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.
Preparation and serving
The Bellini consists of puréed white peaches and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. Marinating fresh peaches in wine is an Italian tradition. The original recipe was made with a bit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the drink a pink glow. Due, in part, to the limited availability of both white peaches and Prosecco, several variations exist.
California produces a white peach that works well, and yellow peaches or peach nectar can be substituted, especially if peaches are out of season and the flavor would be very bland. Other fruits or even flavored liqueurs (peach schnapps, for example) are sometimes substituted for the peach puree.
Other sparkling wines are commonly used in place of Prosecco, though richly flavored French champagne does not pair well with the light, fruity flavor of the Bellini. For a non-alcoholic version, sparkling juice (like sparkling cider) or seltzer is used in place of the champagne.
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Bellini (cocktail), en.wikipedia.org
Bellini Cocktail, www.gourmetsleuth.com