Ice cream, Popsicles and snow cones are all essential summer treats, yet the most refreshing and easy-to-assemble might be a granita. The Italian dessert is made by puréeing ingredients (usually fresh fruit, herbs and spices) in a blender until smooth, and then evenly spreading it across a sheet pan before freezing, stirring and then freezing it again. The final result is coarse – or grainy, thus the name – ice crystals. If you’re looking for something stronger to enjoy poolside, you can easily add a shot of your favorite wine or spirit before the initial freeze.
In the following pages we're sharing 10 recipes – five non-boozy granitas, plus five modifications to those base recipes for cocktail versions. These recipes make the most of fresh summer produce, including strawberries, peaches and blackberries, resulting in refreshing frozen treats to cool down hot summer days.
Before you get started
Make sure you have a large metal baking pan (a 13-by-9-inch pan is ideal) to ensure your granita freezes quickly and evenly. If you forget to stir and scrape the granita, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes to slightly thaw, and then mix and repeat the preparation process.