How to ... refresh yourself | Bleader

How to ... refresh yourself


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(With apologies to Madonna.) Granita, an exquisitely refreshing frozen treat, requires neither an ice cream machine nor, frankly, very much work—put it in the freezer and, when you feel like it, stir. The booze in this cucumber variation is optional but advisable: it prevents the granita from freezing too firmly, and it lends the mixture a nice gin-and-tonic tang.


1. Peel, remove seeds, and chop enough cucumbers to equal 1¾ c—one or two big ones should suffice.

2. Put the cukes in a blender. Add ¼ c sugar, 2 T lemon juice, 2 T lime juice (plus the zest of the lime that you're using), ¼ c water, and 2 T gin. Blend until smooth.

3. Strain through a fine sieve if you're fancy; if not, forget it. Pour into whatever freezer-friendly container will give the mixture the greatest surface area. A metal pan works nicely. Tupperware's fine, too.

4. Whisk every half-hour or so, making sure you're getting to the bottom and sides, for two or three hours.

5. Your granita should be crystalline but not slushy; it'll harden further as it freezes. When you're ready to serve, use a fork to fluff the granita up, then dish it out.