The day Italian ice became of age

Posted: March 14, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives
Tags: , , , ,

As the heat of the oppressive sun rays caused us to break out in a sweat during our childhood outdoor activities, we were often met with a cone or dish of refreshing Italian ice. The colorful and sweet crunch satiated even the worst thirst.

Yet the days of running around playing outdoors have given way to laying out by the pool in hopes of a brazened appearance. But one thing remains: the adoration for Italian ice.

We have grown out of the days of blue raspberry and cherry ice syrup. I now offer you the grown up version of our beloved Italian ice: alcoholic granita. Granita is an Italian term defined by Dictionary.com as, a “semi-frozen dessert of sugar, water, and flavorings.”

I was introduced to these recipes by the Food Network’s gorgeous and renowned Italian chef, Giada De Laurentiis. The basic granita recipe can be prepared in matter of minutes, but it’s the grueling wait process that will have your mouth watering. As the spring weather approaches and you find yourself browning and burning within the confines of the Quad, don’t forget to pack this refreshing treat for you and your fellow bronze-goddesses. Warm rays of sun, a vodka slushy, and the prospect of tanned skin is the perfect recipe for a memorable spring day.

Cranberry Granita courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 cups cranberry juice (one 16 oz. bottle from a vending machine will suffice)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice (this can be procured from a half of a lime; perhaps the other half will accompany a buddy’s Corona?)
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, whisk together the cranberry juice and sugar. Continue whisking the sugar and juice until the juice has been completely incorporated. This should take no more than a few minutes. When the sugar had dissolved, pour the liquid into a freezer-proof container. A baking dish works best, but an elongated dish, bowl, or pan could suffice. The deeper the liquid is in the dish, the longer it will take to properly freeze.
  2. Once the cranberry-sugar liquid has been poured into the dish, add the vodka and lime juice and whisk together lightly. That’s it! Place your dish in the freezer for approximately two hours or until the liquid has become a slushy consistency. The wait is tedious and tempting, but the reward is great!
  3. Once the liquid has become slushy, take the dish out of the freezer and break up the granita with the prongs of a fork. Scoop into small glasses or to-go containers and you’re ready to enjoy!
  4. Looking for another twist? Try the lemon version of this same recipe by using lemon juice opposed to lime juice and limoncello (an Italian lemon liquor) in the place of regular vodka. Two different flavors for you to share and enjoy!

– Jon Gregalis

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