Are they a drink? Are they a dessert? I think they are probably both. But one thing these grown-up flavored italian ices definitely are is delicious! I made them for a BBQ we had and they were a great treat at the end of the night. Cold and light, sweet and fruity, but with a kick. They are super, super easy to make, and that plus the fact that they aren’t that big means you can make and everyone can try a couple different flavors. They are completely portable and you can easily halve, double, etc., the recipe.
The ices keep well in the freezer, but I’d recommend covering them as the directions specify, otherwise they start to evaporate. I also made a few that were virgin for the expectant mothers and they were delish as well. Only difference is that they freeze a bit harder, but in the hot summer sun, no one minded! Finally, I cut the sugar way down from the original recipe…I’d recommend starting with the amount below and tasting before you add more.
Mojito Italian Ices
½ tablespoon finely grated lime zest, plus 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 9 to 10 limes)
1 ½ cups water
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup chopped fresh mint, plus extra mint for garnish
¼ cup light rum
Puree lime zest and juice, water, sugar, and mint in a blender. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Stir in rum. Divide among twelve 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with mint sprigs. Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.
Strawberry Daiquiri Italian Ices
1 pound (4 cups) strawberries, rinsed and hulled, plus extra for garnish
⅔ cup light rum
½ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Pinch of coarse salt
Puree strawberries, rum, water, sugar, lime juice and salt in a blender until smooth. Divide among fourteen 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with strawberries. Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.
Margarita Italian Ices
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 9 to 10 limes), plus extra lime wedges for garnish
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup tequila
¼ cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
Heat sugar, water, and juices in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Stir together citrus syrup, tequila and Cointreau in a pitcher. Divide among twelve 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with lime wedges. Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2011.