Honey Mint Tea Granita

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This week, Alexandra Payne is back with a deliciously simple frozen treat. Whether or not you read the recent New York Times article heralding the age of the slushy, we all know that cold drinks make hot summers more bearable. Enjoy!

Alexandra Payne of Sweet Betweens

It’s nearly instantaneous. As soon as you cross from North to South, like from Maryland into Virginia, sweet tea becomes the standard. Having not been raised in the South, I am an anomaly amongst my friends in having to specify that I want my tea unsweet. Womp, womp. I know, I’m no fun. But stick with me for a second.

Here, in Nashville, we were spoiled with a slow start to summer. The humid, high-70’s days that usually arrive in June, have creeped up on us at last.

To help keep us cool while we continue to spend evenings on our front porch swings, watching our tomatoes grow and keeping the neighborhood cats out of said tomatoes, I came up with this frozen, light treat. Rather than a glass of tea that inevitably gets watered down as the ice cubes melt in the oppressive heat of a Southern summer, I decided to freeze the entire, refreshing drink

The small amount of honey makes it just sweet enough, and the fact that it is frozen keeps it cool until you devour your serving. Herbal, bright and fresh, this is a perfectly easy summer dessert that uses barely any energy or heat to whip up. If you’re looking to indulge, top your serving with some bourbon whipped cream, like this one.

Honey Mint Tea Granita

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Minty Green Tea Granita
Yield : 3 cups / 4 servings


3 black tea bags [3 tbsp. loose black tea]
3 c. water
approx. 30 mint leaves [top 1-2″ of 4 mint stems]
1/4 c. honey
juice of 1 lemon


  1. Bring 3 cups of water to just under a boil. While water is heating up, pour honey and squeeze lemon juice into a large glass bowl. Place tea bags [or loose tea], mint leaves and lemon halves into bowl.
  2. Once water is heated, pour water into bowl. Bruise mint leaves with the bottom of a wooden spoon or spatula to release all the flavor from the oils in the leaves. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain tea mixture into 9″ x 11″ glass baking dish to remove lemon halves and seeds, mint leaves and tea bags.
  4. Freeze dish with tea mixture for 2 hours, scraping with tines of a fork every 30 minutes or so. Scrape into individual bowls or on small plates when ready to serve.


  • Depending on how cold your freezer is, you may have a longer chill time. the granita did not reach slushy consistency until 1 1/2 hours in the freezer for me, and took a solid 3 hours to get to the point that I would feel happy serving it [to myself, or guests!].
  • If the granita is frozen too hard when ready to serve, pulse [very briefly!] in a food processor or blender to soften.
  • Prefer a sweet tea granita? Use 2/3 cup of granulated cane sugar instead of honey.

Alexandra Payne is a Third Culture Kid trying to make her grown up way through life at her home in Nashville, TN. When not eating out with friends at her favorite neighborhood restaurants or exploring new cuisines around the corner or on the road with her husband, she can be found dancing around her dogs in the kitchen and documenting her culinary successes on her blog, SweetBetweens.