Sunday, March 29, 2009


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
Stone and chop the peaches, then whizz 'em in a hand blender. Strain the resulting pulp as finely as you can, ideally squeezing it through some nice, clean muslin, so that you end up with a thick, buttery and smooth pulp. This should be made fresh as it'll discolour with time and take on a brownish tinge as the peach oxidises. I find a splash of lemon helps, but you can't use too much as you'll taint the sweetness of the peach.

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.

10 Serve
20 Repeat
30 GOTO 10


Media Junkie said...

oh yum! it is quite delish! shall check it out.

the closest to peaches i've ever gone is an orange-peach juice mix with malibu

and you also have the peach barbican.

shall try it next time mom's out of town!

2020hindsight said...

When I first started as a computer programmer way back when, the Golden Rule was "Never Use Gotos" because there's always a better alternative.

At long last I have found the exception to The Rule.