Zabaglione Cocktail Recipe

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Zabaglione Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Zabaglione, also known as Sabayon, is a classic Italian dessert made from egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine. The cocktail version of Zabaglione is inspired by this delicious dessert and has been enjoyed by dessert lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. The Zabaglione cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy sweet and creamy drinks, and it's often served as an after-dinner treat.

How Zabaglione Tastes?

The Zabaglione cocktail is sweet, creamy, and rich with a hint of fruity flavors from the sweet wine. It has a velvety texture and a luxurious mouthfeel, making it a delightful indulgence.

Interesting facts about Zabaglione

  • The Zabaglione dessert dates back to the 16th century in Italy.
  • The dessert is traditionally served warm, while the cocktail version is typically served chilled.
  • In France, the dessert is called Sabayon and is often made with Champagne instead of sweet wine.


  • Marsala wine: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Egg yolks: 2
  • Sugar: 1 tbsp
  • Heavy cream: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Vanilla extract: 1/4 tsp
  • Freshly grated nutmeg: 1 pinch
  • Garnish: Ground cinnamon

Marsala Wine

Marsala wine is the cornerstone of this festive cocktail, offering a rich, deep flavor and a slightly sweet backbone. Too much can overwhelm your palate, too little, and you'll miss the essence. No Marsala? Try substituting with Madeira or a sweet sherry for a different but intriguing twist.

Alex Green

Egg Yolks

These little golden wonders enrich the cocktail, giving it a luxurious, creamy texture. They're essential not just for consistency but for that rich taste. Skip them, and you'll end up with a wine spritzer instead of a Zabaglione. Remember, too many yolks, and your drink could become an eggy soup!

Emma Rose


It's all about balance! Sugar brings sweetness, which melds with the wine and eggs to create harmonious sips. Don't go overboard, or you'll feel like you're drinking your dessert, but cutting it entirely would lead to a flatter, dull affair. Not into granulated sugar? Try a drizzle of honey instead!

Mary Mitkina

Heavy Cream

This is the indulgence factor—cream adds a velvety, rich layer that cuddles the palate. But this cocktail isn't a milkshake; an excessive pour could drown the other ingredients. If cream isn't your style, you might use half-and-half for a lighter version.

Alex Green

Vanilla Extract

A drop of this potent elixir goes a long way. It brings aromatic warmth and depth to your drink, complementing the Marsala's inherent sweetness. Leave it out, and you might find your cocktail missing some complex notes. A vanilla bean pod could be a fancy alternative!

Emma Rose

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

This pinch adds a touch of holiday spice, making each sip feel like a celebration. Too much could overpower, but just the right amount whispers sophistication. If you're out of nutmeg, a sprinkle of cinnamon might just do the trick, albeit with a different kind of warmth.

Mary Mitkina

Ground Cinnamon (Garnish)

The finishing touch, this garnish not only adds to your cocktail's visual appeal but also introduces a layer of spiced aroma that invites the next sip. Without this dusting, the drink feels undressed; too much, and you're in cinnamon challenge territory.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Zabaglione Drink

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick.
  2. Add the Marsala wine, heavy cream, and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour the mixture into the shaker.
  4. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is well chilled and frothy.
  5. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass or coupe.
  6. Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a dusting of ground cinnamon.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving for the best experience.
  • Use freshly grated nutmeg for a more intense flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure a frothy and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings


  • Chocolate Fondant - The boldness of chocolate complements the richness of the Zabaglione cocktail.
  • Fruit Tart - A fruit tart with its fresh, tangy berries would offer a delightful contrast to the creamy and sweet nature of the drink.
  • Assorted Cheese Plate - Soft cheeses like brie or mascarpone could play well with the cocktail's smooth texture and wine notes.


  • Espresso - A shot of espresso alongside your cocktail blends the bitter coffee flavors with the sweet and creamy Zabaglione.


  • Aged Grappa - The clear, potent kick of a good Grappa as a digestif can cut through the dessert-like consistency of the Zabaglione.

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What you could change in Zabaglione

  • Marsala wine: Can be replaced with any sweet wine or champagne.
  • Heavy cream: Can be substituted with half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter version.
  • Sugar: Honey or agave syrup can be used as a natural sweetener.

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And of course - twists🍹

Citrus Zabaglione

Substitute Marsala with a sweet Orange Liqueur like Grand Marnier. Add a zest of an orange into the shaker. This twist gives the cocktail a fruity, citrusy lift, perfect for those who prefer a zesty kick to their sips.

Ingredients: Same as original recipe, replacing Marsala with 2 oz of Orange Liqueur.

Chocolate Zabaglione

Blend 1 oz of chocolate liqueur with the original ingredients. Garnish with chocolate shavings. This version is a chocoholic's dream, merging the seductive flavors of cocoa with the creamy Zabaglione base.

Ingredients: Original, plus 1 oz chocolate liqueur.

Spiced Zabaglione

Add 1/4 tsp of pumpkin spice to the mix and whisk it together with the rest. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. It's a Zabaglione with a Thanksgiving twist, offering warm, spicy flavors to those chilly evenings.

Ingredients: Original, plus 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice.

In case you forgot basics how to make Zabaglione

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Zabaglione

Can children consume Zabaglione cocktail?

No, the Zabaglione cocktail contains Marsala wine which is alcohol. Therefore, it is not suitable for underage individuals, pregnant women, and people with alcohol-related issues.

Can this cocktail be served in other types of glasses?

Yes, although the preferred glass is a chilled martini glass or coupe, it can also be served in other stylish cocktail glasses.

Is Zabaglione cocktail vegan?

No, the Zabaglione cocktail is not vegan due to the inclusion of egg yolks and heavy cream in its recipe.

Are there any popular variations of the Zabaglione cocktail?

Yes, some bartenders like to put their own spin on the classic Zabaglione cocktail with slight modifications such as using different sweet wines or adding other liqueurs for an extra kick.

What foods pair well with the Zabaglione cocktail?

As a dessert cocktail, it pairs exceptionally well with Italian pastries like cannoli or almond biscotti. It can also complement rich, creamy desserts like cheesecake or pots de crème.

Does the Zabaglione cocktail contain gluten?

It includes Marsala wine, which is generally considered gluten-free, though it may depend on the specific brand used. The cocktail's other ingredients, including eggs, sugar, cream, and vanilla extract, don't contain gluten.

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