Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bellinis

When I had Bellinis in Harry’s Bar in Venice it cost about $100 (aussie) for a round of four. But we WERE in Harry’s Bar and I guess you pay for the privilege. Take comfort in the fact that they are cheaper to make at home.

I know the health conscious among you will be appalled that I usually need to disguise things that are good for me in elaborate ways. Just like mums grate carrot into pasta sauce to get kids to eat it. I can think of no better way to disguise fruit than in luscious, come hither cocktails, especially in Summer. The bellini is to me the most succulent indicator of seasonal produce. When the heady fragrance of ripe white peaches hits me as I walk through the fruit market, I must immediately head to my local Italian wine merchant and buy some prosecco. Presto, bellinis. Bellissimo.

At Xmas, my darling cousins R and B treated us all with a bottle of imported Italian bellini mix which was very nice and put us all in the holiday spirit. But now that the peaches are here we must make the most of them, yes? Whip up a batch and laze around in the cool shade near the water and mutter things in incomprehensible Italian just to get in the spirit of it. This recipe is adapted from Walter Bolzonella, a barman at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice. Don’t ask me how I got the recipe … ah – La Serenissima ….

½ cup of water
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4-5 large ripe white peaches
1 tsp sugar or more - optional
1-2 raspberries, if needed, to enhance the colour

1 bottle of good Prosecco, preferably Nino Franco (Prosecco is an Italian semi sweet sparkling wine)

Place the water and lemon juice on a non reactive bowl – glass or ceramic.

Peel, stone and slice the peaches and immediately immerse them in the lemon water. This stops them from discolouring. Place the bowl in the fridge and chill for one hour, allowing the peaches to macerate. Take the peaches out of the water and place into a beaker suitable for a stab blender, or in the jar of a blender. Reserve the water. Puree the peaches and add a little of the water – a few tablespoons or more – to bring them to a consistency about as thick as runny cream. Taste the puree. Bellinis are not supposed to be an overly sweet drink, so if the peaches are ripe you won’t need too much sugar. If they are tart, add sugar and blend again. If your peaches are ripe they should have deep pink veins around the stone and this will give the bellini its rosy hue. If they are very pale, add a couple of raspberries and blend again.

Pour the puree into a pitcher and top with the Prosecco and stir, or make them in individual glasses with a little puree topped with Prosecco.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Ellie said...

I LOVE you! I heard about these cocktails back in yr 12 from my Renaissance Italy teacher. She was in the middle of her PhD into some aspect of Renaissance Venice (can't remember, it's been awhile), and she told us about these amazing cocktails. I've tried a number of recipes but always felt they were a bit 'meh', so I'll have to give this one a try and hope it makes me tingle with joy :)

9:10 PM  
Anonymous kathryn said...

I am a peach freak and, to me, it seems almost sacrilegious to use them in a drink. However, I have heard many, many reports of the wonder of the bellini. Thanks for the recipe Rebecca, I'm going to give this a go, just to see what all the talk is about . . .

8:46 AM  
Blogger neil said...

You won't say how you got the recipe. You know I have an over active imagination, La Serenissima be damned!!! I first had this years ago and as a consequence I now love white peaches.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

Hi Ellie - wow what a gret PhD! Mine was so boring. Hope this recipe works for you - I love them too!

Hi Kathryn - think of it as making the drink better not the peach worse :)

Hi Neil - I can't think of any better way to develop an adiction to white peaches.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Hi,

loving the blog. For an alternative Bellini (and useful if you can't get white peaches at just the right degree of ripeness) you can try roasting halved peaches with a little sugar and a little brandy. A low heat, covered with foil for about 40 minutes should do it. Then let the peaches cool, puree and then add to prosecco.

Andy
http://ur-food.blogspot.com/

9:23 AM  
Blogger A Taste in Heaven said...

I truly like Bellinis... so refreshing!! Nice pictures as well!!

3:27 AM  
Blogger Tyler said...

delish, a new way to enjoy prosecco. your recipe sounds fabulous, must try! i'm new to culinary blogs and fairly new to motherhood and taking on the role of chef around the household. will definitely visit often.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I had these at a restaurant they were excellent

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love these!

9:28 AM  
Anonymous the traveler said...

With the threat of cold weather, these truly are a little slice of summer.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Kasey said...

I am just waiting for peaches to be in season to make these...Takes me back to my days in Italy..

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Lucio said...

hi! interesting blog !!

6:40 AM  

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