Washingtonians have no doubt that summer lasts beyond Labor Day. In fact, while fall arrives officially on Sept. 22, summer weather and a hankering for summer pleasures will continue beyond then. Which means there is still plenty of time to indulge in a refreshing, well-made fruit ice.

Making such a tangy and memorable frozen dessert requires absolutely no special machinery and fewer than five minutes of your time (well, maybe six minutes if warm weather slows you down). The distinction, if any, between a fruit ice and a sherbet seems to be getting more vague all the time.

Sherbet, generally speaking, is produced by constant churning in an ice-cream machine. The churning action prevents the development of large ice crystals as the mixture freezes, resulting in a frozen dessert of very fine texture.

Ices, which the Italians calls granitas, are made by the still-freeze method and are simply hand-stirred or not stirred at all. Consequently, they have a coarse, almost needle-like, feel when they hit the palate. This texture, plus the absence of egg white or milk often found in sherbet, gives ices a direct and dynamic taste. When made with fresh fruit pulp or juice and carefully chosen additional flavorings, ices -- in their sheer simplicity -- can make dramatic finales to a meal.

Unless otherwise directed, the ices that follow are to be still-frozen. It is difficult to assess the time required for the freezing process as there is so much variation in the efficiencies of home freezers. You may, however, assume that the ices will freeze in approximately the same amount of time it takes for your freezer to produce ice cubes.

The traditional method of still-freezing is to set the mixture in a shallow pan and place it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Then beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals three or four times at 30- to 45-minute intervals. You may either serve the ice when it has reached a slightly mushy state, or you may freeze it completely and then leave it at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes to soften somewhat before serving. This process produces a relatively fine textured ice.

However, a much simpler process is to set the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove it from the freezer about 10 to 20 minutes before needed to let it soften slightly. Then either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork and serve, or break it into finer crystals by processing it for a few seconds in a food processor. This process results in a more coarsely textured ice.

Ices are not normally scooped, but served by scraping along the top with a spoon or raking with a fork to give a fluffiness to the crystals. Their lovely colors are shown to best advantage when served in tall wine glasses, perhaps with a leaf or two of fresh mint on top for decoration. CAMPARI-GRAPEFRUIT ICE (4 to 6 servings)

For those who like the slightly bitter taste of campari and the acidic tang of grapefruit, this ice feels like a cool breeze on the tongue. We first discovered the superb combination in containers produced by a Manhattan firm known as New York Ice and were delighted to find this recipe in Nancy Arum's "Ice Cream and Ices" (Irena Chalmers Cookbooks, $5.95) which is as good as the original.

6-ounce can frozen grapefruit juice concentrate

2 cups water

1/4 cup campari

Dilute the grapefruit concentrate with the water. Stir in the campari, and still-freeze by pouring the mixture into a shallow pan and placing it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Every 30 to 45 minutes, beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Do this 3 or 4 times. Serve slightly softened. For a simpler method but coarser texture, set the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove from freezer about 10 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork or process in a food processor. EASY ORANGE SORBET (4 to 6 servings)

Here is Nancy Arum's recipe for the easiest ice of all.

1 quart orange juice

Superfine sugar to taste, if needed

Pour the juice into a suitable container, adding sugar if desired. (Remember that when frozen the mixture will taste less sweet.) Still-freeze by pouring the mixture into a shallow pan and placing it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Every 30 to 45 minutes, beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Do this 3 or 4 times. Serve slightly softened. For a simpler method but coarser texture, set the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove from freezer about 10 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork or process it in a food processor. WATERMELON ICE (4 to 6 servings)

According to Elizabeth Schneider, who developed this recipe for her cookbook, "Ready When You Are" (Crown, $15.95), "Most people find that this ice has more taste and verve than real watermelon."

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

4 cups chopped, seeded watermelon pulp

1/3 cup lemon juice, or to taste

Combine the sugar and water in a pot over high heat. Holding the handle of the pot, swirl the syrup until it boils. Turn down the heat and boil gently, covered, for 4 minutes. Cool.

Pure'e the fruit in a blender or food processor. There should be about 2 1/2 cups. Pour into a bowl and stir in the sugar syrup and lemon juice to taste. (The flavor should be tart.)

Still-freeze by pouring the mixture into a shallow pan and placing it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Every 30 to 45 minutes, beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Do this 3 or 4 times. Serve slightly softened. For a simpler method but coarser texture, place the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove from freezer 10 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork or process in a food processor. RASPBERRY ICE (4 to 6 servings)

This ice is from Sue Spitler's "Wild About Ice Cream" (Barron's, $5.95).

1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberry liqueur

A few drops fresh lemon juice

Heat the raspberries, water, and sugar to boiling in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the raspberries are very tender. Pure'e the raspberry mixture in a food processor or blender. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer; discard the seeds.

Stir in the liqueur and lemon juice to taste. Cool to room temperature. Still-freeze by pouring the mixture into a shallow pan and placing it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Every 30 to 45 minutes, beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Do this 3 or 4 times. Serve slightly softened. For a simpler method but coarser texture, set the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove from freezer about 10 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork or process it in a food processor. GRANITA DI LIMONE (4 servings)

Sicily is famous for its granitas. In this recipe from Jean Grasso's "The Best of Southern Italian Cooking" (Barron's, $15.95), fresh lemon juice is essential.

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

Rind of 1 lemon, grated

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks transparent. Cool to room temperature. Still-freeze by pouring the mixture into a shallow pan and placing it in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form around the edges. Every 30 to 45 minutes, beat the mixture with a mixer or stir vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Do this 3 or 4 times. Serve slightly softened. For a simpler method but coarser texture, set the mixture in a well-sealed plastic container and let it freeze into a block. Remove from freezer about 10 to 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Either rake it into coarse clumps with a fork or process it in a food processor. INSTANT PINEAPPLE ICE (4 to 6 servings)

Make this ice only if you have a really ripe pineapple, one that is fragrant, with leaves that pull out easily. This quick and clever recipe is from The Gold and Fizdale Cookbook (Random House, $19.95).

1 very ripe pineapple

2 tablespoons rum or kirsch

1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (optional)

2 to 3 tablespoons whipping cream

The day before you are planning to serve this ice, prepare the pineapple. With a heavy knife, cut it into quarters lengthwise. Cut off and discard the hard core. Working over a platter to catch the juices, use a curved, serrated grapefruit knife to separate the pineapple from the outer rind. With a sharp knife, cut 1-inch-wide wedges against the rind. Place the pineapple wedges and their juice in a freezer container. Freeze overnight.

Remove the pineapple from the freezer 15 minutes before beginning to prepare the ice. Separate the frozen wedges with a knife dipped into hot water. Place them, still frozen, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process with the rum until smooth and frothy. After 10 seconds, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Process again. Taste. Add confectioners' sugar or cream (or both) if you like and process an additional 2 to 3 seconds, although this ice is exquisite as it is. Serve at once.