Saturday, November 8, 2014

Green mint granita

This wonderfully aromatic water ice is delicious after spicy dishes as a palate cleanser or as a refreshing slushy drink on a hot day. Or serve it as an after-dinner frappé.

* Makes about 1 1/4 pints

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) boiling water
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint (preferably picked early in the day or used immediately after buying)
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • green food coloring (optional)
  • mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

Pour the boiling water onto the mint sprigs and sugar in a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally. Add the ice water and chill.

Strain the liquid into a freezer container and stir in the chopped mint (add a few drops of green food coloring if you wish). Freeze until partly frozen, then stir with a fork to break into crystals. Return to the freezer and refreeze until almost firm. Remove and stir with a fork to break into nice, even crystals.

Serve in iced tall glasses, with more sprigs of mint if desired.

Variations:
  • Crème de menthe frappé
Prepare the basic recipe, and serve in tiny iced glasses, with crème de menthe poured on top at the last minute, as an after-dinner liqueur water ice.
  • Mint & orange granita
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest. Serve in orange shells.
  • Mint & chocolate granita cups
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1/4 cup finely grated white chocolate. Serve in small dark chocolate cups.
  • Pineapple mint granita
Prepare the basic recipe, using pineapple mint. Serve scooped onto thick slices of sweet pineapple.
  • Crunchy peppermint ice
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy before starting to freeze.