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[Photo: Lara Hata © 2007]

At this point in August, all we want to do is sit back with a big bowl of ice cream or a nice cold drink. Why not combine the two into one alcohol-infused treat? Here are our favorite booze-laced ice creams, sorbets, and granitas.

Raspberry-Rosé Sorbet: We can't imagine a better summer cooler than this sweet-tart raspberry rosé sorbet. The alcohol in the wine keeps it from freezing too hard in the ice cream maker, but it sets up perfectly after a stint in the freezer.

Rum Raisin Ice Cream: The alcohol keeps this ice cream nice and soft, scoopable even after a few days in the freezer; we use Myer's Dark Rum, but have been thinking of branching out. Experimentation is a good thing.

Mint Julep Ice Cream: The mint julep is a brilliant cocktail, a study in contrasts. There's mint of course, flighty and effervescent. And there's bourbon, robust and complex and just a tad sweet--like a half-deserved slap from a comely Southern belle. There's nothing else to muck up the duet, save some crushed ice and a sprinkle of sugar. This ice cream follows the same principles to minty, bourbon-y nirvana.

Lemon, Honey, and Brandy Ice Cream: A smooth, relatively light ice cream run through with lemon and honey. There's a pronounced brandy flavor to keep things interesting, in no small part aided by the brandied apricots and ginger thrown in at the end. It's a heady ice cream that won't weigh you down.

Prosecco, Lemon, and Ginger Granita: This granita is a dessert and after-dinner drink in one: icy and refreshing before melting into a subtly spiced wine syrup. Depending on your crowd, you can call it granita di prosecco con limone e zenzero or a boozy lemon Sno-Cone. Or just call it the perfect dessert.

Ginger Beer, Rum, and Coconut Sorbet: This sorbet has a creamy texture and pronounced nutty finish that rounds out what would otherwise be just sweet and bracing.

Smoked Chocolate and Tequila Ice Cream: What could be better than chocolate, tequila and ice cream on a hot August afternoon? So why not put them all together in one amazing ice cream concoction? Funny you should ask, because that's exactly what we did.

Chocolate Stout Gelato: When you add a cup of stout that has been simmered down to intensify the flavors and a scoop or two of malt powder, this gelato will send any chocolate and beer lover into fits of ice cream-derived delight.

Key Lime Granita with Vodka: This granita version is slightly less guilt-inducing than key lime pie. It starts with yellow jade key lime juice, super tart, with vanilla sugar and cream for a little key lime pie something. A shot of vodka doesn't hurt.

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