Courtesy The Culinary Institute of America at COPIA, Napa, CA
While ice cream or sorbet becomes smooth and creamy as it simultaneously churns and freezes, granita is only stirred occasionally, which results in a crunchy and refreshing texture. You can also let it freeze solid, then scrape the surface with a fork.
Pinot Noir, Merlot or Rioja all yield good results. Serve it in wine or cocktail glass garnished with blackberries and a mint sprig.
1¾ cups red wine
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup orange juice
¾ cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chill 13- by 9-inch glass or metal baking pan in freezer. In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients with 3 cups water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until sugar has dissolved and mixture has reduced slightly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Transfer to covered container and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Remove vanilla bean, if using. Transfer to chilled baking dish. Place in freezer. Stir mixture gently with whisk every 30 minutes until it resembles crushed ice, about 3 hours. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Freeze until needed.