Everything You Need To Know About Granitas

Every time Starbucks introduces a new drink, you know the internet is going to be pretty excited about it. The green straw has us all in its thrall, and today is no exception. Starbucks Granitas are here, which sounds amazing, but it might also have you asking yourself one very key question: what is a granita? Starting June 14, the item is part of Starbucks' limited-time Sunset Menu, which is only available after 3 p.m. The drink comes in three flavors: Caramel Espresso, Teavana Youthberry White Tea, and Strawberry Lemon Limeade. In other words, yum.

So what is a granita, anyway? Before you go haring off to your nearest Starbucks, let's settle this. According to The Oxford Companion to Food , the granita started off as a refreshment called the "water ice" that appeared in Europe around the same time as ice cream. A definition appeared in Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery in 1890: "Water ices are made of the juices of ripe fruits mixed with syrup and frozen." Additional flavorings, like coffee or liquor, could also be added. The Italians, especially the Sicilians, took a particular shine to the drink and turned it into the granita: coarsely shaved ice with added fruit juices (usually citrus). It's sort of like sorbet, but with a rougher texture. Sicilians often serve granita al limone at breakfast, along with a brioche. Heavenly, right?

Starbucks describes its Granita drink as "subtly-sweetened finely-shaved ice topped off with bold espresso, white tea, or refreshing lemonade," which, if you ask me, sounds pretty incredible. So, if you've been looking for a way to spice up your drink order, consider trying out a Starbucks Granita. If you hit up your local 'Bux in the morning, you can bring your receipt back after 3 p.m. for a $3 drink. Delicious and affordable.

Images: Starbucks