A Peach Bellini is my all-time favorite cocktail. Years ago, I had a night job as bartender for a small Italian restaurant. The owner/chef of the restaurant was raised in Sicily and taught me the correct way to make the perfect Bellini cocktail, full of rich peach flavor. Unlike what many “chain” restaurants would have you believe, you do not use shaved ice to make a frozen Bellini because the ice “waters down” the cocktail, making the bubbles pop faster. You are left with a flat cocktail instead of the bubbles tickling your nose as they should. Follow my directions for the perfect Bellini cocktail and I think you will notice and enjoy the difference.
Did you know the first Bellini was developed at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy by Guiseppe Cipriani? Thank you Guisseppe! The bellini was a favorite of Orson Welles, Earnest Hemingway, and Sinclair Lewis. What a dream it would have been to share a glass with these three, huh?
The Perfect Bellini Cocktail
There are two main components to a perfect Bellini – peaches and Prosecco. White peaches are preferred, but are hard to find most of the year. I actually could not find a single fresh peach anywhere, even at the gourmet grocery I frequent. I did find peach nectar, however, which is perfect, as I was able to freeze it in containers to make my Raspberry Peach Bellini frozen. If you can find fresh peaches, peel them, puree them in a food processor, then free the puree.
Prosecco, a dry Italian sparkling wine, was easier to find. Before the 1960’s, Prosecco was made sweeter, very similar to Asti Spumante, but since the 1960’s higher quality grapes are used, making a drier wine. You’ll want a nicer Prosecco in your bellini, as the dryness contrasts nicely with the sweet peach puree. Prosecco is less expensive than champagne, and is officially considered a sparkling wine, not a champagne. (True champagne is an official designation for wine that comes from the Champagne appellation of France. More on this another time.)
- 3 c. Peach Nectar
- 1/4 c. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbsp. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
- One bottle Prosecco
Place the Prosecco in the refrigerator to chill. Blend the peach nectar and lemon juice together and please in a plastic storage container and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours. When you remove the nectar, it should be partially frozen, almost slushy. Slowly spoon some of the peach nectar into each champagne glass to fill the glass about 1/2 full. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Chambord per glass, then slowly top with Prosecco. Be careful that the Prosecco does not overflow. Serve immediately.
PS: If you are looking for a great brunch cocktail, try my Orange Peach Mimosa cocktails!