Saturday, August 23, 2014


Coffee granizado.

I adore Spanish bar coffee—strong espresso with a shot of foamy, hot milk, served in a short glass.  But, in this hot weather, steamy coffee offers no pleasure. I order a tall glass of ice cubes and, after sweetening the coffee to taste, I pour it over the ice. Still tastes wonderful, but now it’s cold. I chill out with the local newspaper at my favorite café in the plaza.

Café con leche and a glass of ice.

My iced coffee reminds me of one of summer’s treats from many years ago, before there were ice cream stands on every corner, enjoyed on infrequent trips into Málaga city. There, on Calle Nueva, was a famous heladería, Casa Mira, founded in 1890, that served wonderful house-made ice creams (turrón ice cream was a specialty) and granizado de café.

A granizado is somewhere between a granita and a slushie—strong, sweet coffee turned into crystalline ice. Add a dollop of ice cream (a favorite flavor was nata—cream—plain vanilla without the vanilla) or sweetened whipped cream and call it a blanco y negro—“white and black”.

So, why not make coffee granizado at home? What a lovely idea.

Easy method: pour cold, strong, sweetened coffee over crushed ice, stir.

Frozen coffee.
Or, freeze the coffee and grind it to snow. Use either 4 cups of freshly brewed coffee, sweetened to taste, or instant coffee (“gold” brand) and water. Freeze, break up the ice and use an immersion blender to blend to slush. Blending incorporates air and turns the ice to “snow.” The ice will change color, from dark coffee to what looks like milky coffee, though it contains no milk.

As the granizado melts, the coffee separates from the "snow."

Serve the ice in short coupes or tall glasses. The slush begins to melt quite rapidly, separating into snow and dark coffee. Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, if desired. Or, how about a splash of brandy?  A cool finish to a summer’s meal.

Serve in coffee cups, dessert coupes or tall glasses.
Granizado de Café
Coffee Ice

3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup boiling water
3 cups cold water

Combine the coffee powder and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the cold water. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer until partially frozen, about 3 hours.

Break up the ice. Use an immersion blender to blend the coffee to slush. Return it to the freezer. Before it freezes hard, break it up again and blend until smooth.

Spoon the coffee ice into short coupes or tall glasses and serve immediately. The granizado can be stored in the freezer. Before serving, partially thaw it and blend again.

Lemon granizado is made in the same manner: Prepare lemonade and freeze it, blend to snow. My lemon tree has only green fruit right now, so lemon granizado is not on my play list.

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