Wild, Sweet and Cool
With his reputation for working with seasonal ingredients, Bar Pleiades’ esteemed mixologist Darryl Chan shares with us his winter-inspired cocktail recipe du saison: the cranberry granita champagne cocktail.
Known as granita siciliana in Italy, granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in different forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. In this cocktail version, tart, crisp cranberries balance the sweetness, with thyme adding an herbal touch.
Darryl Chan’s Cranberry Granita Champagne Cocktail Recipe
- 3 cups fresh cranberry juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup spiced rum (or substitute with vodka or dry gin)
Whisk the cranberry juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add sprigs of thyme and let cool completely.
Once cool, remove the sprigs and pour the cranberry mixture into a 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Whisk in the lime juice and spiced rum.
Freeze until the granita has a uniform, slushy consistency, stirring every hour to incorporate the frozen portions (about 5 hours.) Keep frozen.
When ready to serve, scrape the granita with fork tines, forming icy flakes. Spoon into a coupe or martini glass. Top with champagne, garnish with cranberries and a thyme sprig. Enjoy.