Have a big watermelon sitting on your counter? Tired of the old, regular sliced watermelon pieces? Want to try something a little different? Well, here you go: we have 2 unique, easy and great tasting ideas to use up your late summer watermelon. Monica's Watermelon Granita with Ginger Sugar and Caitlin's Mint Infused Fresh Watermelon Juice. Try them - we guarantee you'll enjoy!

Granita, slushy, raspado...however you choose to refer to it, this particular icy watermelon concoction is delightful.  

As Labor Day approaches and the days/nights are still warm, this is the perfect treat to serve after a meal hot off the grill. 
Ginger sugar as it crystallizes

The most labor intensive part of the recipe is making the ginger sugar, waiting for it to crystallize, oh and chopping the watermelon - in other words, overall, it's a rather easy dessert to make. The ginger sugar perfectly offsets the naturally sweet watermelon.  
Above you can see the granita before putting it into the freezer and the scraping you have to do while it freezes. You have to scrape the granita as it begins to freeze (once or twice) and right before you serve it in order to achieve that perfect slushy texture.  Just remember to allow enough time to prep and freeze before serving your granita.

Serve the granita in clear ramekins, martini glasses, or some old-fashioned ice cream glasses (just like I did).  You can also top it off with some of the leftover crystallized ginger pieces and a bit of lemon zest. Mmmm...summer is good!

Not necessary, but if you want to enjoy a glass of champagne by all means do.
Some of my favorite tunes to listen to under the summer moon...
1)  Belle & Sebastian: A Summer Wasting
2)  Gipsy Kings: Quiero Saber
3)  Manu Chao: Luna y Sol
4)  The Clash:  Revolution Rock
5)  The Drifters:  This Magic Moment
There's nothing like freshly made juice; especially watermelon. It's refreshing, easy and a delicious alternative to the regular fresh juices you'll find in restaurants. 

I wanted to incorporate a special twist, so I added a mint infused simple syrup; it was a perfect and subtle compliment to the watermelon juice. And if you want to try it as an after dinner cocktail, add a shot of chilled vodka and some ice cubes! 
I'm lucky enough to have a Vitamix (thanks, honey) - the Cadillac of blenders - so I don't have to worry about straining anything after I blend but if you have a regular blender, you might want to blend a little longer and strain out any larger pieces. Yes, this is my Vitamix plug...
Mint Infused Simple Syrup
You can add/reduce the amount of mint and sugar depending on your preference of sweet and minty drinks. I wanted a subtle aftertaste as opposed to an 'in your face' minty flavor, so I boiled about a handful of mint with 2 tbsp of sugar - it's hard to tell from this picture because the mint is clumped together but this was indeed a handful.
Great summer music while you're sitting outside...
1)  Wilco:  Glad It's Over
2)  Belle & Sebastian:  Like Dylan in the Movies (Live)
3)  Old Crow Medicine Show:  Wagon Wheel
4)  Mumford and Sons:  The Banjolin Song
5)  Vampire Weekend:  Run

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  1. Watermelon Juice...YUMMY!!!!

  2. I'm going to make both of these this weekend. Perfect recipes for the hot weather!

  3. I love the playlist section - that's a cool feature, plus the watermelon ideas sound very tasty!

  4. I like the two sugar/syrup ideas. I might try the watermelon juice and add ginger kinda like the granita.

  5. My dad loves sorbet and he's coming to visit this weekend. I think this granita will be perfect. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Victoria HuizarSeptember 01, 2011

    I've always heard about granitas but never had one. This seems simple enough for a novice cook like me. I am going to make it soon.

  7. I actually do have a watermelon sitting on my kitchen counter right now. I am going to whip up that juice for my barbecue tomorrow. I can't wait to try it with the mint infused syrup - sounds refreshing!