The Italian sgroppino cocktail, a dramatic fountain of bubbly topped over sorbet or gelato, is making its way onto stateside menus.
Leave it to the Italians to unite drinking and dessert; sgroppino comes from the verb sgroppire, which means to untie. Originally created as a palate cleanser back in Venice, the cocktail now doubles as a digestif. The drink is in no way a new D.C. import, having been spotted on Fiola’s cocktail menu after opening in 2011.
“We are selling a whole lot more this year than last,” reports Osteria Morini general manager Jesse Hiney.
He has a theory as to why: It’s now placed on the cocktail, rather than dessert, menu. And customers are ordering the drink before, during, and after eating.
“It’s our answer to frose,” Hiney says.
Throw the ordering-dessert-first faux pas out the window and guzzle these before they’re gone. FYI: Most of the seasonal drinks cost around $13.
301 Water Street SE
Pastry chef Tova Hillman is doing the drink up big at the waterfront restaurant this summer, offering a rotating lineup of fruity sorbets. The process is simple, with a freezer at the bar housing the made-to-order scoops. Right now Osteria is serving strawberry sorbet with basil syrup and Jeio prosecco, slowly poured table-side for maximum effect when the restaurant isn’t slammed. Next month, ginger will enter the mix.
1926 14th Street NW
Inside pastry chef Alex Levin took intel from his travels in Italy and added “a personal touch” to the treat across all of Michael Schlow’s spots across town. At Tico, his Sgroppino Latino features coconut sorbet, compressed pineapple, spiced rum and Cava — again, poured table-side.
Alta Strada DC
465 K Street NW
One of its specialty brunch cocktails this year was the Rum & Pear Sgroppino with aged rum, pear sorbet, and prosecco. That’s gone, but now there’s a Negroni Sgroppino that debuted during June’s Negroni Week. Made with Negroni sorbet, guests can stir prosecco into the mix at their table. The drink is always available but does especially well at brunch, reports an employee. Also available at Michael Schlow’s sister restaurant in Glover Park, Casolare.
Alta Strada Mosaic
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax, Va.
Across state lines, Schlow’s Italian restaurant also serves up sgroppino with raspberry white peach sorbet, peach schnapps, and prosecco.
Redwood Restaurant and Bar
7121 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda, Md.
The blackberry-basil rum sorbet and prosecco was tested out for the first time last weekend at the European restaurant’s outdoor garden space. Though "a little dark for something so summery" it was a hit. Expect the drink to land on the menu in the next week or so, an employee tells Eater.