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What is a Bellini?
Created in 1948 by Harry Cipriani at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy, this sophisticated drink was named for the 15th-century Venetian artist Jacopo Bellini, a painter Cipriani much admired. Apparently, the wonderful faint pink hue of the Bellini reminded him of a similar shade in one of the artist's paintings. The components are fairly simple but when combined, they make an intricate, stylish drink.
If white peaches are out of season, don't hesitate to make this with yellow ones—the drink won't be quite the same in color, but it will retain its marvelous balance and flavor. You may also use frozen peach puree in place of the fresh peaches (if you do, omit the lemon juice and the sugar).
This recipe is adapted from that of Walter Bolzonella, barman of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice.
For the Peach Purée:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 pound ripe white peaches
2 teaspoons sugar
For the Drinks:
A few raspberries, if desired, for color
1 bottle Prosecco sparkling wine, preferably Nino Franco
Purée ALL Peach Purée ingredients in a blender (adding a few raspberries for color, if desired). Chill.
Pour chilled peach purée into a pitcher. Add one bottle of chilled Prosecco sparkling wine and stir gently. Pour into glasses and drink at once.
Source: Hotel Cipriani - Venice, Italy
Date: July 24, 2004