Last week we saw temperatures in the upper 90s with 80% humidity (and no rain!). This week I've noticed the cicadas are out already, which is hands-down the earliest I've heard them in years. All signs point to a hot, hot summer, so we're looking for ways to stay cool. The kiddie-pool is full and our drinks are on ice.
When Bernie brought home a watermelon, my first thought was to use it in some kind of gin drink. We have basil, rosemary, and mint in abundance, and gin is our go-to as soon as the weather gets warm. But even a watermelon cocktail didn't seem cool enough to help us beat that heat. So, why not an adult frozen dessert? Something brisk and light (even more so than a gin and tonic!) to sub in for our usual aperitif? I can say with 100% certainty: Nothing brings the temperature down like this deliciously refreshing watermelon and gin granita.
Watermelon & Gin Granita
1/4 Small Seedless Watermelon, Chunked
1 cup Water
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Lime Juice
1 bunch Fresh Basil or Mint
3/4 cup Gin
1. In a small sauce pan, combine water, sugar, lime juice, and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer just long enough to dissolve the sugar. Strain and set aside to cool.
2. In a food processor or blender, puree the watermelon chunks. Once liquified, add the sugar-water and gin. Pulse to blend.
3. Pour the mixture into a small casserole dish or shallow Tupperware. Freeze for 1 hour.
4. Using a fork, mix every 30 minutes until the granita takes on a slushy consistency.
5. Serve in small bowls with a sprig of mint or basil to garnish.