Don't call it sorbet, the half-meal sgroppino is very eighties, but Carlo Cracco brings it back in vogue with an oriental version. Here's how to do it – and ideas to give it a chef's twist
Don't call it sorbet, sgroppino is another thing. It arrives in a champagne flute, to clean the mouth between the fish and meat courses, and is alcoholic. The base is in fact a lemon sorbet (therefore a recipe based on water, lemon and sugar) but with the addition of milk and an alcohol (now vodka is used) and prosecco. In Veneto they call it sgropìn, from here sgroppino, and although it is very 80s in reality actually has ancient roots, and traces of it can be found already at the banquets of the 16th century – when the ice was a real luxury. Typically Italian is the use of serving as an intermezzo, because as a dessert it also exists in France, and is called Coupé Colonel – and apart from the fact that it is served in balls, it is always sorbet and vodka.
How it's done (it's very easy)
To prepare the classic version at home, place 100g of lemon sorbet, 20ml of prosecco (a glass), 50ml of vodka (one shot) and 50ml of whole milk in a blender. You can also use lemon ice cream and don't add milk. Whisk everything and serve immediately.
The chef version
Carlo Cracco, a Milanese by adoption as a native of Veneto, has dusted off the sgroppino bringing it back into fashion from the stage of the chef Identità Golose congress. The theme of the 2019 edition was "Building new memories" and so Cracco worked on the memory of the sgroppino to make it a goumet version. "It has become an oriental sgroppino. We made the traditional sorbet with water, lemon juice and sugar. Instead of processing it with prosecco, we added chopped shiso leaves, sake and yuzu juice that smells ". A recipe that is sweetened with acacia honey, with which the glass is brushed, and with an edge of caper powder, to give a touch of salt that helps salivation. Because even gourmet, sgroppino serves to digest, or so we like to think (the scientific foundation of the thing is non-existent).
The extra idea
The idea of Cracco is to give an additional aroma to that of lemon, why not copy it? Here are other alternative and super easy versions
– replace the lemon sorbet with the lime sorbet and add a couple of mint leaves in the blender, for a mojito version
– replace prosecco with Japanese sake
– replace the lemon sorbet with the mandarin sorbet and grind pink pepper on the glass
– replace vodka with limoncello
– use champagne!
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