To start our series of Recipes together with our Aperitivo all’Italiana every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Sundown: Il Faro Bed&Breakfast and Italian Restaurant Hanoi, we are celebrating the classic Italian cocktail, and you’re invited to join us for un Aperitivo all’Italiana.
The Bellini cocktail was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1934. Because of the cocktail’s unique pink color, which reminded Cipriani of the color of a saint’s toga in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini, he named the drink Bellini
The essential white peaches, whose sieved pulp gives the cocktail its fragrance, can be found only in midsummer and autumn.
Ideally, push your peaches through a food mill, but you may prefer to blitz them in a food processor. Despite their white flesh the purée will be a pale rose-gold. Put 2 tsp of the purée in the base of each chilled champagne glass then pour over thoroughly chilled, dry Prosecco. You need 2 or 3 peaches per bottle.
Have your white peaches ripe but refrigerated before you purée them. The choice of glass is up to you. I like a long stem on mine, but a thin tumbler is traditional. Keep everything chilled including the glass – a warm bellini is not worth considering. Use about 3 or 4 parts sparkling wine to one part peach purée. Don’t even think of using canned peaches. Bottled peach juice is just about acceptable, but sweeter and less fragrant, and somehow misses the point.
Swap the peach juice for tangerine, so you can drink it in winter. Use raspberry or strawberry purée, thoroughly sieved, and add a single drop of orange blossom water to each glass.