To make a Bellini, you’re going to need to puree a few peaches. The drink was originally made with white peaches, but you can substitute other varieties if they’re hard to come by. If you’re totally out of peaches, you can use a peach schnapps but will lose the texture and flavour provided by the fresh fruit.
The drink originated in Italy and was apparently a favourite of Orson Wells and Ernest Hemingway – although Hemingway is listed as a habitual imbiber of just about every cocktail on the planet. Its popularity spread to the United States and continues to be a sparkling alternative to drinks in the Mimosa family.
Other fruits have been paired with sparkling wine to create similar Bellini-like cocktails. A Puccini is made from a 2-1 ratio of Prosecco and mandarin juice. The Rossini uses strawberry puree and a Tintoretto mixes the Prosecco with pomegranate juice.
Champagne is made exclusively in the Champagne region of France, from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Prosecco, on the other hand, is an Italian creation from the Veneto region to the north of Venice. It is made with Glera grapes and has a lighter taste. The big difference remains the price, however, and you can enjoy several Bellinis for the cost of a single Champagne cocktail.
Here’s the recipe for making a Bellini cocktail:
- Two parts of Prosecco
- One part of peach puree
- Pour the peach puree into a chilled champagne flute
- Add the Prosecco
- Stir gently
- Champagne flute