Vodka Watermelon & Basil Granita – Heat Wave Treats

This vodka watermelon granita is so refreshing you might actually forget about climate change and how hot it is right now. It’s a sizzling 35ºC of death right now in Maastricht with a very unsympathetic hot sun shining over the past week. The solution? Staying in the shade and eating cold things from the freezer. And preferably something with booze in it. The best part about this recipe is all you need is a fork, a container and a freezer to get going. No fancy ice cream machine needed.

What’s granita?

A classic Italian dessert that is coarse in texture and made by freezing a flavoured liquid and scraping it down once in a while to make delicious ice crystals. You can use this technique with almost any flavour including coffee, almond, limoncello, orange and meyer lemon.

Vodka watermelon granita ready to go

Do I need the booze?

You can absolutely leave out the alcohol but it will freeze more and the texture will be slightly different. The alcohol prevents the ice from freezing completely making the granita more juicy. But if you don’t drink alcohol then I still highly recommend you try this without!

Do I need the sugar?

You can definitely leave out the sugar if you want. Especially if you find really sweet watermelon.

Pouring the watermelon granita into the container to freeze.

Chef tip

  • Use really ripe watermelon for the best results. Ripe watermelon will have a more intense flavour when frozen.
  • A super small sprinkling of salt added to the mixture will help to maximize the natural flavour in this dessert.
  • Place your desired serving cups in the freezer to keep the watermelon granita from melting too quickly.

Vodka Watermelon & Basil Granita - Heat Wave Treats

It's cold. It's refreshing. And there's vodka in it. This vodka watermelon and basil granita is easy and the perfect remedy for heat wave temperatures.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Freezing time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Calories: 532kcal
Cost: 6€


  • Fork
  • Freezer
  • Plastic/Glass container with lid
  • Blender
  • microplane


  • ¼ piece watermelon 600g peeled, de-seeded and extra ripe
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ piece lime juice & zest
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 light sprinkle salt super small sprinkling
  • basil leaves for garnish


  • Combine everything together and blitz in the blender until smooth.
    All the ingredients in a bowl ready to be blended.
  • Pour into one or two flat containers with a lid. Freeze for 1½-2 hours. Place your serving glasses in the freezer also.
    Pouring the blended mixture into containers with lids.
  • Scrape the granita with a fork to make nice ice crystals. Put back in the freezer and repeat after 30 minutes.
    Scraping the granita to make nice ice crystals.
  • Serve the granita in cold glasses with a fresh leaf of basil on top. It's really nice to eat this with fresh cut watermelon on the side. Enjoy!
    Finished granita in two glasses with fresh basil on top.
Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 1260mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 94g | Vitamin A: 6401IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a comment below 🙂
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    • Well hopefully not with the vodka in it Mary 😉 hehe. Lemonade granita is a great idea for the kids! Have you tried it with limoncello? Another one for adults that I love in the summer.
      Thanks Mary!

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