The Sgroppino is a frozen cocktail originating from Venice. The classic recipe is made with lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco. Mix it all up, and you have an ultimate summer refresher and a wonderful digestivo cocktail (that’s just a fancy way of saying it hits the spot after a big meal). But this is Cocktail Time, so we’ll make it our own way and swap in some ingredients, including sustainably made homemade sorbet with watermelon rinds, lemon, and herbs. Prosecco stays where it is, but we’ll swap the flavorless vodka with a more interesting spirit - Malfy Gin Con Limone. This Italian Gin uses 2 types of lemons from Italy so it will give us back some of the zesty citrus notes from the original sorbet.
Watermelon Rinds Sorbet:
● 200 g lemon juice
● 200 g watermelon rinds juice
● 200 g sugar
● 14 g lemon peel
● 1.2 g thyme
● 0.6 g mint leaves
● 3 g xanthan gum
Start with preparing the liquid base for the sorbet - juiced watermelon rinds. Make sure the rinds are washed and clean, before you start peeling them. The green parts (“peels”) have a lot more bitterness, which we don’t want in the sorbet, but the other part tastes somewhat similar to the cucumber, and it too has a tonne of health benefits, so it would be a waste to just toss them. Use a juicer to juice them (you can also use a blender, set to the highest speed, then strain the juice).
Then comes the lemon. Peel one (or maybe two) to get 14 grams of lemon peels, with their rich essential oils.
Now juice the lemons, we need 200 g of lemon juice. This would be a great time to use super juice, and you could even skip adding the peels separately. With the juices squeezed we can start adding everything, except xanthan for now, into the blender, starting with equal weights of watermelon rinds juice and lemon juice - 200 g of each. As mentioned, the lemon peels will also give the sorbet some more citrus notes. And since this still has to be a dessert we need to add sugar - equal weight as the liquids, 200 g.
Add fresh herbs. 1,2 g of thyme and 0,6 g of mint leaves. These will add a subtle layer of complexity, pairing well with the other flavors. You can experiment with the flavors of your sorbet and you’ll be able to make unique Sgroppini cocktails. After blending everything thoroughly it’s time to strain out the herbs and peels, so pour it over a fine mesh strainer. Pour the strained liquid back into the blender and add 3 g of xanthan gum. Xanthan helps with the creaminess we’re going for, without adding any dairy products, like milk or cream. Blend again, to get that nicely mixed in and dissolved.
We still need to make this into a sorbet, and you could do this by placing the blended mixture in a bowl and in the freezer, stirring it up every few hours. I used an ice cream maker, but still chilled the mixture in the fridge, to help out the ice-cream maker a bit.
And what is sorbet anyway? According to wikipedia, “a Sorbet, also called "water ice", is a frozen dessert made from sugar-sweetened water with flavoring – typically fruit juice, fruit purée, wine, liqueur or honey. Sorbets generally do not contain dairy ingredients, while sherbets do”.
Let’s continue making our sorbet. With the mixture cold from the fridge and the ice-cold bowl of the ice cream maker (place it in the freezer for about 24 hours before you need it, so the whole bowl is cold enough to chill our sorbet mixture) we’re ready to place the mixture in the bowl and let the machine to do its thing. This process will take about 40 minutes. When it’s over transfer to a container that can go in the freezer to solidify a bit more. With that, you have your own sorbet and you’re ready to make the cocktail.
Cocktail Thyme Sgroppino:
● 30 mL (1 oz) Gin Malfy Con Limone
● 90 mL (3 oz) Prosecco
● 90 g (3 small scoops) homemade watermelon rinds sorbet
● 2 drops saline solution
With this cocktail using prosecco we of course won’t be shaking, because I want the cocktail in the glass, not on the walls. I’ll use a whisk to mix it up, but first add the ingredients into a mixing glass, starting with 30 ml, or 1 oz, of Gin Malfy Con Limone. If you don’t have this, use a gin that’s not super juniper forward. Next, 3 small scoops of our sorbet. I’m aiming for 90 g. Measure out prosecco as well, which I wouldn’t do usually, but this will be whisked, so it’s OK. I added 90 ml. And lastly, 2 drops of saline solution, to brighten up the citrus notes of the Sgroppino. Now slowly whisk it up to, making sure it’s nicely mixed and everything is well incorporated. Pour the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass and, for the final touch, add a little cocktail thyme garnish. Get it?
You could make a batch of this cocktail ahead of time and place it in the freezer, so it’s ready to go when you need it. Saluti!
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