You’ve probably heard that the Bellini was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, a small two-story cocktail lounge and restaurant, down a tiny alley off Piazza San Marco. Guiseppe Cipriani opened Harry’s Bar in 1931 and served aperativos to expats like Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway.
Today travelers and foodies from around the world make the pilgrimage to sip the famous Bellini, and snack on Mozzarella en Carozza. The surroundings are elegant and the cocktails are delicious, albeit extremely expensive (around $18).
In Summer, when white peaches are in season, it’s simple to make delicious Bellini at home. All you need is a few peaches, a little sugar, a squeeze of lemon, and a bottle of Prosecco. As you can read on their website, Harry’s Bar has a few simple rules when making “the best champagne cocktail in the world”: everything must be cold; cold glasses, cold Prosecco, cold white peach puree. Don’t use a food processor to make the puree because it will aerates the fruit. Never use yellow peaches.
Make sure your peaches are nicely ripe, and then leave them in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. To make the puree, I pressed the fruit through a food mill, then through a fine-mesh strainer to catch most of the pulp. If you don’t have a food mill, you can use a box grater. And honestly, I think a blender would be the most efficient tool. These were delicious, and just like Harry’s Bar, I served them with a little bowl of green olives.
4 ripe white peaches
juice of 1 lemon
1 or 2 tsp superfine sugar
1 bottle Prosecco
1. Use a serrated knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the chilled peaches. Halve them, remove the pit, and roughly chop. Press them through a food mill, grate them over a large bowl, or puree in a blender. Strain the juice and pulp through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher. If the puree is too tart or too sweet, add the sugar and the lemon juice to taste and stir.
2. Add the Prosecco to the white peach puree, using 1 part puree to 3 parts Prosecco and gently stir. Divide among cold champagne flutes.