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Granitas are the easiest of frozen confections to make, and light enough to eat all summer long. Try these recipes for Aperol-citrus and mocha ices. The full story here.

“I ENCOUNTERED my first granita—Italy’s slightly more granular take on sorbet—on a Roman holiday when I was 14. Having checked into our Via Veneto hotel, my family immediately set off in search of la dolce vita and some refreshment. By the time we’d parked ourselves at a sidewalk café, the sweltering August heat had reduced us to puddles. The snow-cone-like confections on a neighboring table looked like salvation itself. We pointed, our waiter nodded and, in short order, coffee- and lemon-flavored versions arrived, generously topped with silky whipped cream.
Granitas got us through the muggy treks from church to church, museum to museum. Of course we ate gelato too (when in Rome…), but granitas, being lighter, lent themselves more readily to multiple indulgences each day.
Years later, I started making my own granitas and tried flavoring them with everything from berries and herbs to Earl Grey tea. Soon I made the leap from dessert ices to boozy and savory iterations. A frozen Aperol cocktail is heaven on a sultry evening; a tomato- or mint-infused granita smartly separates one dinner course from the next.
Even if Italy is not on your summer itinerary, granitas should be. They require no special equipment and take just minutes to concoct, pour into a dish and pop in the freezer. Beyond those simple steps, all that’s left is to stir every so often to produce the requisite snowy texture. Alternatively, you can seal the liquid inside a Ziploc bag and leave it to freeze undisturbed; a final pummeling with a mallet or a quick whizz in the blender will do the necessary pulverizing. With the latter method, you’ll get a cooler that’s a bit slushier but no less restorative on a summer day.
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Aperol-Citrus Granita
Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 3¼ hours (includes freezing) Serves: 4
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup freshly squeezed grape-fruit juice
½ cup Aperol
½ cup vanilla sugar or regular sugar
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon orange bitters or more to taste
Finely grated orange zest, for garnish (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Cover dish with plastic wrap and place in freezer. Use a fork to stir mixture every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks, until granita is frozen, about 3 hours total.
2. To serve, scoop granita into chilled serving glasses. Garnish with orange zest, if desired.
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Mocha Granita
Active Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 3½ hours (includes freezing) Serves: 6
3 cups hot espresso or double-strength coffee
⅓-½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons finely chopped semisweet or bitter sweet chocolate
½ cup cold heavy cream whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar, for garnish (optional)
1. Combine coffee, sugar and chocolate in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Let cool 30 minutes.
2. Once mixture has cooled, cover dish with plastic wrap and place in freezer. Use a fork to stir mixture every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks, until granita is frozen, about 3 hours total.
3. To serve, scoop granita into chilled serving glasses. Top with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Source: Wall Street Journal, By GAIL MONAGHAN, July 16, 2014