Aperol and Grapefruit Granita

The winter holidays are a time of indulgence, decadence, and endless feasts where each host does his or her best to impress their guests. This often leaves us with full bellies and bulging waistlines. This holiday season, skip the heavy dessert and offer your guests a refreshing granita to satisfy and provide much-needed contrast to the typical flavours featured during the holiday.

Granita finds its origins in Italy, where the flavours and textures vary from city to city. In its essence, it is a flavoured ice, typically served as a dessert. Here we are aiming for a rustic texture, akin to that of a snow cone, but made more adult with the inclusion of Aperol.

A bitter aperitif, Aprerol has flavours reminiscent of Campari, with notes of bitter orange and rhubarb. However, Aperol contains less alcohol, making it perfect for freezing.

Here the bitter notes of Aperol are paired with similarly bitter flavours of grapefruit to provide curiosity and contrast to any holiday menu. This can be served as a dessert, or if you are having a multi course dinner, it can be served as an intermezzo, during which the bitter notes and iced texture will perform perfectly as a palate cleanser.


2 cups of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

½ cup of Aperol

1/3 cup of Orangina

Mint leaves for garnish (optional)


In a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish, combine all of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Every 30 minutes, use the tines of a fork to scrape the mixture, being sure to break up any large chunks of ice. Repeat for 3 – 4 hours, until you are left with a product that has solid shards of ice that can be scooped.

When ready to serve, scoop into small, chilled dessert dishes and garnish with a mint leaf.