Cool off this summer with this refreshing Orange Basil Granita!  This light citrus and herb granita is sweet and tart and the perfect finish to any summer meal.

Today’s #SummerGrilling recipe has been sponsored by Torani and Joy Jolt, however, all opinions are my own. #ad #SPONSOR #SummerGrilling #ToraniFlavor #joyjolt

An image of an orange basil coconut granita in a glass with a spoon.

Orange Basil Granita

When I was a kid, I would make granitas all the time, only I had no idea that’s what they were called.  I had an obsession with the frozen lemonade from Disneyland.  You can’t get it any more – now they only sell premade Minute Maid frozen lemonades that are more like push pops in a paper cup – but it was essentially like a lemonade slushie and it was the most refreshing, heavenly treat ever on a hot day in the park.

I would try to recreate the experience at home by making up a batch of lemonade using cans of frozen lemonade concentrate, then pouring some of it into a cup and sticking it in the freezer.  Every so often I would stir it up, which would allow it to freeze into a spoonable slush rather than turn into a solid popsicle.

What is Granita?

Granita is essentially the same thing as my homemade frozen lemonade!  A granita is a semi-frozen dessert that originated in Italy and is similar to sorbet or Italian ice, except that it has a more granular texture instead of a creamy smooth one.  

Granita is made by freezing a mixture of juices, sugar, water, and other flavorings while periodically scraping the forming ice crystals into a sort of slush that is a little like snow cone consistency.  

An image of a large pan of orange basil coconut granita. An image of homemade orange granita with basil and coconut flavoring. An image of a orange basil granita in a glass.

Really, granita and sorbet are the same thing except that they have a different freezing process.  Sorbet is made in an ice cream maker and constantly churned while being frozen which makes a creamy smooth consistency.  Granita, on the other hand, has an icier, crunchier texture that is more rustic and less refined (but no less delicious!).  

Granita Flavors

You can make granita in almost any flavor you like! Here are some of the most popular granita flavors:

  • lemon
  • strawberry
  • melon
  • watermelon
  • almond
  • coffee

Pretty much any fruit can be turned into a granita, and herbs and other flavors can be added to make for really interesting combinations like lemon rosemary.

An easy way to customize and create your own granita is by adding Torani syrup to your granita base.  Torani syrups were created by an Italian American family from San Francisco who brought handwritten recipes for authentic flavored Italian syrups home with them after visiting family in Lucca, Italy, so it only makes sense to use them to create amazing granita flavors!  

We always have a variety of Torani syrups on hand, especially during the summer when we use them to make Italian cream sodas, another favorite treat that our girls are obsessed with.

I added some of Torani’s coconut syrup to this batch of orange basil granita and it was wonderful!  I think my next version might be a cherry pistachio granita using cherry juice and Torani’s new pistachio syrup.  

An image of two glasses filled with orange granita. An image of a large dish filled with orange basil coconut granita. An image of an ice cream scoop, sliced oranges, and melted orange basil granita.

How to Make Orange Basil Granita

  1. Make a basil simple syrup.  Combine the water and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and add in the fresh basil leaves, stirring to combine.  Let the syrup sit for 15 minutes off the heat.
  2. Make the juice mixture.  In a large bowl, combine the orange juice, coconut Torani syrup, vanilla, and salt.  Pour the basil syrup through a fine mesh sieve into the orange juice mixture and discard the basil leaves.
  3. Freeze and scrape.  Transfer to a 9×13-inch glass baking dish and freeze for 1 hour.  Pull out of the freezer and scrape the edges into the center with the tines of a fork.  Return to the freezer and repeat, scraping the mixture ever hour until the mixture is frozen and the texture of shave ice, about 4-5 hours.
  4. Garnish and serve!  Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and garnish with fresh basil leaves.  I used these gorgeous carre martini glasses from Joy Jolt, one of our Summer Grilling Week sponsors, and I think they really show off this beautiful granita!

An image of basil simple syrup.

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Orange Basil Granita
Yield: 10 servings

Orange Basil Granita

Cool off this summer with this refreshing Orange Basil Granita!  This light citrus and herb granita is sweet and tart and the perfect finish to any summer meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cups fresh orange juice from about 12 oranges
  • 1/2 cup coconut Torani syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the water and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and add in the fresh basil leaves, stirring to combine.  Let the syrup sit for 15 minutes off the heat. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the orange juice, coconut Torani syrup, vanilla, and salt. Pour the basil syrup through a fine mesh sieve into the orange juice mixture and discard the basil leaves.
  3. Transfer to a 9x13-inch glass baking dish and freeze for 1 hour. Pull out of the freezer and scrape the edges into the center with the tines of a fork. Return to the freezer and repeat, scraping the mixture ever hour until the mixture is frozen and the texture of shave ice, about 4-5 hours.
  4. Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95 Sodium: 60mg Carbohydrates: 22g Sugar: 20g

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?

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#SummerGrilling Week

This week, we’re sharing the best grill recipes and celebrating the start of summer with an amazing giveaway, sponsored by BBQGuys, Farmer’s Pantry, Joy Jolt, The Spice House, and Torani. Learn more about our sponsors HERE

Enter the #SummerGrilling Giveaway!

Grilling at summer weekend. Fresh meat and vegetables preparing on grill.

Official Rules and Conditions for the #SummerGrilling Giveaway: Official Rules and Conditions for the #SummerGrilling Giveaway: One grand prize winner will receive a prize package including:

  • iGrill Mini Grilling Thermometer from BBQGuys
  • Case of Cornbread Crisps from Farmer’s Pantry
  • Indoor Searing Grill from Hamilton Beach
  • Stella High Ball Glassware from Joy Jolt
  • Best Seller Collection from The Spice House
  • 1 Year Supply of Syrups from Torani
  • $100 via PayPal

Open to US residents 18+. One (1) winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize will be delivered electronically. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Giveaway ends 5/18/2019. Enter using the widget below. Comment each day for even more chances to win!

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