St-Germain Granita 12.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

May 13, 2019

A French cocktail dinner (apéro dînatoire) almost always ends with a sweet bite, and this refreshing granita doubles as both cocktail and dessert. It combines crisp white wine with St-Germain, a delicate, elderflower liqueur that was created in 2007, for a bright and icy finish to the evening.

Make Ahead: The granita needs a few hours in the freezer, with occasional stirring. It can be frozen for up to 1 week.


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Tested size: 12 servings; makes 12 cups

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water, preferably filtered
  • 2 strips of peel and 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 strips of peel and 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) juice from 2 limes
  • One 750-milliliter bottle dry white wine
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) St-Germain elderflower liqueur (see headnote)

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Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup of the water in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves, to form a syrup. Add the citrus peels and remove from the heat. Let the syrup sit/infuse for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a container; discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Combine the wine, St-Germain, the lemon and lime juices and the remaining 3/4 cup of water in a large liquid measuring cup. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (to remove any pulp) into a 9-by-13-inch metal pan. Stir in the chilled citrus syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 1 hour or until the edges of the mixture have begun to crystallize.

Stir the contents of the pan with a fork, breaking up the frozen bits and near the edges, smashing them, and stirring them with the remaining liquid.

Return the pan to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring each time, and using a fork to scrape and mash up the frozen chunks. If the granita becomes too hard, soften it at room temperature for a few minutes and use a fork to stir it and smash it again into fine crystals, before returning it to the freezer.

Divide among small cups or glasses just before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Apéritif: 100 Recipes for Drinks and Snacks," by Rebekah Peppler (Clarkson Potter, 2018).

Tested by Kari Sonde.

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