First of all, I want to thank you for all your nice words about that book that came in the mail the other day. Yes, I have been carrying it around like a baby. I’ll admit it. The girls have been through it several times, and they have both identified their favorite photos of themselves. Joey has offered up his pillow for it to sleep on, but it seems to be perfectly happy sitting on my desk with the other cookbooks. Thank you for all your excitement. It makes me smile and feel warm and so much less nervous about the great unknown ahead. I really mean it.
Back to real life then. Or at least real-ish, as we’re talking about a boozy dessert. And, why, you might ask, am I talking about eating ices in January when there is so much of the stuff falling on our heads? We do not need to be refreshed or cooled; rather, January is for grounding warm foods and winter salads. And boozy ice? Even more perplexing. January is for swearing off the vices, for taking a break from those things that make us feel up or down with such swift effectiveness. In January, we drink water. Maybe green tea. All true. All true.
The answer, friends, is that right now, at the store or perhaps (if you are lucky) in some box that someone bought for you that has arrived in the mail, there are so many grapefruits waiting to be handled, split and emptied of their sweet and bitter nectar. The grapefruits are here, and they’re calling you. The pink ones are especially seductive, and that’s what we’re looking for here.
And the booze? What can I say? It’s January and all, but I won’t tell if you don’t. And the Campari with all of its lovely bitterness brings out the best in the grapefruit, as well as making the whole shebang very very pink. It’s the weekend. Let’s have a drink.
Making an ice, or a granita if you want to be fancy about it, is quick and simple, as long as you plan ahead. Despite the summery reputation of the dessert, an ice is a great way to end any of the meals that I keep turning to in these dark days, and it’s special enough to serve when friends come over. Chicken pot pie? Beef stew? Mac and Cheese? Yes, Yes, Yes. But it’s hard to look a chocolate cake in the eyes after a meal like that. This one, however, goes down just right.
Grapefruit Campari Ice
2 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, from about 4 medium grapefruits (including the pulp if there is some in the juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Campari
If the grapefruits have been refrigerated, bring them up to room temperature. Squeeze every bit of juice out of them.
Combine about 1/2 cup grapefruit juice with the sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is just dissolved. Add the sugared juice back into the rest of the juice. Stir in the Campari as well.
Transfer the mixture to a shallow, freezer safe container. Freeze for at least 8 hours, but up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve, use a fork to break up the ice, essentially shaving the ice. Scoop into small glasses and serve immediately.