Imagine a dish that is cold and hot at the same time. Impossible? Well, this one is.
The flavor of the dish depends a lot on what kind of whisky and chile pepper you are using. A good malt whisky will lend a nice smoky flavor to the dish (but will also up the cost). I use peri peri or bird’s eye chiles but have also used Thai, jalapeno and New Mexico varieties with good results. Using chipotle chile you will achieve a smoky malt whisky flavor even if you are using a cheaper type of whisky. I use Scotch – but the dish is just as good with bourbon.
The granita is something in between a drink and a dessert and can be served as both. I serve it as a little something to wake up the guests after a long dinner.
Makes 8 to 10 small servings
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 to 4 small fresh or dried chili peppers, chopped or crumbled (see headnote)
- 1/3 cup Scotch whisky (see headnote)
- 20 to 30 ice cubes, plus more as needed
Place 8 to 10 whiskey tumblers or other glasses in the freezer along with the canister of a blender or the bowl and blade of a food processor.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 of the chopped or dried chili peppers, stirring to mix well. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Add the Scotch to the cooled syrup; transfer to a shallow metal pan and place in the freezer undisturbed for 1 hour; it should get very cold.
Just before serving, combine the syrup and ice cubes in the chilled blender canister or chilled food processor bowl. Pulse to form a coarse, granular texture. Add some of the remaining chopped or crumbled chili peppers to taste and pulse to combine; add ice cubes as needed for texture.
Divide among the chilled tumblers; serve immediately.