If you’ve ever ordered a peach Bellini for a bottomless brunch special, you may have found yourself sipping on a lackluster cocktail. Why? They can often be cut with mass-produced peach juice and cheap sparkling wine, or batch made without the proper ratios. But when a Bellini is made using fresh, in-season peaches to create a delicately sweet purée and topped with the semi-sweet bubbles of a high-quality Prosecco, it becomes something extraordinary. Here’s everything to know about this brunch staple.
What Is a Bellini?
The original Bellini recipe was supposedly created in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder and bartender at Harry’s Bar in Italy. Cipriani was well known for leaning into local ingredients, and he was particularly fond of white peaches in the summer months when they were abundant in Italy. After experimenting with puréed white peaches and Prosecco, he created the Bellini we know and love today.
Why Is the Drink Called a Bellini?
Legend has it, Cipriani was inspired by the 15th-century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini’s pink-hued artwork to create the drink’s characteristic sunset-hued appearance. He eventually named the cocktail after the artist.
How to Make a Bellini
Most recipes call for some variation of the two star ingredients—peach purée and Prosecco–lightly mixed together in a wine flute. Cipriani’s recipe calls for two-parts Prosecco and one-part fresh peach purée.
Recipe by Jacy Topps
- 1 ½ ounces fresh white peach purée* (recipe to follow)
- 750ml bottle of Prosecco, chilled
*To Make the Peach Purée
- 4 medium white peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
Prepare the peach purée: Combine ingredients into a food processor or blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour 1 ½ ounces peach purée into a wine flute.
Slowly top with Prosecco and gently stir to incorporate.
What Are the Best Peaches for Bellinis?
The classic Bellini was made with fresh white peaches from Italy. Today, many bars in Italy still insist on serving the drink with fresh peach purée from May to September, when the peaches are in season. But, any peach will work in this recipe for purée if you can’t find fresh white peaches. Additionally, peach juice works in a pinch, as will other fruit juices like pomegranate, strawberry or orange juices.
What Is the Best Sparkling Wine for Bellinis?
The recipe calls for a good Italian Prosecco, which has a slight sweetness and notes of apple, lemon stone fruit and lemon that pair nicely with the peach. We like these bottles of Prosecco, but other Italian sparkling wine or even Champagne can do the trick.
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Last Updated: June 6, 2023