Gin and Tonic Granita

Gin and tonic granita, in addition to being an absolute summer must, is a palate cleanser, an easy frozen dessert, an aperitif, a conversation starter, and so, so many other marvie things. 

Frozen gin and tonic granita.

Gin and tonic granita. An inspired antidote to lazy, languid summer days, whether you consider it an aperitif, a palate cleanser, dessert, or just something essential to keep a stash of in the freezer at all times.–David Leite

Gin and Tonic Granita FAQs

Can I serve this to children?

Since the alcohol is not cooked off from this granita, it should not be served to minors. Stick with an alcohol-free option, like this cantaloupe granita or this blood orange granita, if serving to children or anyone abstaining from alcohol.

Can I make granita with a different type of alcohol?

Sure. If you prefer tequila over gin, try out this margarita granita recipe.

Gin and Tonic Granita

Frozen gin and tonic granita.
This easy granita is like a perfect gin and tonic, in the form of a frozen dessert.

Prep 25 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total 4 hours 25 minutes
6 servings
123 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 grapefruit (yellow, pink, or ruby red) preferably organic
  • A few sprigs fresh mint (about 1 oz | 28 g)
  • Scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Generous 1 cup cold water
  • Generous 1 cup cold tonic water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons gin
  • Grapefruit bitters for serving (optional)


  • Finely grate about 1 tablespoon zest from the grapefruit. Squeeze about 1/2 cup (120 ml) juice from the grapefruit.
  • Put the grapefruit zest, mint and sugar in a saucepan with the water. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Then, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat immediately and add the tonic water, gin, and grapefruit juice. Leave to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator, about 1 hour.
  • Strain the liquid into a freezer-proof container. You need the container to be fairly wide so the granita is quite shallow and preferably no more than 1-inch (2.5-cm) deep. A 9-by-13-inch baking dish or roasting pan works nicely.
  • Freeze for about an hour, until a layer of ice has formed around the edge of the granita. Scrape this off with a fork and beat it into the rest of the mixture. Repeat this 5 to 6 times, every 30 minutes, until you have a granita formed of ice crystals.
  • Transfer the granita to a container with a lid for storage. Leave in the freezer until you are ready to eat, but if you are leaving it for any length of time, you are going to need to break it up fairly regularly.
  • Serve the gin and tonic granita in small glasses splashed with a dash of grapefruit bitters, if you like.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 123kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 27g (9%)Protein: 0.3g (1%)Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 57mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 25g (28%)Vitamin A: 472IU (9%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 12mg (1%)Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This gin and tonic granita is an easy recipe for a summer dinner party, show-stopping dessert! I have been saving this one for my friend’s birthday celebration; it was just what I needed for this early summer dinner. It’s easy to follow and if you leave yourself enough time, you can have the perfect summer dessert.

I started this in the morning and it was ready for dinner! It took 2 hours to freeze, stirring every 30 minutes. I left it for 2 hours in a container before serving. I used Fever Tree brand tonic. It might be fun to serve a few fresh raspberries or blackberries on top. I served mine with some simple sugar cookies.

G&T is my Friday night tipple of choice, so I had to try this recipe! Although not strongly gin-flavored, this soft granita tastes like a cocktail frozen into a slushy—slightly bitter, zesty, and very fresh. Perfect after a rich meal or on a hot evening sitting out on the terrace.

I used Fevertree Naturally Light Tonic Water and Bombay Sapphire gin—a winning combination in a glass, so I hoped it would come up trumps in the granita! Do set the timer to remind you to stir it with a fork every 30 minutes, as it’s very easy to get distracted and it would then freeze into a solid lump. I stirred it 6 times over the course of 3 hours, and then served—the texture was frozen but soft and velvety.

It wouldn’t last for long out of the freezer but was absolutely delicious. When I make it again (as I’m sure I will!) I will add the tonic water just before it goes into the freezer rather than before chilling the mixture—I’m hoping some of the bubbles will remain and give it a slightly fizzy texture. I will also be adding more mint and (ahem) a touch more gin to make the flavor more pronounced.

Originally published June 24, 2017


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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