This is one of the world's classical cocktails and has also, like many of the greats in life, been subject to the most appalling abuse over the years.
The drink comes from Venice, from Harry's Bar - a place made famous not only by its legendary cocktail-inventing owner, Guiseppe Cipriani, but also its stellar clientele - people like Orszon Welles, Hemingway and Bogart gathered to quaff and scoff there. Cipriani, incidentally, founded Harry's Bar on the proceeds of lending a hard-up American businessman some cash to see him through the 1929 crash - the loan was repaid five-fold, allowing Cipriani to set up the business. So this is a great drink for a recession. That's my excuse, anyway.
Peach schnapps and champagne should never go near a Bellini, let's get that clear upfront. It's a ridiculous waste of money for a start - but also terribly unfaithful to the original. Having said that, it's hard to be truly faithful to that original as it uses white Italian peaches, which you can't generally find easily. But peach schnapps is a step too far, I feel.
The drink is made with prosecco, people. Not pop, sekt or babycham - prosecco. And reasonable prosecco can be remarkably inexpensive...
- 2 ripe peaches
- 1 bottle prosecco
Divide the pulp between four decent-sized champagne flutes. I find 1 tsp of pulp in a hotel sized flute is about right - the larger Ritzenhoff glass pictured was a good 2 tsp of pulp. The 'official' recipe is 1 part pulp to 2 parts Prosecco but I do find that's too much peach. Fill the glass 1/3 with Prosecco - it will fizz up a bit. Give it a good stir to mix the peach pulp in with the prosecco and then top up the glass.
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