Peach season is here and how do you pair peaches with brunch…well, you make a Bellini, of course!
The Bellini has some a long way and here are so many variations of it now, but where did it begin?
History of the Bellini
The founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, Giuseppe Cirpriani is credited with creating the Bellini cocktail sometime between 1934-1948.
The Bellini is named after the artist, Giovanni Bellini actually, because the color of the drink reminded him of the toga of a saint in his painting.
Bringing the Bellini to the United States, the cocktail became popular at the bar’s NYC counterpart.
The Bellini cocktail, typically made with white peaches at one point was seasonal, but then some very smart entrepreneur figured out how to ship peaches year round so that the Bellini could be enjoyed all year round.
What’s in a Bellini?
This is probably the simplest drink to make. It’s literally puréed white peaches and Prosecco.
And the original recipe was made with a bit of cherry or raspberry juice to give the drink a pink glow (which is the color of the toga from the painting).
What is the difference between Prosecco and other sparkling wine?
Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy. It’s made using the tank method and uses primarily Prosecco grapes, glera. You may also find Prosecco using chardonnay, pinot gris, and even pinot noir grapes.
Prosecco has two different levels of bubbliness: the most bubbly is spumante and a lightly sparkling Prosecco is called frizzante. And there’s even a still Prosecco with no bubbles at all…but really, what fun is that?
Prosecco while a key ingredient in Bellini cocktails, is really quite popular mainly because of its lower price point. If you find yourself in the sparkling wine section not sure what to grab, here are some suggestions to help you out.
How Prosecco is Made
This is one of the biggest differences between Prosecco and other sparkling wines. Prosecco is made using the tank method which is much quicker than the traditional method that champagne, cava and many sparkling wines use.
- Harvest the grapeswhich is when they are picked from the vineyard. This timing depends on the conditions of the environment that season. Typically this is done however a bit earlier than other grapes to keep the sugar levels low and the acid high. Once harvested they are pressed to extract the juice
- Fermentation: This is done the same way as any wine. If this bubbly is going to be a blend of grapes or a non-vintage bubbly, the other wines are added now.
- Second Fermentation: The wine (or blend of wines) is put into a tank with yeast and sugar The tank is then sealed so that secondary fermentation can take place.
- Bottling: Once second fermentation is complete, the dead yeast cells (lees) are removed through filtration, dosage is added is added to the tank and the prosecco is bottled under pressure.
As with most cocktails, the Bellini now has many variations and in every version of the Bellini Cocktail, it contains a fruit purée and Prosecco.
If you’re lazy like me, you’ll cut up your peaches and toss them into a blender and voilà purée. But that’s really not the correct way to make peach purée, but to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that way. 🙂
I personally like to make it this way (and I might even add some vodka or St. Germain to blend it) because to me, the peach is naturally sweet enough and doesn’t need more sweetness. Nonetheless, let me teach you the correct way to make a peach purée for your Bellini.
To Make a Purée
These are the basic ingredients you need to create any purée and each of the purée recipes below will create 2-3 perfect Bellini cocktails.
- Fruit of your choice
- 1 T Simple Syrup
- 1 t Lemon Juice
- Water (if you’re using frozen fruit)
Combine all ingredients and blend/purée it all together until smooth.
Bellini Cocktail Tips:
- If you’re using frozen fruit, either thaw it for 30-seconds-1 minute or add 1 oz of water to purée.
- If you like sweet drinks, add a bit more simple syrup…remember a little goes a long way so add slowly.
- Make ahead of time and place in a ice cube tray and store in the freezer until your brunch
To Make a Bellini Cocktail
Now that you have your purée which by the way can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and refrigerated, making the Bellini is simple.
In a champagne flute, add
- 1 oz Purée
- 3.5-4 oz Prosecco
Flex this however you need to for the size of your champagne flute you have on hand.
What goes better with Bellinis than the perfect bubbly brunch! While you have some bubbly and fresh fruit handy, you might want to whip up our delicious bubbly crepes with homemade bubbly whipped cream.
These crepes pair perfectly with Bellinis as you can choose whichever fruit you like best to top these. We personally love to take our strawberries and blend them with some bubbly and use that as “syrup” and that would work with a whole lot of fruits that are in season right now.
Bellini Cocktail Supplies
Of course, you really only need a beautiful champagne flute to make the perfect Bellini, but in case you’re ready to create the perfect bubbly bar, you can get all of your supplies for Bellinis (among other things) at the Bubbly Side of Life Shop on Amazon. One stop shopping for all of your bubbly needs!
Let’s Do Brunch
Join us for a virtual brunch on Sunday, July 26th at 11am CT/9am PT. Grab your favorite fruit and a bottle of Prosecco and let’s meet up LIVE on @bubblysideoflife on Instagram. If you missed the LIVE, you can go watch it on IGTV.
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