Make delicious memories while celebrating summer and family fun with this refreshing and easy to make watermelon granita.
Its summer! Picture kids playing in the pool, family picnics, camping trips and road trips. And what would summer be without watermelon smiles and sticky little faces, dripping with watermelon juice.
One of my most popular posts on this old blog is how to make watermelon juice. It’s a huge hit with the family and is super refreshing. Another way to hydrate and beat the heat with our favorite fruit is to make some frozen watermelon granita.
What is the difference between sorbet and granita?
In its simplest form, sorbet is made from water and fruit puree or juice. You can also add sugar to it, depending on how sweet you like it. It contains no milk, cream or eggs. If it did, then it would be a sherbet.
A “granita” is a semi-frozen Italian dessert typically made with fruit juice, also known as “Italian Ice.” Different regions of Italy yields different textures of granita. A granita is more crunchy than the smoother sorbet.
If you like your granita coarse, then the best way is to make it by hand. And if you like a smoother granita, then it’s best to use an ice cream machine and stop when you get the texture you like. We made ours to be more of a watermelon slush, part ice, part juice.
How to make mint simple syrup
If your watermelon is super sweet, you definitely don’t need to add any sugar, honey or simple syrup to it. I liked the mint infusion this mint simple syrup added to our drink as it added a new flavor dimension to the granita.
A simple syrup is easy to make. Take equal parts water and sugar and bring it to boil in a small pot. Add a sprig or two of fresh mint and let the flavor blend together.
Simple syrups are a great way to add extra flavor and sweetness to anything. Keep extra flavored syrups on hand to use in your cocktails!
How to make a watermelon slush
Remove the rind from your watermelon and cut it up into chunks. In batches, toss all the watermelon pieces in a blender with the mint syrup and extra mint. Even seedless watermelons have a few random seeds.
Don’t worry. Any seeds get pulverized in the blender. I like to chill everything in the fridge before mixing it in the ice cream maker. I then mix it until a slushy, half-frozen texture is created.
You can also make a granita without an ice cream machine. Pour your juice mix into a freezer safe bowl and place it in the freezer for a few hours. Once it starts to freeze, use a fork to scrape it into large crystals then transfer to serving glasses.
Now you are ready to serve it up! It’s like slurping on an ice-cold watermelon – yum!
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2-3 sprigs of mint
- 7 lb seedless watermelon
- ½ cup packed with fresh mint
- In a saucepan bring sugar, water and mint to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove mint and let syrup cool.
- Remove rind and chop watermelon into chunks.
- In batches, purée watermelon chunks with mint and simple syrup until smooth in a blender.
- Chill watermelon mixture in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately.
- This can also be made without an ice cream machine. Transfer watermelon mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer until frozen solid, about 3-4 hours. Use a fork to scrape into large crystals and spoon granita into chilled glasses.
Cooking Tips: You can also substitute sugar with honey or omit altogether if watermelon is perfectly sweet!
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!
Disclosure: The Watermelon Board was kind enough to send me a watermelon to carve up. The opinions in this post are all mine. Come on, it’s watermelon! Who doesn’t love watermelon?!