Cocktail of the month: Bellini

A simple blend of peachy goodness


It’s a curious and little-known fact that more than one-third of IBA-recognised ‘classic’ cocktail recipes were created in establishments called ‘Harry’s Bar’. That may or may not be true, but it feels plausible, and is certainly the case with the Bellini. This simple, fruity number was concocted sometime around the second world war by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy (the Harry’s Bar after which all other Harry’s Bars are named, interestingly) who gave the drink its name because its distinctive hue reminded him of the toga of a saint in a painting by Giovanni Bellini. Today, we have the Pornstar Martini and the Sex on My Face; so much for progress.

A true Bellini is made using pureed white peaches (more fragrant than the common yellow variety) topped up with prosecco. Depending on your location and the time of year, this can be a bit of a tall order, so other fruit is sometimes used, including mandarin (to make a Puccini), pomegranate (to make a Tintoretto), or even a fruit liqueur.

Our version is probably not for the purists, and comes out rather boozier than the cultured Mr Cipriani would probably have wanted. It’s tasty though, and our beer buyer Callum can often be found knocking these back at our Friday afternoon office drinks, while the rest of us sip our real ale. We fortify our prosecco with a measure of good quality gin – in this instance the award-winning GinTing premium dry gin – before further adulterating it with a slug of peach liqueur. It’s then traditional to go and have a bit of a lie down.

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