Root Beer Granita-Vanilla Parfait

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 12h 15m

Serves 10

Here's the recipe, adapted from Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs (Clarkson Potter, 1999) by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto and Julia Moskin: As the cookbook states, "In this elegant dessert rendition of an all-American root beer float, the smooth flavor and texture of vanilla ice cream are a wonderful contrast to the aromatic crunch of granita, a chunkier Italian version of sorbet. The uniquely creamy, spicy flavor of root beer - traditionally a blend of roots and barks that includes sarsaparilla, sassafras, wintergreen, maple, wild cherry and ginger - has been a Gale Gand signature ever since she started making her own batches of the stuff in 1993." At Brasserie T, they serve this parfait with mini Tootsie Rolls on the side for a touch of chocolate and chew.


  • 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) root beer
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 4 elbow straws


The day before you plan to serve, pour 4 cups of the root beer into ice cube trays to a depth of no more than 1/2 inch (keep the remaining root beer refrigerated until ready to serve). Freeze overnight, along with tall, thin glasses or parfait glasses for serving.

When ready to serve, unmold the cubes into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process, pulsing, just until crushed.

Place a straw in each glass, leaning along the side. Layer the parfaits by alternating scoopfuls of the root beer granita and vanilla ice cream, ending with a scoop of ice cream on the top.

Serve with a pitcher of the remaining root beer, and pour root beer up to the top of each parfait at the table.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.

RecID 4100

nutrition information per serving

167 calories; 6g total fat; 23mg cholesterol; 61mg sodium; 28g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 2g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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