A Bellini is a long drink cocktail that originated in Venice. It is a mixture of sparkling wine (traditionally Prosecco) and peach purée often served at celebrations. It is one of Italy’s most popular cocktails.
The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. Because of its unique pink color, which reminded Cipriani of the color of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini, he named the drink the Bellini.
The drink started as a seasonal specialty at Harry’s Bar, a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles. Later, it also became popular at the bar’s New York counterpart. After an entrepreneurial Frenchman set up a business to ship fresh white peach pureé to both locations, it was a year-round favorite.
- 4 large peaches
- sugar; to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 bottle chilled Prosecco (750 ml) see * Note
- Cut shallow "X" in bottom of each peach and immerse in large pot of boiling water.
- Remove 1 after 15 seconds and pull peel back; if peach peels easily, remove remainder from pot with slotted spoon and rinse under cold running water.
- Peel and pit peaches, cut into slices and puree in food processor or blender.
- Sweeten with sugar to taste.
- Add lemon juice to preserve color.
- Chill 1 hour in a sterilized container.
- Store this puree in sterilized bottles in the refrigerator.
- Stir puree to be sure sugar is dissolved.
- Mix puree and Prosecco in chilled pitcher; pour into chilled glasses (stemmed flutes or small tumblers).
- Serve immediately.
- This recipe yields 6 servings.