Project Description

Grapefruit and Campari Granita

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6 Servings
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Difficulty Level
Active Prep
Active Prep
15 min
Total Time
Total Time
4 hours 15 min/overnight chill

Bitter is better: Feeling bitter about the biting cold weather or the sheer distance between you and the summer sun? Embrace it by piling on more cold and bitterness — grapefruit and Campari — on ice. Granita is one of the easiest desserts you can make. It’s a dessert full of elegance and class, making the laziest of us look good. Most recipes call for scraping the granita several times over several hours. Pffft! Here, it’s unnecessary. Scrape it at the bitter end and it’s still flaky, light and fluffy.

See Cook’s Note on substitutions for superfine sugar.


Whisk together the juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, Campari and 1 cup water in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Taste, and depending on how sweet your grapefruit are, you may want to add more sugar. The sweetness dulls when the granita freezes, so make sure it’s a touch sweeter than you think you’d like. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch-by-13-inch or other shallow nonreactive baking pan and put into the freezer until frozen, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Scrape the icy mixture with the tines of a fork into large flakes, crushing any lumps. If the granita starts melting and turning slushy by the time you’re done scraping it, freeze again for 30 to 60 minutes. Just before serving, scrape once more into large flakes.

Serve granita in chilled bowls or cups or glasses, garnished with mint if desired.

Superfine sugar is also known as bar sugar or caster sugar. It’s great for easily dissolving into cold liquids. If you only have granulated sugar on hand, you can use a blender or coffee grinder to pulse the sugar into finer crystals — but not into a powder. Do NOT substitute with confectioners’ sugar. Alternatively, make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved; let it cool before adding it to the rest of the mixture.


  • 2½ cups freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup superfine sugar, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Campari
  • Mint sprigs, optional

special equipment

  • One 9-inch-by-13-inch or other shallow nonreactive metal baking pan
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