Classic Cocktail 13

Millions of peaches, peaches for me,
Millions of peaches, peaches for free!

The shuffle on my music player picked up this song by the Presidents from the US while I was thinking of which cocktail to write about. Immediately in my head, just like a math equation, peaches plus cocktails = Bellini.

The Bellini draws from tradition that has been practiced in Italy where peaches were marinated in wine. The best time for these stone fruits is when they are in season from the month of May till September. So, if you are one of those cocktail aficionados who would travel to sample the original thing created at Harry’s Bar in Venice around 1945, be sure to visit during these months where product quality is at its best and the finest bars only serve this cocktail during this season. Places which are able to serve them all year round probably use frozen puree, which is not at all bad but just not as fresh.

There are only 2 components to a Bellini; peach and prosecco. Just like champagne, the sparkling wine has to come from a specific region, for prosecco, in Northern Italy. If compared to a traditional Asti (another style of sparkling wine in Italy), prosecco is of a drier style with delicate floral notes.

For this great pre-anything drink, we will have to give credit to a man named Giuseppe Capriani who named the cocktail after a painter called Giovanni Bellini of the 15th century due to the drink’s pink hue and the painter’s penchant for using rich pinks on his canvases. For your information, Capriani also gave name to the world well known Carpaccio dish after another painter, Vittore Carpaccio.

Try fixing a few at a time if you are opening the bottle at a temperature like the one in Malaysia before losing its effervescence (carbonation). To keep the fizz in sparkling wine lasting, use a champagne saver to minimise oxidation and store it in the fridge.

For a single serving, follow the following recipe:

30ml Pureed white peaches (10% added sugar)
3ml Lemon juice
60ml Prosecco (chilled)

In a mixing glass, very gently and lightly STIR all the ingredients with ice and then strain into a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a peach slice on the rim.


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