Bellini (Difford's recipe)

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (32 ratings)

Serve in

Flute glass

Garnish:

Peach slice on rim

How to make:

SHAKE first 3 ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass charged with the prosecco.

2 fl oz Peach purée
1/3 fl oz Peachtree peach schnapps
1/4 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2 fl oz Prosecco sparkling wine
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Review:

It's hard not to like this blend of peaches and sparkling wine. Lemon juice adds balance and a citrusy bite while peach schnapps boosts peachy flavour. If you prefer drier then switch prosecco to brut champagne.

History:

It has long been traditional in Italy to marinade fresh peaches in wine, and the Bellini draws on this tradition by combining prosecco wine with puréed white peaches.

Giuseppe Cipriani created this drink at Harry's Bar in Venice in 1945, fourteen years after he opened his tiny place on the edge of the Grand Canal, not far from Piazza San Marco.

Cipriani named his cocktail after the 15th-century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini due to the drink's pink hue and the painter's penchant for using rich pinks on his canvases.

Like many other legendary bars around the world, Harry's owes some of its notoriety to being patronised by probably the world's greatest drinker, Ernest Hemingway. It was also the haunt of Sinclair Lewis, Orson Welles, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker, and continues to attract celebrities to this day. But you don't have to be a celebrity to go to Harry's Bar. Cocktail aficionados from around the world make pilgrimages to the birthplace of the Bellini to sample the original recipe.

White peaches are in season in Italy from May to September, so in Venice, bars that insist on using only fresh peaches rather than frozen purée sell the drink between May and October.

In all these years, I have created only a couple of aperitifs that have then gone around the world. Once, in the summer, I mixed fresh peach juice with a good Prosecco from Conegliano, and I saw that all the customers liked it a lot. Since it was the year of the anthological exhibition of Giambellino, I called it Bellini. It has become a classic.

Light, very good, and delicately flavored aperitifs are those made with fruit juice and prosecco. The ratio is always the same: one-third juice and two-thirds prosecco.

It is better to mix the ingredients first in a carafe because, if you do it in the glass, it is likely that the fruit-prosecco reaction will cause the liquid to overflow.

The juice must be made at the moment. Orange juice must be strained; to make peach juice (always with white peaches) or grape juice, you can use a regular potato masher, never a blender.

Giuseppe Cipriani, L'angolo dell'Harry's Bar, 1978

Nutrition:

105 calories

Alcohol content:

  • 0.5 standard drinks
  • 4.6% alc./vol. (9.2° proof)
  • 6.3 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 17th Edition image

Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 17th Edition

Perhaps the world's biggest cocktail book! Certainly, our biggest yet, 624 pages, 6cm (2.3inch) thick and weighing 2.25kg (5lb). Our Seventeenth Edition

Buy it here
Easy Jigger image

Easy Jigger

The Easy Jigger® is a measure designed for use when making cocktails, primarily in the home but also by professional bartenders. It has a unique design

Buy it here
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