I hope you’re staying cool blog friends. More and more recently, FaceBook has literally become ablaze with the cries of those suffering from immense heat. So far, my dear husband and I have been lucky to be living a city currently escaping a heat wave that has seemingly taken over, well, everywhere.
The latest weather reports bring me back to my last brutal Summer in New York City. Sweating with my fellow commuters – breathing a collective sigh of relief as we step into the gloriously air conditioned subway car (or cursing aloud if we’ve fought our way into the one car where the ac is broken), standing in front of the closet every morning, wondering how little I could wear while still remaining professional, and laying awake each night, debating back and forth ‘Is it hot enough yet or can I hold out?’ before finally giving in and putting the ac unit in at 2am.
It was those memories that made me decide that for this post, I wanted to offer something cold, something crisp, something refreshing. A well-deserved treat for beating the heat…….a granita.
The lemon is tart, the grapefruit is sweet. Both versions require little to no effort and omit the extra step of creating a simple syrup. No simple syrup means, no stove! Plus, you get the added bonus of a few frigid blasts from the freezer as you help it all come together. To elevate this to an ‘adult’ frozen cocktail, feel free to add Limoncello, vodka, white wine, or any other of your go-to favorites.
4.5 large lemons, juiced. (I’m ok with pulp, so I chose not to strain and just removed the seeds).
2 cups warm water.
Sugar to taste. ( I used 4 tblsp.)
Optional: Zest of 3-4 lemons (increases lemon flavor and tartness).
Combine all the ingredients, making sure the taste is to your liking, and pour into a freeze safe container. Shallow and wide is technically better for the freezing process, but not essential. Place in freezer and allow to sit for an hour or more, until the liquid just starts to freeze. Using a fork, break the mixture up into slush every hour or so for the next 3-4 hours, serve once it’s reached desired consistency or cover and leave to freeze entirely. If serving at another time, let it defrost for a few minutes, then scrape with a fork as you did before.
(Can’t be bothered to babysit the slush? You could probably let the whole thing free over, defrost slightly when you want to serve, then break it apart then. It is just ice after all.)
2 large red grapefruit, juiced. (Same straining story here).
1 cup warm water.
Sugar to taste. ( I used 2.5 tblsp.).
Same directions as above. Serves 3-4.
Lastly, if you can stand to turn on the stove for a few minutes, strawberry basil is a brilliant flavor combination and definitely worth it. Make a basil simple syrup, add to pureed strawberries, freeze, and there you have it. With all the fresh herbs and produce of summer, the possibilities are endless. Happy chilling!
UPDATE! I recently made a cherry lime version and it was delicious! Tart, sweet, and beautiful. Zest of 3 limes, juice from 6 limes, a handful of ripe cherries (which I smashed with a fork in a seperate bowl in order to break them down and release their juices, since I don’t have a blender or food processor at the moment), 2 1/2 cups of water, sugar to taste. Same freezing rules apply.