From Venice With Love

Here at Ladies Who Brunch, we’re obviously big fans of the mimosa and the Bloody Mary. These standard brunch drinks are delicious and found on most menus, but what other cocktails go well with your eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles? I’ve had a reader request for a post on the Bellini, so here goes.

The Bellini has one of the more interesting histories in the world of alcoholic beverages. Created by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the infamous Harry’s Bar in Venice, the drink (supposedly) was named after the pink color in a 15th century Giovanni Bellini painting. Cipriani eventually opened restaurants in New York, London and Hong Kong, though the original Harry’s still draws crowds in Italy.

The Bellini, like the mimosa, is one of the simplest cocktails around: Prosecco (a sparkling wine made a short distance from Venice), white peach puree and a little bit of simple syrup. Following is the original Bellini recipe, courtesy of The Harry’s Bar Cookbook:

Ingredients

  • White peach puree
  • Prosecco
  • Simple syrup, optional

Directions

If you can’t find frozen puree, use a food mill or meat grinder along with a fine sieve to make the pulp from white peaches (never use yellow peaches).  Refrigerate the puree until it is very cold.  If the peach is very tart, sweeten it with simple syrup.

When the puree is ready, combine with Prosecco: 1 part peach puree to 3 parts Prosecco (or 1 oz peach puree to 3 oz Prosecco).

Pour the mixture into well-chilled [Champagne] glasses and serve.

Photo Credit: The Guardian

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Cipriani’s four NYC locations mix 4,000 Bellinis per day, and the franchise as a whole goes through 30,000 bottles of Prosecco per year.

I’m obviously a big peach proponent–I am from the Peach State, after all–so I think the Bellini might be my brunch drink of choice from now on. Obviously you can find a good Bellini outside of the Cipriani empire–do you have any recommendations?

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This entry was posted in Global, Recipes, To Drink, Traditions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to From Venice With Love

  1. Cameo says:

    Love the post! Now I’m enticed to seek out the real deal – on the list of stops for my next NYC trip.

    Feel free to forget the high brow and go with peach nectar mixed with champagne. Little sugar on the rim if you want to step it up. Yum!

  2. eatingplaces says:

    Great post, Bellinis are one of my favorite drinks. Thanks for including some history, too, I didn’t know Cipriani invented them!

  3. segmation says:

    Hi Emily,
    Interesting that Bellini is a drink! I bet he would have liked it! Thank you for sharing this on Bellini! Perhaps you might like some Bellini Art, please check out my blog at http://segmation.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/giovanni-bellini-italian-renaissance-artist-www-segmation-com/. Thanks for allowing this comment.

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