Although the summer is almost over, that nostalgic feeling has not left us yet. The best thing to do to forget the fact that the autumn is upon us is to spoil yourself with anItalian cocktail that reminds us of the long sunny days: Bellini!
The history of the Bellini: a typical Italian cocktail
One of the most loved Italian cocktails is certainly the Bellini. This drink was invented in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, the head bartender at Venice’s Harry’s Bar, a place very popular among celebrities such as Maria Callas and Ernest Hemingway. Cipriani made this drink to celebrate the inauguration of the exhibition by the famous painter Bellini at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.
He was inspired by the pinky tone he saw on the tunic of a saint depicted bt the famous artist. The drink was prepared the first time using Champagne, white peach nectar and raspberry puree which gave the drink the particular color it is known for.
Bellini, thanks to its unique fruity and sweet taste, became in little time famous also thanks to that artists that used to hang around Harry’s Bar and, today, it is one of the most popular things associated to “Italianness” (being Italian), all around the world.
The recipe to prepare the Bellini
In order to make this great cocktail, it is essential to use the following ingredients:
- A third of white peach nectar
- Two thirds of prosecco
- A wedge of peach
- Decorations as needed
As you can see, the prosecco needs to be twice the quantity of the peach nectar. First of all, I suggest you take care of the white peach nectar: wash and peel the peaches, cut them in wedges, put them in a sifter and gently squash them with a spoon so that you get the nectar out of them. You can actually use just the nectar or both the nectar and the pulp, it is up to you.
Get a glass, or a flute, ready and make sure it is clean and dry, pour the nectar and then add the prosecco slowly and gently, so that you do not lose too much gas. Finish off adding a peach wedge or other decorations to your Bellini.
All you need to know to make this cocktail
As you might have gathered, the recipe to prepare the Bellini cocktail is really quite easy: there are however a few common mistakes that you should be aware of. First of all, if you want to have your white peach nectar at the ready without making it on the spot, you should store it in the fridge in a tightly sealed container so that you do not lose the flavor. Furthermore, one of the most important things to make this cocktail is the peaches: it is key that you get some quality peaches, white well ripened so that you can squash them quite easily.
Some rely on industrial fruit juices but of course the quality of the cocktail is nowhere near the original version: if you do not want to make the nectar at home, a good alternative is to buy handmade nectar.
Another interesting thing is that there are different versions of the Bellini: if you are a creative type who likes to try new things, then you can enjoy some alternatives to the original version. Bellini Royal, for example, is made using champagne instead of prosecco. If you would rather have a summery fresh drink which is also analcoholic you can opt for a non-alcoholic Bellini with seltzer water or sparkling juices. The Mimosa, on the other hand, requires orange juice instead of peach pulp. FInally, the Rossini drink is made with strawberries as opposed to white peaches.
The best dishes to couple with the Bellini
The Bellini can be coupled with a variety of dishes: one of the secrets behind the success of this cocktail is its versatility and its fresh taste. You can have it at brung, for an aperitif or at an elegant dinner. It goes perfectly with seafood recipes, white meat, but also with easier dishes such as roasted chicken or classic finger food.
Now that you know how to prepare a great Bellini, it is time you challenge yourself: plan a happy hour with your friends and make this cocktail for them following my tips, you will not regret it, trust me!
Featured image: Firenze Today