July 20, 2022

Bellini

Article by:

Photos by:

article & photos by:

Allie Albanese

Article by:

Photos by:

article & photos by:

Allie Albanese

What’s the story behind the famous peach Bellini cocktail? Get the scoop on this Italian classic along with a Bellini recipe that will have you popping Prosecco all summer long!

A peach-colored cocktail displayed in a pale pink vintage glass, garnished with a peach slice and resting on a stack of St. Simons Island books with a small green plant and a basket weave lamp in the background

What do you do when it’s National Prosecco Week AND peach season in Georgia? Make a Bellini, of course!

In case you didn’t know, Georgia is called the “Peach State” and it's for a good reason. Our peaches are a thing of beauty, which you can’t eat without your face and hands getting covered in sticky, sweet juice! Peach season is a highlight of the year here, during which time we enjoy them any which way we can. We eat them, cook them, bake them, and at my house we drink them! So a peach Bellini is ALWAYS a summer must.

Who Invented the Bellini?

This famous cocktail was created by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The story goes that sometime in the late 1930s, Cipriani had an excess amount of white peaches that he had no way to store, so he turned them into purée, added Prosecco and voilà! TheBellini was born.

However, this famous cocktail remained nameless until 1948 when Cipriani found himself inspired by the work of Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini. To Cipriani, the drink’s pretty peach color reminded him of the warm tones that Bellini liked to use in his paintings, so he dubbed his sparkling concoction the “Bellini.”

Bellini Ingredients

Bellinis are made with two simple ingredients: peach purée and Prosecco!

While you can use any kind of peaches and bubbly you like, a classic Bellini is made with white peach purée and Prosecco, the combination of which is a little sweet, a little tart, and a whole lot delicious!

But not all Proseccos are created equal, and you definitely need a quality one for a proper Bellini. For mine, I used Ca’ Furlan’s Extra-Dry ‘Cuvée Beatrice’, which is produced in the foothills of Veneto west of the Dolomites, the freshness of which can be tasted in your glass. Bursting with flavors of white peach and lemon, with a touch of melon and a bit of stone, this elegant bubbly is the perfect Prosecco to use in this yummy peach-based cocktail.

Bellini VS. Mimosa

Although both are made with sparkling wine, please don’t confuse a Bellini with a Mimosa! Where the Italian-pedigreed Bellini calls for peach purée and Prosecco, the French-English-American-pedigreed Mimosa calls for orange juice and Champagne. (The origin of the Mimosa is unclear and is hotly debated! Some say it originated in 1921 at Buck’s Club in London, others say it came about in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, while Alfred Hitchcock himself laid claim to inventing the drink in San Francisco in the 1940s…)

When to Serve a Bellini

Bellinis and summertime go hand in hand, but it’s also a drink that's delicious all year long. Perfect for brunching, patio sipping, special celebratory occasions and holidays, this glass of bubbly peach goodness is one of my favorite all-around sparkling sippers!

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A peach-colored cocktail displayed in a pale pink vintage glass, garnished with a peach slice

Bellini

What’s the story behind the famous peach Bellini cocktail? Get the scoop on this Italian classic along with a Bellini recipe that will have you popping Prosecco all summer long!

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz Peach Purée

1 dash Peach Bitters (optional)

4 oz Prosecco

Garnish: Peach Slice

Instructions:

FOR THE COCKTAIL:

Pour the purée into the bottom of a wine glass, add the bitters and a splash Prosecco and stir until combined. (This helps your purée blend more easily with the remaining Prosecco without having to stir it – stirring makes the bubbles go away!) Top with remaining Prosecco and garnish with a peach slice.

FOR THE PURÉE:

Combine 1 cup of fresh peaches (peeled) with ½ oz lemon juice and 1-2 dashes of Angostura bitters and blend until smooth. You can certainly just blend the peaches all on their own to make the purée, but I like to add some lemon juice for freshness because in my book, citrus makes everything better! Also, the bitters is optional – it doesn’t really affect the overall taste of the purée, it more enhances the spiciness and warmth of the peaches.

Recipe Notes:

🍑 The sweetness of your peaches will determine the sweetness of your purée! Georgia peaches are plenty sweet on their own, which is why I don’t typically add any sugar to mine. But you may need some, in which case I’d start with ½ oz of simple syrup per 1 cup of peaches and work your way up from there.

🍑 You can also use frozen peaches, but if you do I recommend buying unsweetened ones and adjusting the sweetness level with simple syrup instead. This gives you more control over how sweet your drink is and keeps it from becoming cloying. Also, make sure you completely defrost your peaches before using or they won't blend properly!

A peach-colored cocktail displayed in a pale pink vintage glass, garnished with a peach slice

Bellini

What’s the story behind the famous peach Bellini cocktail? Get the scoop on this Italian classic along with a Bellini recipe that will have you popping Prosecco all summer long!

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz Peach Purée

1 dash Peach Bitters (optional)

4 oz Prosecco

Garnish: Peach Slice

Instructions:

FOR THE COCKTAIL:

Pour the purée into the bottom of a wine glass, add the bitters and a splash Prosecco and stir until combined. (This helps your purée blend more easily with the remaining Prosecco without having to stir it – stirring makes the bubbles go away!) Top with remaining Prosecco and garnish with a peach slice.

FOR THE PURÉE:

Combine 1 cup of fresh peaches (peeled) with ½ oz lemon juice and 1-2 dashes of Angostura bitters and blend until smooth. You can certainly just blend the peaches all on their own to make the purée, but I like to add some lemon juice for freshness because in my book, citrus makes everything better! Also, the bitters is optional – it doesn’t really affect the overall taste of the purée, it more enhances the spiciness and warmth of the peaches.

Recipe Notes:

🍑 The sweetness of your peaches will determine the sweetness of your purée! Georgia peaches are plenty sweet on their own, which is why I don’t typically add any sugar to mine. But you may need some, in which case I’d start with ½ oz of simple syrup per 1 cup of peaches and work your way up from there.

🍑 You can also use frozen peaches, but if you do I recommend buying unsweetened ones and adjusting the sweetness level with simple syrup instead. This gives you more control over how sweet your drink is and keeps it from becoming cloying. Also, make sure you completely defrost your peaches before using or they won't blend properly!

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