Italian ice

meghan Ice Machine, Ice Uses

Hop into Spring with Italian Ice

It’s a humid, steamy day in July. You’re 13. The air conditioner’s broken. Your brother just finished off the last bit of ice cream. Mom’s at work. Dad’s taking a nap. There is no reprieve from this unrelenting, unyielding heat. 

Not if the Italians have anything to say about it. 

Italians know their ice. They sort of started it (we’ll dive into that more in a bit). There’s a reason Rita’s is expanding across the nation. Italian ice, simply put, is nostalgic bliss in a cup. Refreshing, familiar, and satisfying, Italian ice cools you down and perks you up. 

Italian Ice, shaved ice, polish ice, water ice — whatever the name, delivers in spades. Summer in the palm of your hand. 

It’s not summer yet. But we have a sneaking suspicion it’ll be here soon. What better way to prepare than learning how to make your very own Italian ice at home? Oh wait a minute, what was that? Fix that air conditioner? Okay, yes, good point. We’ll put that on the list. Thanks for the reminder! Turns out, we know a thing or two about a cool repair. 

So, wake up pops and phone the neighbors; it’s time for some delectable Italian ice.

Why is it Called Italian Ice?

Philadelphia calls it water ice, which doesn’t make much sense. Sure, the original icy, fruit blend, known as granita, hails from Sicily. But the Italian Ice we know today originated from New Jersey about 100 years ago, joining the pantheon of other great Jersey inventions like bubble wrap and color TV. Seems like someone in the states enjoyed granita and thought, “Hey, I can do that!” 

So can you.

How Can You Make Italian Ice At Home?

What ice you use matters. How you prepare your Italian ice matters. That’s where we come in.

Memphis Ice offers multiple home ice machines perfect for crafting or cooling. The right machines at the best price. Coming over or under a counter near you. 

Italian ice can be as simple as grabbing some ice, some fruit, and blending it up. But it doesn't have to be. Italian ice is as plain or complex as you’re willing to make it. That’s what makes this treat so compelling; no matter your age or skill level, Italian ice is within reach. 

For the most part, Italian Ice is about everyone’s favorite b’s: boil and blend. Let’s break it down.


What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of your preferred grated fruit or zest
  • ¾ cups citrus or fruit juice of your choice 

How you’ll boil:

  • Bring water to a boil
  • Add your sugar, stir until dissolved
  • Allow the water to cool
  • Add your grated fruit or zest, juice; combine into mixture
  • Pour mixture into a baking pan and place in your freezer 
  • Gently stir ice mixture every 30 minutes until desired consistency
  • Scoop into a small cup and serve 

Click here for the full recipe.


What you’ll need:

  • Memphis Ice’s under-counter pearl (or nugget) ice machine
  • 3 cups of pearl or cube ice
  • A blender or food processor 
  • 3 cups of your favorite fresh fruit 
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar or preferred sweetener 
  • 1 tablespoon citrus juice

How you’ll blend:

  • Add 2 cups of ice, your fresh fruit, juice, and sweetener to a blender or food processor; mix until chunky 
  • Add remaining cup of ice; blend until completely smooth 
  • Pour mixture into a baking pan and place in your freezer 
  • Gently stir ice mixture every 30 minutes until desired consistency
  • Scoop into a small cup and serve*

*If the ice is too frozen, let it sit out, or double blend it for a nice, fun slushy.

Click here for the full recipe.

How Can You Make Italian Ice At Home?

There’s your Italian Ice. Looks good and tastes even better. But don’t stop there. Many treats await to be added to your Italian ice besides just fruit or juice. You could add a Muddy’s cookie or sprinkle a dash of a Bedrock sweet. Italian Ice doesn’t have to be boring. The possibilities are endless!

You’ll have plenty of ice to use from our machines to mix and match flavors and styles. We’re not saying buffalo Italian ice is a good idea — but we're not saying it isn’t either. (Okay, probably not a good idea after all).

Have fun hopping into spring with Italian ice!

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