This Bellini recipe comes straight from where it was invented – Harry’s Bar in Venice. Its gorgeous color makes it unmissable and it’s so easy to make, if you have the correct ingredients!
The Bellini itself, a simple combination of white peach puree and Prosecco, has been bastardized beyond recognition. Some folks don’t even know that the Bellini originated in Venice.
Just google “Bellini cocktail recipes” and you’ll find passion fruit, mango, rhubarb, orange juice, elderflower, raspberry replacing the, anything but simple, white peach puree.
Cava and Champagne have replaced Prosecco, just because, and the recipe has been laden with the likes of Cointreau, star anise, and even basil.
Where the original Bellini was born
1948 was the year that Giuseppe Cipriani combined the two famous ingredients, white peach puree and Prosecco, set to become the most famous cocktail at Harry’s Bar.
Giuseppe named it for the soft pink hues of the Venetian Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini’s distinctive color palette. If that isn’t romantic, I’m not sure what is.
Everyone, from t-shirt sporting tourists to D&G wearing celebs, is invited to enjoy a Bellini at any time – day or night. Served, not in the grand Champagne flute, but a simple, what could be mistaken for, water glass decorated with the distinctive Harry’s Bar logo – a bartender shaking up a few Bellinis!
The Bellini has become a favorite of the brunch crowd, but you can totally drink one at any time. In Venice, they are usually enjoyed before the meal, as they are slightly too sweet to be drinking with a plate of pasta. But do anything you want!
The original recipe called for white sweet peaches, which were only available for a short period during peach season at the height of the summer. To preserve the flavor of the peaches, Cipriani would puree them and mix them with Prosecco to create the classic peach Bellini cocktail.
The Bellini cocktail gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, attracting celebrities such as Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway, who were regular patrons of Harry’s Bar. It became a signature drink of the bar, and it is still served there to this day.
How to make the Bellini
When it comes to making the Harry’s Bar Bellini recipe, the key ingredient is, of course, the white peaches. Whether you opt for fresh peaches, peach slices, or peach puree, the flavor of the fruit is what makes this cocktail so special.
You’ll also need a bottle of Prosecco or sparkling wine of your choice, as well as peach puree or peach nectar. Some recipes call for peach schnapps or peach liqueur to enhance the peach flavor even more – but not at Harry’s.
I wouldn’t go with canned peaches, unless you can get unsweetened ones. Make sure the sparkles are from Prosecco, not a champagne, as it makes it taste drier.
I know it’s tough to get white peaches, but it is so worth the effort. Yellow peaches are much sweeter and change the taste slightly, but work with what you have.
At Harry’s Bar, they are churning out lots of them at once, therefore, they make them in a jug/pitcher and then serve them. I recommend this as well. Make a batch, even if that is only two, and then pour from the jug into the glass. That way you know it is well and thoroughly mixed.
Harry’s suggests 1 part peach puree to 3 parts Prosecco. I start with 1 cup of each peach puree to 3 cups Prosecco in a jug. Then I slowly pour into my glass. Only two simple ingredients!
To make the peach Bellini recipe, the following preparation process can be followed:
- Begin by washing and peeling a ripe peach.
- Instead of blending them. Harry’s Bar suggests mashing them through a stainer. I love this strainer.
- If you can’t mash them easily, they are just not ready to be mashed. No need to take off the skin, as it comes off easily when you mash them. By mashing, you don’t miss any bit of juice.
- But if you can’t do that, then cut the peaches into small pieces and puree them in a food processor until smooth.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the peach purée into a glass
- Slowly pour chilled sparkling wine into the glass until it is full.
- Give it a gentle stir the peach Bellini cocktail to mix the ingredients.
By following these simple steps, anyone can make a perfect Bellini cocktail at home. The use of a food processor can make the process of pureeing the peach quick and easy. A vegetable peeler can be used to remove the skin of the peach without damaging the fruit.
Less strict ways of making Bellinis
Of course, we can’t always play by the rules, so here is a set of variations
- You can always make the peach puree ahead of time and throw it in the freezer. You can do this when the white peaches are in season, so you are ready for any time of year.
- Use Yellow Peaches or any variety you can find – play around with them and see what’s your favorite
- Try a Demi-sec champagne instead of the Prosecco, it adds that sweetness that regular Champagne doesn’t.
- If you wish to make a non-alcoholic version, then make your peach juice and add NO ABV sparking Prosecco, like Scavi & Ray!
Variations on the Bellini
- Frozen Peach Bellini: For a refreshing twist on the classic Bellini, try making a frozen peach Bellini. Simply blend the fresh peach puree, Prosecco, and ice together until smooth. This variation is perfect for hot summer days or as a dessert cocktail.
- Strawberry Peach Bellini: Add a twist by blending fresh strawberries with the peach puree before adding the sparkling wine. This adds a delightful berry note to the cocktail.
- Mango Peach Bellini: Replace the peach puree with mango puree for a tropical twist on the classic. The sweetness of mango pairs well with the bubbly wine.
- Raspberry Peach Bellini: Blend raspberries with the peach puree for a vibrant, tangy addition. The tartness of the raspberries complements the sweetness of the peaches.
- Blackberry Sage Bellini: Muddle fresh blackberries and sage leaves at the bottom of the glass before adding the peach puree and sparkling wine. This adds a herbal and earthy element to the drink.
- Pomegranate Peach Bellini: Mix pomegranate juice with the peach puree to create a visually stunning cocktail with a slightly tart and fruity flavor profile.
- Ginger Peach Bellini: Add a kick to the traditional Bellini by incorporating a ginger simple syrup. The spicy warmth of ginger pairs well with the sweetness of peaches.
- Honey Lavender Bellini: Create a honey lavender syrup by steeping lavender buds in honey and water, then mix it with the peach puree. The floral notes of lavender add elegance to the drink.
- Basil Mint Bellini: Muddle fresh basil and mint leaves at the bottom of the glass before adding the peach puree and sparkling wine. This adds a refreshing herbal twist.
- Cherry Peach Bellini: Combine cherry juice or muddled fresh cherries with the peach puree for a sweet and slightly tart variation.
- Citrus Peach Bellini: Add a splash of citrus by incorporating orange, lemon, or grapefruit zest to the cocktail. This adds a zesty and bright flavor.
If you love a Bellini, try one of these other bubbly cocktails:
- 1 part White Peach only juice
- 3 parts Prosecco
- Mash the peaches through a strainer
- Pour the peach juice and the Prosecco into a pitcher.
- Stir gently
- Pour into glasses
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