This month I’m featuring this popular Italian champagne cocktail, which is traditionally made with Prosecco sparkling wine, and which is perfect for the hot summer weather I’m currently enjoying.
It’s not a cocktail of the 20s, since it was created by barman Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice which only opened for business in 1931 (and yes, this is the same Cipriani of that epitome of Venetian style and elegance, Hotel Cipriani).
Why was the drink not named after its creator? Because Cipriani named the drink for Venetian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini.
But no matter when it was created, this is a drink worthy of celebrating the start of a bright, shiny new year.
The Bellini consists of a puree of white peaches marinated in wine mixed with the Prosecco. Originally, the peach puree had a dab of raspberry or cherry juice added to give the drink its distinctive pink colour.
To make the puree, blanche your peaches in order to soften the skins. Remove the skins, pit the peaches, and add a touch of sugar (or peach Schnapps!) to sweeten.
Blend the peaches into a soft puree, adding a splash of water if the nectar is too thick. Chill before slowly adding the Prosecco.
Alternately, you could use chilled tinned peaches without the juice, or for the lazy version simply mix the sparkling wine with iced peach juice.
Serve in chilled champagne glasses with a garnish of peach or cherry.
And while you’re sipping on your drink, don’t forget to add “Drink Bellinis at Harry’s Bar in Venice” to the bucket list.