Blackberry-Basil-Lemonade Granita

My go-to drink for summer gatherings is homemade blackberry lemonade. For blackberry lemonade cocktails, I recommend vodka; don’t fret that your granita cocktail won’t freeze, though, even if the bottle of vodka in your freezer never has. Because the vodka is mixed with other liquids, it will freeze after a few hours. If you prefer, the same amount of gin works well, too.

Blackberry-Basil-Lemonade Granita and Easy Peasy Berry Squeezy Cocktail

Serves | 4 |

Granita

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2¼ cups lemonade, divided
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 to 7 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Cocktail

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1½ cups lemonade, divided
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 to 7 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup vodka

| Preparation – Granita | In the bowl of a blender, purée berries. Strain berries through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds; this will yield about 2 cups of liquid. Set aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, add ¼ cup lemonade and sugar and muddle in basil leaves; let sit for a few minutes before straining and discarding basil. Add remaining lemonade to cup and stir. In a large glass bowl, combine blackberry liquid with lemonade and stir. Spread across a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan and cover with aluminum foil; transfer to freezer. Using the back of a fork, scrape and stir every 30 minutes for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil leaves and serve.

| Preparation – Cocktail | In the bowl of a blender, purée berries. Strain berries through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds; this will yield about 2 cups of liquid. Set aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, add ¼ cup lemonade and sugar then muddle in basil leaves; let sit for a few minutes before straining and discarding basil. Add remaining lemonade to cup and stir. In a large glass bowl, combine blackberry liquid with lemonade and vodka and stir. Spread across a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan and cover with aluminum foil; transfer to freezer. Using the back of a fork, scrape and stir every 30 minutes for at least 3 hours. Garnish with remaining basil leaves and serve.

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Amanda Wilens is a contributing writer and photographer for Feast Magazine. She is also an event planner and food blogger based in St. Louis.

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