Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Bellini

Buoni cari mattina! (Good morning darlings!) Today's Saturday Sipper is a cocktail that was invented in the original Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy by Guiseppe Cipriani. It's made with luscious, ripe summer peaches and Italian Prosecco. Peaches and Prosecco? How bad can that be?

Apparently the blushing pink hue of this peach drink reminded Cipriani of the color of the togas that 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini often painted. (Such as the one shown below), so that's how it got its name. The tasty concoction will set you back around 20 Euros at Harry's Bar, but you can make one on the cheap here in the USA, where white peaches are in season, although you won't have the romantic Venetian backdrop. I've put a little twist on the classic Bellini by adding a judicious dash of lemon thyme infused simply syrup. 

2 oz white peach puree*
6 oz Prosecco
1 tablespoon lemon thyme infused simple syrup
fresh peaches for garnishing

Basically this drink one party peach puree to 3 parts Prosecco per drink. Add peach puree, lemon thyme infused simple syrup into two, well-chilled glasses. Top with Prosecco, add peach slices and lemon thyme sprigs for garnish, and dream about Bellini, Tintoretto, Cannaletto, Titian, and all those other Venetian painters. 

Makes two peachy Bellinis!

*To make the silky sweet peach juice, slice 2 peaches (preferably white, but whatever you can find) into segments, remove the pit, and place into a blender skin and all. Whizz it up to a pulp, and strain through a strainer. There's your juice. Refrigerate the puree until it is very cold. As an alternative to fresh peaches, which I admit feels a little wrong, you can always just use this Bellini juice and mix it with Prosecco.

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