The problem is that the above list consists primarily of beverages of the alcoholic persuasion. And while I could surly expound upon the "medicinal" properties of 1 or 2 cocktails, lets face it... Alcohol dehydrates you. (this is what causes your hangover when you have too much) And when it's already hot outside, dehydration is never good thing. (though after 2-3 mojitos you probably wouldn't care)
Gelato and Ice Cream are delicious, however, one cannot live by frozen milk alone... Unless one enjoys also living with a spare tire, love handles and high cholesterol. So in an effort to cool my overheated blood, I turn to my third favorite summer time dessert (ok, sometimes I eat it in winter just cuz)
Enter the Granita.... A simple, but delicious, icy concoction made with everything from juice to espresso. And while I love Blood Orange and Grapefruit granitas, my favorite of all is... Yeah, I am sure you already guessed... Espresso...
Granita is a Sicilian born semifreddo (semi-frozen) desert that can have many different textures. From big thick ice crystals in Palermo to fine tiny ice crystals resembling a sorbetto (sorbet) or "Italian Ice", and everything in between. The choice is yours... I like mine kind of in between the two extremes so I get a little bit of that icy crunch.
Granita di Moka
4 shots of Espresso
1 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
A Steel Pan
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Confectioners' Sugar
optional - Tuaca or Brandy
A Frozen Glass
A spoon and maybe a mint spring
First you need to brew 4 cups of espresso. (I use my Moka pot instead of the machine cause I can do 4 cups at a time instead of having to pull a double shot twice)
Grab a steel pan, no aluminum please, coffee is acidic and it will react and taste like metal. (this one is 8x8, which is about right, you don't want it too small or the liquid will be too deep and you will have to wait too long for it to freeze)
MMMM Espresso... er, I mean MMMM Moka!
Pour the Espresso/Moka into the steel pan.
Sprinkle with the sugar and stir with a fork or kind of swirl it around to incorporate.
Let this come down to room temperature, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes. (make sure it's level)
After 15 minutes, remove from the freezer and scrape with a fork to break up the slush, then return to the freezer for 15 more minutes.
Remove from the freezer and scrape again,
Level out the ice slush and return to the freezer for 15 more minutes.
Again, remove from the freezer and scrape scrape scrape.... It will start becoming fluffy ice crystals.
Return to the freezer until ready to serve along with the glasses you will be using to serve this luscious Granita to your guests.
Before serving, whip up a little Heavy Cream with a touch of confectioners' sugar and a very tiny amount of Tuaca or Brandy. (You won't need much, just enough to give each serving a dollop on top.)
Remove the Granita from the freezer and give it a final scraping to break up all the ice crystals.
Remove the chilled serving glass....
Spoon into frozen glasses and top with a dollop of Whipped Cream.
Completely refreshing! and the light caffeine buzz will keep ya goin on a hot day.
MMMMMMM Extreme Iced Coffee!