The Peach Bellini is a fruity and sophisticated cocktail made from a blend of fragrant white peach and ice-cold Prosecco. Prepared using juicy Italian peaches, Bellinis were originally enjoyed in the summer months only, when the peaches were in season. These days they can be made all year round, using purée or frozen peaches, but their refreshing fruity flavour still makes them a perfect cocktail for summer. A Bellini should always be served ice-cold, and can even be turned into a delicious grown-up popsicle to enjoy on the hottest days of all.
Harry's Bar entrance in Venice - Felix Haslimeier / Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking for a drink with a sophisticated and slightly bohemian pedigree, the Peach Bellini could be your new favourite. The first ever Bellini was made in 1948 at the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice. Harry’s was a favourite haunt of movie stars and intellectuals, and visitors might expect to see Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Orson Welles, or Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall propping up the bar. Owner and head barman, Giuseppe Cipriani, is celebrated for inventing both the Bellini and the classic Italian appetiser beef carpaccio, each of them named after the works of Venetian renaissance artists. The Bellini itself is said to have got its name because its delicate blush colour reminded Cipriani of the toga of a saint in a painting by Giovanni Bellini. Harry’s Bar was declared a national landmark in 2001 by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs, and you can still order a Peach Bellini there to this day.
When making your Peach Bellini, there are various ways of adding the peach flavour. You can use sweetened peach nectar, or even schnapps if you like your Bellini with an extra kick, but for best results, nothing beats the fruit itself. The original Bellinis were made using white peaches from Verona, which are sweeter and have a more delicate flavour than yellow varieties. If you want your Bellini to have an authentic pink colour, you need to use white peaches, but if you can’t find any ripe enough, yellow peaches still make an attractive and tasty cocktail.
With simple recipes, the quality of your ingredients matters most of all. Think good quality Italian Prosecco and the ripest, juiciest peaches you can find. If the peaches aren’t ripe enough your Bellini will taste bland, so if peaches are out of season, it is best to use good-quality frozen fruit instead.
Try our easy-to-follow recipe for perfect Peach Bellinis every time. Serve as an aperitif or with brunch.
To make using fresh peach, you will need;
- 5 ripe peaches
- 1 bottle of chilled Italian Prosecco
Peel four of the peaches by cutting crosses at the top and bottom and submerging in boiling water for a few seconds. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and leave until safe to touch. The skins should now peel off easily.
Slice the peeled peaches in half and remove the stones, then place in a blender and process until smooth.
Chill your purée in the fridge for a couple of hours. You can put some fluted glasses in to chill at the same time.
When everything is nicely chilled, take one of the fluted glasses and pour in some of the purée until the glass is around a third full.
Fill almost to the top with Prosecco, then stir gently to mix. Add more Prosecco to fill.
Finally, take the last peach and cut into slices to garnish your glasses.
To make using frozen peach, you will need;
- 2lb sliced frozen peaches
- 1 bottle chilled Italian Prosecco
Defrost the peaches at room temperature for around 3-4 hours, and put your fluted glasses in the fridge to chill.
When defrosted, set aside a peach slice per glass to garnish, and process the rest in a blender until smooth.
Take your chilled glasses and pour in some of the purée until each glass is around a third full.
Fill almost to the top with Prosecco, then stir gently to mix. Add more Prosecco to fill and garnish with a peach slice.