Aug 17, 2009

Bellini cocktail recipe

After all that hard work canning tomatoes,  and the energy spent scarfing Ferragosto fare, I thought we deserved a little reward.

I'm making a popular treat for us.
It combines elements I have spoken about earlier in these virtual pages...
The city of Venice...

...and peaches.

Can you guess what it is?

Today's recipe is for cocktails.
Let's make decadent and refreshing Bellini.

Image copyright rfarmer

Courtesy of Champagne Resource:
The Bellini was originally poured in Venice at a famous place called Harry's Bar. Created by Guiseppe Cipriani in 1931, the Bellini's delicate flavor is still popular more than 75 years later. Harry’s Bar was named after co-owner Harry Pickering, an American millionaire. Guiseppe, a bartender at a Venice hotel, took a leap of faith when he loaned a patron, Harry Pickering, 1,000,000 lire (at the time worth $5,000) after Pickering had been financially cut off by his family. For his generosity, Pickering repaid Giuseppe $25,000 two years later and together they opened Harry's Bar.

The Bellini quickly became the signature drink at Harry’s Bar, though it was not officially called the Bellini until some time in 1948, when it was named in honor of the artist, Giovanni Bellini. This drink uses fresh peaches and an Italian sparking wine called Prosecco. It's a little known fact that there is no actual Champagne in a traditional Bellini. While Prosecco is a light and effervescent wine, its sturdy bubbles actually hold up well against the fruit’s pulp. Since high quality vintage champagne tends to have extremely small bubbles, many believe that utilizing vintage champagne will result in an inferior Bellini.

Image copyright iessi

To make this mind-blowing cocktail you will need:
1 small white peach per person
4 oz Prosecco sparking wine per person
champagne flutes
blender/food processor

Slice the peaches vertically, peel and remove the flesh from the pits. Whir the slices in the blender or food processor to obtain a frothy puree. While many naively believe that a can of peach nectar can be used, this should only be a last minute option. There is truly no substitute for the complexity of flavors that emerge from the fresh fruit.

Put the peach puree in a shaker or a beer mug, and place it in the freezer until it is thoroughly chilled, but not frozen solid. Pour the cold Prosecco into the chilled puree and stir gently. Once well blended, pour the mixture into champagne flutes and garnish with your lips.


  1. I love bellinis... and that one looks especially refreshing. Clink!

  2. ahhh...sounds so refreshing...and goes well with the beautiful pics.

  3. OMG, sounds heavenly Lola... am going to pass this on to one or two who may appreciate as much as I did... CIAO BELLA !!!

  4. This sounds so much better than the syrupy sweet Bellinis that are served here which I would never put my lips on.

  5. Wonderful blog! The irreverant Owen sent me in your direction, so here I am with my oversized cocktail glass all ready!!

  6. I love Bellinis! I think I'll have to make some this week. Lovely (and refreshing) post.

  7. I guess we were both craving Bellinis. You'll have to go to my blog to see I posted the same drink today! Great minds think alike I guess. Loved your tip about putting the puree in the freezer to chill awhile.

  8. This is delightful! And to think, someone just brought me a box of peaches. :D

  9. Oh my goodness, this sounds divine! Thank you for the recipe and inspiration.

  10. Had a Bellini at Harry's Bar last time I was in Venice - very expensive but WONDERFUL!! A memory to savour but am off now to try out yr lovely recipe! Thanks!

    xxxLOL LOLA:)

  11. soon as i saw your peaches i thought....belinnis!!! i have the harry's bar cookbook and have been there many times! did you see my post on my blog about canning peaches? this is the first year i tackled it and it was fun after i got started! i also made canned peach juice which is perfect for belinnis!!

  12. One of my favorite drinks. I had to have one at Harry's when I was in Venice. Worth every single euro. delicious!

  13. Salute, dear Lola. Now that you've told me how to make a PROPER Bellini, I will definitely add it to my(short)repertoire. It will be rechristened 'The Bella Lola Bellini' in your honour!

    Hhehehe - I rather avoided Harry's Bar when in Venice, but we did listen to a South African women's gospel choir singing "Nkosi Sikeleli iAfrika" outside that famed establisment which was extraordinary....both in terms of being utterly incongruous and enormously emotive and tear-jerking!

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  15. The first proper Bellini I had was at the Caryle Hotel in NY - I was hooked.

  16. Bellini's are one of my favorite drinks. That photo has me smacking my lips. I can never get enough of peaches in the summer.

  17. ooh that sounds like the epitome of summer...yes please! I am sending this to my lovely niece :-)

  18. What a lovely drink for a warm day (which it is here - 92 Fahrenheit.) Cheers!

  19. I'll have to try that. Generally, I can't stand prosecco. No comments, please! I may be the only one, but tastes are tastes and prosecco does nothing for me!

  20. Awesome website!!! Love the photos and great information-thanks,Betty

  21. I trust your Bellini recipe more than any other! It was interesting to learn about the champagne issue.