When I was a kid, we'd get it at the corner candy store, where it was called Lemon Slush and only sold in the summer or at a small market with the best hoagies called The Italian Village. Except for Rita's, etc., the Lehigh Valley is a wasteland for real Italian Ice so I have made my own for many years.
LEMON WATER ICE
1 quart water
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unstrained fresh lemon juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon (no white part)
Boil water and sugar together for 5 minutes. Cool. Stir in juice. Pour into bowl and put in freezer. As it starts to freeze, keep stirring the outside crystals into the center and mix in peel. Do about every half hour. When real slushy, stop and freeze overnight. To serve, you must scrape very thin layers of the slush off the top. I use a big spoon with sharp edges moving it sideways.
My notes: This won’t turn out unless you do both the stirring thing and the scraping thing. It really is all about the technique, not the ingredients. I usually divide the ingredients in half for a smaller batch because the syrup starts to congeal after about 2 or 3 days.
For all of these, follow the same method as the Lemon Ice, boiling water and sugar together, add other ingredients, then freezing as directed:
LEMON-LIME WATER ICE (my personal favorite)
Make as above but use 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 lime juice and equal amounts of lemon and lime peel
FRESH PEACH WATER ICE
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced ripe peaches
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. lemon juice
Puree peaches in blender with lemon juice.
ORANGE WATER ICE
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 grated orange rind (no white part)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
GRAPE WATER ICE
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup grape juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. lemon juice