The perfect Sicilian dessert for hot summer days
Granita is a deliciously grown-up slushie. Originally from Sicily, granita siciliana is a frozen dessert made from water, sugar and fruit or fruit puree. Coarser than sorbet with a crystalline, snow-like texture, it is quite refreshing on a hot summers day and is the perfect ending to a bbq when something light is required.
Forever experimenting in my kitchen I decided that a gin and tonic granita is the natural progression from a cold G&T in a tall highball glass with condensation frosting the outside of the glass.
Granita is easier than ice cream to make. You don’t need special equipment like an ice cream machine. All you need are a few basic items you already have in your kitchen. Most importantly a fork!
In this recipe, I used Hendriks Gin as I thought it would go well with the cucumber and London Essence elderflower tonic I was using. But any good gin will do. Pick your favourite. Experiment. It must be a good quality gin though as there is no hiding in this recipe for mediocre gins.
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup of your favourite gin
3 1/2 cups tonic water
2-3 inch piece of cucumber peeled and deseeded
Juice of 1 lemon
Mini food processor
- Dissolve the sugar with 120ml water in the saucepan over a medium heat.
- You now have a basic and versatile simple sugar syrup that can also be used in cocktails.
- Blitz the peeled and deseeded cucumber to a pulp in the mini food processor.
- Pass the pulp through a fine sieve to extract the cucumber juice.
- Add the gin, simple sugar syrup, tonic and lemon juice to the cucumber juice.
- Pour into a food grade plastic shallow food container* and place in the freezer.
- Remove every half hour or so and whisk with a fork.
- Repeat until frozen. The granita should look coarse and grainy, like snow, not smooth like a sorbet.
The granita will freeze quicker if you pour the mixture into a shallow container.