Beat the Heat with This Boozy Granita Recipe

By Eric Twardzik · 08/14/2020

Granita, a chunkier cousin of sorbet, is a traditional Sicilian semi-frozen dessert made by mixing water and sugar with flavorings, oftentimes fruit. Local Greek fast-casual restaurant GreCo (which serves alcohol at its Seaport location) has adapted this treat from its Mediterranean neighbor into a boozy heat-reliever.

Xinomavro—a light, juicy wine that could be considered the Greek equivalent to pinot noir—is frozen into cubes and blended with fresh juices, simple syrup, frozen berries (any mix of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries should do the trick), and Metaxa 5 Stars, a Greek brandy made with Mediterranean botanicals.

While the fruity xinomavro capitalizes on the existing flavors of the berries and juices, the rich flavors of Metaxa bring balance and body to the drink and even add a little smoke.

Like other drinks that come out of a blender, this spiked granita works great as a batched cocktail and is primed for sharing. But if you’re drinking it solo—or wish to leave some for the next hot day—you can store it in the fridge for an additional three to four days.

Xinomavro Granita (yields 4 servings)
1 750ml bottle xinomavro (or other fruity red wine)
2 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (plus a handful for garnish)
¼ cup Metaxa 5 Stars
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup fresh pomegranate juice
¼ cup simple syrup
Orange slice, for garnish
Cinnamon powder, for garnish

Fill two standard-size ice cube trays with xinomavro (the entire bottle might not fit, but don’t worry—what’s in the trays will be enough). Freeze until solid, about 7 hours. While the xinomavro is freezing, combine Metaxa, juices, and simple syrup in a container, then seal and refrigerate. Once the xinomavro has frozen solid, add the cubes to a blender along with the chilled juice mixture and frozen berries. Blend on high until the mixture has a thick, slushy-like consistency. Pour into stemless wine glasses or highball glasses, and garnish with orange slice and cinnamon powder. If not consumed immediately, it can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

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