When the weather is balmy and fruit is bursting with juice, there’s only one refreshing dessert we want to make: granita. And since we’re really celebrating the heat, we add a boozy twist. This watermelon granita is stiffened with vodka. The astringent purity of the spirit goes perfectly with a mound of clean, sweet refreshing watermelon snow. It’s the kind of treat we want at a barbecue—it requires minimal serving effort, it’s sweet and spoonable like all good desserts, and the crisp flavors are a perfect palate cleanser after a fatty, smoky meat fest. (Plus, that burst of booze keeps the party going...)
Granita comes from Sicily, where it’s often served with a brioche and eaten for breakfast! Talk about la dolce vita. From the same Italian island that invented gelato, which is churned for hours for that super-rich, creamy texture, granita is for those who’d rather spend that time sunbathing on the spiaggia or taking a leisurely passeggiata while dessert ices up.
To make it, all you need is watermelon, lime, and sugar. As with other ice creams, the sugar in the base keeps the liquid from freezing solid; however, since granita isn’t churned, but rather scraped with a fork, the ice crystals are flakier—think fluffy snow. When you add vodka (high-quality, with a smooth finish), those flakes dissolve and the melted watermelon-citrus juice combined with spirit creates a daiquiri-like slush you could sip through a straw. But to add even more textural intrigue, we dice up some fresh watermelon and lay it at the bottom of each cup, reminding your taste buds where this delicious dessert began.
So if you want to say “Saluti” to sunny weather with this Sicilian tipsy watermelon granita, it's time to get scrapin’!
Click through for the recipe: https://www.pannacooking.com/recipes/watermelon-granita/