Nothing beats the heat on a hot summer day like a frozen dessert and one of the most convenient for the occasion is a Granita. Similar to Italian ice, this confection simply consists of some flavoring (puree, juice, tea, coffee, wine, etc) frozen in a pan, scraped up and served as loose ice crystals. It sounds simple, and it really is, but that doesn't mean confectioners should pass up the opportunity to make things a little more complex and fun.

In fact, the simplicity of a Granita just opens up the door for experimentation and today's recipe is a fine example.

It takes a simple coffee flavored base and throws some rum into the mix. Although this combination of flavors isn't all that original especially when used for confections, it's guaranteed to make a regular Granita on a hot summer day feel all the more special. And if that's not enough, this recipe will include some interesting variations taking things to an even higher level.

The recipe


  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Bittersweet chocolate shavings as needed (optional)


  1. Pour the water into a large kettle and bring to a boil. Transfer to a large bowl and steep the ground coffee for a few minutes. Strain over another bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the brewed coffee with all of the other ingredients the bowl.
  3. Pour the coffee/rum mixture into a shallow stainless steel pan and freeze for 3 hours or until the liquid starts to harden. N.B: Granita can also be frozen overnight to be served the next day.
  4. When it's time to serve, scrape the surface of the frozen Granita with a fork to loosen the ice crystals and scoop into serving dishes with a spoon or ice cream scoop. Whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until it reaches soft peaks. Spoon a tablespoon of the whipped heavy cream on top of each Granita and garnish with the bittersweet chocolate shavings.

Serves: 6


  • Granita De Caffe - Substitute espresso for the coffee.
  • Rum Latte - Substitute steamed milk for the boiled water. Substitute the coffee for espresso.
  • Cappuccino - Add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon in Step 1.
  • Calypso - Add 1 teaspoon of Tia Maria or Kahlúa liqueur in Step 2.
  • Coconut - Substitute coconut rum for the regular rum. Substitute toasted coconut for the chocolate shavings.
  • Jamaican - Substitute dark rum for the regular rum. Add 1/2 teaspoon of allspice in Step 2.