Spiced Hibiscus Granita

Spiced Hibiscus Granita Dessert RecipePhoto by Paul Body A light, cooling dessert inspired by the Caribbean.

Visiting the Caribbean island of Trinidad as a teenager, I first tasted the luscious and spicy deep red punch called Sorrel. I think it’s even more refreshing made into a frozen granita that’s just the thing for a light end to a meal. The Velvet Falernum, a liqueur made in Barbados that tastes of limes and clove, helps the granita have a slushy consistency. Hibiscus or jamaica tea bags are available in the Latin food section of most markets.

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  • 1-1/2 cups dry sparkling wine
  • 6 hibiscus tea bags
  • 2-inch section orange peel, white pith removed
  • 2-inch section lemon peel, white pith removed
  • 1-inch piece ginger root, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup syrup ( see note)
  • 1/8 cup Velvet Falernum
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Put sparkling wine in a small pot over medium heat. Place tea bags, citrus peels, ginger root, allspice and cinnamon in a glass measuring cup or medium bowl.

  • 2

    When the wine is starting to simmer but isn’t quite boiling, remove from heat and pour over the tea bags and spices. Let steep for 5 minutes, until the liquid is deep red and fragrant. Discard tea bags and spices. Add the simple syrup, Velvet Falernum and lime juice to the wine mixture.

  • 3

    Let cool to room temperature. Pour into a shallow metal or glass pan, cover and place in the freezer. Let freeze for and hour or so. When it hardens, remove from the freezer and use a fork to fluff up the granita. Return to the freezer for another hour or so and repeat.

  • 4

    Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and store the syrup in a sterilized bottle once it’s cool. Keeps for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.

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