The Bellini

Bellinis make the ideal welcome cocktail!

Let’s say you’re hosting a summer fiesta. You want your guests to waltz into the house and find something more than chilled beer bottles.

The problem? Well-made cocktails can cause party gridlock. Mixology doesn’t mix well with the flow of conversation.

So here’s a solution: Bellinis. People like to drink them. In fact, people like to say the word.


Smiles break out. “Oh, yes, please, a Bellini,” each guest will say, murmuring those Italian syllables as if they serve as a kind of bacchanalian incantation.

The roots

This delightful wine cocktail, a blend of white peach puree and Prosecco, has a well-established origin. Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Venice’s beloved Harry’s bar, started mixing up the fruity tipples sometime between 1934 and 1948. The pink drink reminded him of the color of a saint’s toga in a painting by Italian Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini, so Cipriani named his concoction in honor of the painter.

Harry’s Bar was the favorite hangout for writers like Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and Orson Welles, it opened in Venice in 1931 and was declared a national landmark by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs in 2001.

The Bellini is a popular drink for brunch and if you want something a little more innocent, try the Baby Bellini (replace the Prosecco with soda).

The makin’s
3 parts Prosecco
1 part white Peach Purée (2 ripe white peaches, peeled, halved and stone removed)

The drill
Place the peaches in a small blender and purée until totally smooth. This can be done well in advance and kept in the fridge. Spoon half into the chilled champagne glasses and slowly top up with champagne, stirring as you pour. You should ideally have one third peach purée to two thirds champagne. Serve straight away as a pre-dinner drink leaving plenty of time for a second glass!


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