Sgroppino.
Sgroppino is the Italian answer to frozen alcoholic drinks. Like gelato is to ice cream sgroppino is to slushy drinks. Delicious. Refreshing. Above all, sophisticated.
It’s pretty simple. Three ingredients. Vodka, prosecco and lemon sorbet. It’s like an Italian take on a French 75. In this case the lemon and sugar components are frozen in a ice cold sorbet.
Sgropinno – Lemon Sorbet Cocktail Recipe
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 zest from 1 or 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vodka or gin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk the juice, water, corn syrup, vodka and kosher salt together in a mixing bowl until it is mixed well. You should end up with syrup the consistency of melted sorbet.
Place the syrup in your ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturers instructions.
When the sorbet start to get thick and heavy it is ready to be put into the freezer.
Freeze overnight. Serve.
How to Make Lemon Sorbet
Sorbet is relatively easy to make. All you really need is a puree of great fruit and sugar. Take a couple pounds of fresh fruit and chop it up. Throw it in a blender or food processor with some sugar and mix it up until you get a nice puree.
Mix the puree with some sugar. Your sorbet base is basically a thin syrup. You are aiming for something in the 25 brix range. So for every four cups of fruit you will need about 1 cup of sugar. The sugar will give you about 20% sugar. The natural fruit sugars will bring it up to about 25%.
You are going to use light corn syrup In the lemon sorbet for your Sgroppino. It helps thicken up the thin lemon juice. You will also use a little more syrup to make up for the acid in the lemon. For more information on the science of a great sorbet check out this great article on Eater for all the details.
All you have to do now is freeze your syrup. You don’t even need an ice cream maker. You can simply throw the syrup in the freezer until it firms up. Once it’s partially frozen put it in a blender for 30 seconds or so until you get the consistency right. If you have an ice cream maker you are ahead of the game. Thirty or forty five minutes in an ice cream maker and you’ve got something delicious.
Traditionally the Sgroppino is made with vodka. You don’t need vodka. I find gin works really well too. You could try other white spirits. Pisco or fruit eau de vie should work nicely with a fruit sorbet and Prosecco.
The Sgroppino is topped with Prosecco. Prosecco’s lush bubbles and fruitiness work really well. Feel free to try other varieties of bubbles. Crisp dry traditional method sparkling wines will give you some interesting results.
Sgroppino – Lemon Sorbet Cocktail
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 3 oz lemon sorbet (about 1-2 small scoops)
- 3 oz prosecco to top
- 1 lemon twist for garnish
Scoop sorbet into cocktail shaker and top with gin.
Shake until the sorbet has broken down into a smooth slush consistency.
Strain into a champagne flute and top with prosecco
Garnish with a lemon twist.