Gin is my personal drink of choice; I love how complex its flavours can be and how each gin has a unique character. I’m always looking for ways to include it in cooking and I think this idea while not terribly inventive is a great way to highlight the flavour of some good quality gin.
A granita is a classic Italian dessert, similar to shaved ice its semi frozen with a texture similar to a slushie and often flavoured with fruit. This recipe combines some fresh summery flavours of watermelon, mint and lime that balance well with gin. There are two ways of serving this, firstly as a dessert spoon it over some natural yogurt, drizzle with honey and garnish with mint. It also works well as a cocktail, spoon a few tablespoons of the granita into a glass then add a shot of gin and 100mL tonic water.
The best gin for this recipe is something botanical that mirrors the other flavours of the granita, look for something with lime or mint as one of the main botanicals. I personally used Applewood Distiller’s Applewood gin and found it worked really well, its flavoured with dessert limes as one of its botanicals giving it a flavour tat works excellently with the watermelon.
Watermelon & Gin Granita
- 1 small seedless watermelon approximately 2kg
- juice and zest of 2 limes
- ½ bunch fresh mint
- ¾ cup good quality gin
- 1 cup caster sugar
- Remove the rind from the watermelon then roughly chop. Place into a blender along with the mint and blend to a liquid consistency.
- In a small saucepan, heat the lime juice, zest and sugar on low stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
- Combine with the blended watermelon and gin then mix well. Pour into two large shallow baking trays.
- Place into the freezer for 2 hours to set. Remove from freezer and use a fork to rake the mixture, it should break up into small crystals and have a slushie-like consistency. Place back into the freezer for a further 2 hours then repeat breaking up with a fork before serving.