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Italian Lemon Ice

Italian Lemon Ice – A Refreshing Summer Treat

Homemade Italian Lemon Ice

I remember my grandmother making us homemade Italian Lemon Ice on hot summer days. I am sharing this recipe so you can enjoy this wonderful Italian recipe for a tasty frozen treat.

Summer is a great time for family and friends to have picnics, barbecues and go to the beach. A frozen treat was always part of the fun, and back in the 70s, it was customary for privately owned ice cream trucks to drive through my Bronx neighborhood. On most nights we would sit on our stoop and wait for the neighborhood ice cream man, Uncle Joe, to pass by so we could enjoy a frozen treat. Today, the Mr. Softee ice cream truck has replaced Uncle Joe in my old neighborhood, delivering their ice cream cones, shakes and sundaes.

If you weren’t indulging in a frozen treat from the ice cream truck, you could always walk up to the neighborhood bakery on ‘the Avenue’.  Most of the bakeries and pizzerias on the Avenue sold Italian ices in an assortment of flavors. Italian Lemon Ice was a favorite of most of the adults and kids in the neighborhood. These days many people enjoy treats made by a company called Marino’s Italian Ice.

Grandma’s Italian Lemon Ice Surprise!

I remember one time, I was at my grandmother’s house for a family barbecue.  My cousins and I heard the music of the ice cream truck. we were so excited that that we all raced to the back porch. We hoped that we could get something from the truck. My grandmother said, ‘No, not tonight”, and the adults were not budging. and you can only imagine our dissapointment. No ice cream? No ices?  Nothing?

My grandmother told us, that later when coffee was served, there would be a lot of desserts for us to have, then she added, “wait, I think I have something all of you will enjoy.”  Within a few minutes, my grandmother appeared holding a large container and some small cups.  She had made homemade Italian Lemon Ice for all of us!  To this day, I whip up a batch of this frozen treat to serve after a big meal during the warmer months.

I still remember those great summer days and my kids have memories of their own summer days enjoying this treat with their friends. In conclusion, I want you to also enjoy my grandmother’s refreshing Lemon Italian Ice recipe below. If you enjoyed this recipe, you will also enjoy the Italian Cannoli Ice that is my original recipe, I call it New York Slush Cannoli Italian Ice.

Cannoli Italian Ice
NY Slush Cannoli Italian Ice
Italian Lemon Ice


3 cups water

2 cups sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

1 ½ cups lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla


Combine water and sugar in a medium-size pot and simmer on a low flame until the sugar dissolves.
Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Add, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla to the sugar water
Stir and let cool in the pot. Once cooled, pour lemon mixture into a container.
Freeze container overnight.

When you are ready to serve this refreshing treat, using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a serving or two and place into a dessert dish or a small paper cup. Enjoy!!!

Note: Do not use an aluminum pot.

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