Just in time for blood orange season, this granita, or Italian shaved ice, will take you straight into warmer weather and sunny days!
What is a Granita?
Granitas are frozen concoctions originating in Italy and are typically made with a combination of water and sugar as well as a variety of flavors. Granitas can vary in texture from a smooth ice almost like a snow cone to a more chunky or flaky texture like these.
The textures depend on the process of making these, but the easiest way is to freeze the contents and scrape the ice with a fork every hour or so. No machine is necessary to achieve this delicious and refreshing frozen treat!
You can find granitas of all flavors from citrus fruits to coffee, and they typically do not include alcohol. For this version, we wanted to make an adult version using rosé as the main ingredient for a fun twist on the traditional version!
Why add alcohol to granitas?
Aside from the obvious reason (we love cocktails – duh!), adding alcohol to your granitas results in a texture that we absolutely love. Alcohol doesn’t freeze the same as water and fruit juices, so you end up getting a flaky and delicate texture in this granita that is truly extravagant.
We chose to use rosé because it has a fairly low alcohol percentage and freezes more readily than a vodka or gin, which allowed us to use less water and juice. Additionally, we love rosé especially with the lovely blood orange and elderflower flavors in this version. Feel free to play around with different ingredients to find your favorite version!
How to make the Blood Orange Elderflower Rosé Granita?
Making the granita is very easy, but does take a few hours, so plan ahead! You just need a few ingredients and your freezer, and you are set for a delicious frozen treat! Just mix water and sugar with the ingredients listed below.
First, rosé wine is the main ingredient in this granita. Make sure you buy a nice Italian dry rosé for best results. And since you only use 2 cups for this recipe, go ahead and sip on the rosé while you wait for your granita to freeze.
Blood Orange Juice
The next most important ingredient here is blood orange juice. Of course this means you need to make these when blood oranges are in season if you are using freshly juiced oranges. For most people in the US, blood orange season starts in December and lasts through March. Outside of that time frame, you can look for blood orange flavored syrups or bottled juice, but this could be a challenge.
On the other hand, feel free to experiment with other citruses such as lemon or grapefruit if the coveted blood oranges are not in season.
Honestly, we add elderflower liqueur to almost any cocktail, and often desserts (case in point) because it adds the perfect sweet floral notes that compliment a ton of drinks and recipes. Seriously, give it a try on your next mimosa or cocktail. Our go-to is St-Germain, but you can find several options at your local liquor store that will work for this.
If you decide to leave this out, we won’t be too mad at you, but definitely give it a try at some point.
Freezing and Scraping the Granita
Now to finish your granita, all you need to do is add the contents to a freezer safe container – we like using stainless steel hotel pans like these – and wait a few hours, scraping the ice with a fork every hour.
The scraping breaks up the ice crystals and creates that flaky, fluffy shaved ice texture. This will take about 2-3 hours, but it’s very flexible if you leave it without scraping for longer. Generally, the more often and more thorough you scrape, the finer the texture will be.
We hope you enjoy this Blood Orange Elderflower Rosé Granita recipe! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
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