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Beat the Summer Heat with Sgroppino, a Venetian Aperitif Delicacy

Vodka, lemon sorbet and prosecco, what could be more refreshing? We tell you where to find the best and most interesting in New York City

by Sofia Zamboli


It has been a hot and humid summer in New York City. What better way to cool off than to drink a creamy, cold sgroppino? What is sgroppino, you ask? Sgroppino is an apéritif, or a post-dinner drink, that originated in the Veneto region of Italy. First made in the 16th century by servants in aristocratic households (the upper class were the only ones that could afford enough ice to make sorbetto at home), the drink was also served between fish and meat courses as a palate cleanser.

The beverage is traditionally made by whisking together vodka and lemon sorbetto and topping the concoction with prosecco. It is basically an adult slushy. Oftentimes waiters in Venice make this drink table side, providing a fresh drink and a fun experience. The result is a delicious cocktail that can help beat even the hottest summer heat. Lucky for us New Yorkers, some Italian restaurants in the city have been serving up this sweet treat for us to try! Here are the top picks for places to get your fill of sgroppino.


Bocca di Bacco is one restaurant in the city that offers a delicious sgroppino. With locations in Chelsea, the Theater District, and Hell’s Kitchen, this chic trattoria serves their version of sgroppino with champagne, vodka, lemon, sorbet and mango cream. It is the most traditional of the three variations I am recommending, except for the mango cream. This sgroppino almost exactly resembles the traditional Venetian delicacy, with its sweet frothiness. Served in a champagne flute, it is garnished with a strawberry. Enjoy sipping this cocktail on the outdoor terrace, which features flower beds and photos of vespas. The portion size is generous, but it was so delicious, I could easily have had three more. I went for happy hour and got this sgroppino for a bargain price of $8.

The second restaurant I recommend that offers sgroppino is Dante in the West Village. This restaurant is a Greenwich Village institution and registered landmark that dates back to 1915. Dante makes an unusual sgroppino which they call the Bellini Sgroppino. It is made with Grey Goose vodka, peach and rosemary, peach liqueur, peach bitters, peach sorbet and prosecco. They serve the beverage in an elegant gold trimmed glass that comes out on a porcelain plate. It is also served with a spoon to scoop the alcohol-soaked sorbet. This drink is delicious, refreshing and luxurious. You will feel as if you are in an elegant café in Italy. This delectable treat will set you back about $20 though, and the portion is on the smaller side. If you are looking for something budget friendly, this may not be the place for you.

The last place I chose to sample sgroppino in New York City is Marta, located in the Redbury Hotel in Nomad. This restaurant features a wood fired pizza oven and has a fun ambience. Marta does an unusual variation of sgroppino using rum, banana liqueur, lime and frozen prosecco. The most nontraditional of the three, this resembled a tropical frozen cocktail more than anything. It tasted like bubblegum, but the drink was definitely refreshing as it was frozen and frothy and came in a frosted glass. This $15 dollar drink would be a great cocktail for a Sunday brunch.

If you want a taste of Venice without the six-hour flight, make sure to journey to one of these three restaurants in New York to sample their sgroppino. Not only is this drink delicious, but it could help you untie those knots in your stomach after a long and filling meal. The word sgroppino comes from the Venetian word sgroppare which means to untie. So not only will you be indulging in a delicious treat, but you will also be doing your intestines a favor by drinking it!




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