The Aperol spritz has been selfishly hogging the summer spotlight. With its fizzy refreshing bubbles, sunset hue, and cute orange slice—I mean enough is enough, already! Sure, it’s delightful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make room in these long balmy evenings for another refreshment: the slushy, foamy Cava sorbet.

Italians don’t get to have all the fun—the Spanish also know how to keep it cool when the sun feels like it’s 20 feet from your face. Cava sorbet, or sorbete de limón al Cava, is made by mixing an icy, refreshing lemon dessert with a bubbly wine. The resulting drink (if served fast enough) is frothy, and temptingly slushy, but not in that suspicious frozen-margarita-mix kind of way. The foamy sweetness and bright citrus pop are sure to put a smile on your face, even through the sweat droplets. 

How to make a simple cava sorbet

This drink is dead simple to make, it’s almost mind boggling how it isn’t more popular already. Add eight ounces of lemon sorbet to a blender container, or into a deep measuring cup if you’re using an immersion blender like I do. Pour three or four ounces of Cava over the dessert, and drop in a fresh mint leaf or two. If you like a creamy drink, you can add a spoonful of cream or sweetened condensed milk to the concoction. Blend it all until smooth. Divide the mixture into wine glasses and enjoy. 

Chopped lemon sorbet popsicles ready to be transformed.
Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Can’t find Cava? No sorbet to be found? Thankfully, it’s a rather flexible ingredient list. My Shoprite in Brooklyn didn’t have lemon sorbet in a typical pint container, and the freezer with the small tubs of Italian ice was broken. So necessity took the wheel. I used Talenti mini lemon sorbetto popsicles. Yes, that is the shady professional operation I’m running over here. I broke the sorbet chunks off of the stick and moved on.

That’s not the only thing you can fudge. You can switch up the sparkling wine if you’re partial to prosecco instead, or even better, champagne. Cava is a sparkline wine made using the same traditional fermentation method as Champagne. You could even say Cava is the Spanish version of Champagne, so if you can’t find Cava, you know what to do. You’ll get an equally delicious flavor and no one has to know your Spanish beverage is French. Or is it Italian if you use sorbetto? I’ll get back to you on that, after I finish my Cava sorbet.