Limoncello Granita

Transport yourself to the Mediterranean coast of Italy with this quick Limoncello Granita recipe.

Suddenly, I'm on the pebble beach of Vernazza in Cinque Terre with the brightly painted houses covering the cove's mountain side. The beautiful turquoise water smells salty and I'm enjoying a Limoncino - a tangy, light and sweet lemon wine made locally.

Granitas are perfect for a light dessert. Picture a flaky thin Italian ice - with a hint of liquor. With just a little bit of Limoncello, lemon juice, sugar & water, you'll have the perfect treat to cool off after a beautiful summer dinner outside.

Servings: 4-6

Time: 15 minutes prep; 2-3 hours in the freezer


  • 2 cups water

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup Limoncello*

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • Sprigs of basil and/or lemon zest for garnish


  • Stir the water and sugar together in a small pot. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer after boiling & cook for 5 minutes additional.

  • Let cool for 20 minutes.

  • Mix in Limoncello and lemon juice. Pour mix into a freezer safe dish & put in the freezer.

  • Every 30-45 minutes, scrape the mix with a fork to create flaky thin layers. Mix will fully freeze within 2-3 hours and ready to serve. (This can also be left in the freezer overnight, and just needs to be scraped well into fine flaky pieces the next day.)

  • For serving, scrape mixture again and spoon into small bowls. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and/or lemon zest.

*In North Carolina, the liquor stores are governed by the state so there are limited options for some liquors. We like Villa Massa Limoncello. This is a pretty potent & sweet Limoncello though. We recommend slightly adjusting the amount of sugar used to ensure the Limoncello you find doesn't make this overly sweet. Recipe adapted from Cooking Channel.

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Chelsea Boccardo Smith

Chelsea is the creator and founder of At Chelsea's. She enjoys sharing home entertaining tips, recipes, and menu ideas. Find time saving checklists & party planning guides on her Etsy shop. When she's not writing about her most recent party, she's out trying a new restaurant or taking her dog, Amber, for a long walk.
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