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Unmasking Sgroppino

Other than being able to recite a slightly bawdy poem about how good people become naughty and spouses go their separate ways during Venice’s Carnevale, I don’t speak the Venetian dialect. Which is my way of saying: don’t invest wholeheartedly in my explanation of what sgroppino means. Sgroppino is often translated as “to unknot” but because it’s an after-dinner drink that helps the digestion, I like to think of it as “a little release”.

And what a delicious release it is. Made from lemon sorbet, sparkling wine, and limoncello (see my recipe), sgroppino is frothy, puckery-sweet, and a little bit naughty itself. Depending on what you’ve got going on after you drink one, sgroppino is best followed by a pleasant nap or a double shot of espresso…or let’s be frank, a second sgroppino!

This recipe couldn’t be easier. All that’s required is a blender. This makes 4 large servings.

1 quart (4 cups) lemon sorbet

½ cup limoncello

1-1/3 cup Prosecco or other sparkling wine

½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream

With a wooden spoon, break up the lemon sorbet a bit so you don’t overwhelm your blender. Add the sorbet and the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Blend at medium speed until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately.

Don’t Freak Out!

1) You can substitute lemon sherbet or gelato for the sorbet; just reduce the half-and-half by half to ¼ cup.

2) If you don't have Prosecco, you can substitute Pinot Grigio, Moscato or Riesling instead.

3) This is a great way to use up any Prosecco or sparkling wine you may have opened and not finished (yes, it happens). Speaking of which—if your sparkling wine has lost its fizz, don’t throw it away. Put in a stopper and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks to use in pasta, risotto, chicken, or white fish recipes.

4) You can garnish the sgroppino with a slice of lemon, a twist of lemon peel, a few fresh raspberries or blueberries, or a sprig of fresh mint, basil, lemon basil, or lemon balm (also called melissa).

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