I’m crazy for coffee, in all its forms. Sometimes I even get teased about the amount of coffee gadgets I have. Sorry, the teasing won’t stop me—I love what I love! I recently discovered the espresso martini granita, and it became a fast favorite. It ticks off all the boxes: dessert, after-dinner drink, and coffee. It's the perfect trifecta. Combine vodka, espresso, and my favorite new coffee liqueur from Koval—you can learn more about Koval and my visit to their Chicago distillery here—and you’ve got the perfect dessert martini to round out any Italian dinner menu. By the way, if you’re looking for another coffee-themed treat this month, try my Chocolate Espresso Hazelnut Biscotti recipe.

espresso beans

What is Granita?

The Sicilians really knew what they were doing when they created granita! I like to think of it as a cousin to sorbet and Italian ice. Totally distinct and unique in texture, granita is rougher in texture than Italian ice and more crystalline than sorbet. I love serving it when I have guests over. Granita with coffee is very common in the city of Messina. Granita in combination with a warm pastry is a common summertime breakfast in Sicily. Whether you’re serving it at brunch, for dessert, or in an after-dinner drink, granita sure is a treat.


Tips on Freezing Granita and How to Scrape the Ice Crystals

This recipe has a short ingredient list, and it’s super easy to make. It does take a little bit of time since you’ll have to wait for the granita mixture to freeze, so make sure to give yourself a little bit of lead time. Once the mixture freezes, you take a fork and gently push it over the frozen granita to break it up into icy little crystals. It’s so heavenly—almost like flavored snow!

Pro tip: Because alcohol doesn’t freeze like water, balancing the spirits and the coffee is essential. A good rule of thumb is to use ⅓ cup of liquor for every two cups of other liquids.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Espresso Martini Granita with Koval Coffee Liqueur Recipe

Espresso Martini Granita with Koval Coffee Liqueur Recipe

Go all out and serve your granita in a frosted martini glass. Top it with a swirl of whipped cream and a chocolate-covered espresso bean for a real treat!


  • 2 cups strongly brewed espresso or richly flavored coffee
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Koval Coffee Liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, bring the espresso or coffee to a low boil. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  2. Stir in the Koval Coffee Liqueur and vodka. This is your granita mixture.
  3. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap. Pour the granita mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and gently press the plastic wrap down so it just touches the surface of the granita mixture.
  4. Freeze for one hour.
  5. After an hour, rake the granita with a fork to make large flakes.
  6. Repeat this process, raking with the fork every hour, until the granita mixture forms icy crystals. Depending on your freezer, this can take up to4 rounds of freezing for a total of 4 hours.
  7. Just before serving, rake the mixture with a fork one more time to loosen up the crystals. Scoop into frosted martini glasses and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and some chocolate-covered espresso beans. Yum.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # EspressoMartini
December 27, 2022 — Mary DiSomma