It’s Bellini ‘o clock somewhere | © Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Bellini is a boozy crowd-pleaser featuring sparkling Prosecco and white peach purée.

As a quick fix for any summer fiesta, the Bellini cocktail is one of the ABCs of mixology. Soaking up vitamin D on a lazy summer weekend or hosting a sumptuous brunch? The fizzy drink’s versatility is there to catch you. 

The cocktail is one of the most requested concoctions at bars and clubs, making it an IBA Official Cocktail. It was first invented in Venice, Italy in the 20th century, and it is named after a 15th-century Venetian artist. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the sparkling Italian cocktail.

History

The fizzy drink, which is fairly common on brunch menus today, was first created somewhere between 1938 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venezia.

As peaches were in abundance throughout Italian summers, Giuseppe created Mimosa’s sibling by adding Prosecco to white peach purée.

Giuseppe christened the drink Bellini because its pinkish hue reminded him of the paintings of Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini.

The legendary Harry’s Bar | © dianesbloodymary / Instagram

Word about the refreshing drink quickly spread to grand metropolises like Paris and New York. The iconic Henry’s Bar was frequented by international guests like Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and Truman Capote

The Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs also declared the Italian Harry’s Bar as a national landmark back in 2001.

Hall of fame

© @ginnysgin / Instagram

The 2009 novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer, is partially set in the Venice Biennale.

The protagonist, jaded and dissolute journalist Jeff Atman expects to see a lot of art, crash a lot of parties, and down a bunch of Bellinis. 

The book made the buzzed Bellini’s inebriation sound so delish that every time you’ll read the book, you’d want a Bellini. 

What’s in it? 

Brewing a sparkling Bellini is quicker than one would think. The whole point of making (and drinking) the Italian concoction is that it is easy. Here are the main ingredients:

White peach puree

Prosecco

Pitted cherries or Raspberries

Bellini is a great brunch staple as it is a low-proof cocktail. On average, Bellini’s alcohol content is just 8% ABV. 

How it’s served

The classic Bellini is presented straight up in a fluted glass with no ice. 

Since the Bellini is not your average on the rocks drink, it’s important for the Prosecco to be freshly taken out of the fridge. To up the chill factor, the puree should be refrigerated before being added to the boozy concoction.

Variants 

Whether it’s for summer brunch or a pre-dinner party, there’s room for a version of Bellini that suits your taste. 

© @horuscafeonb / Instagram

From pineapple and strawberry to orange and mango, you can use any fruit for the puree in the hunt for your desired mellow twist.

Mouth-watering alternatives include The Apricot Bellini.

For those who want a mocktail version of the recipe, this deliciously booze-free Bellini made with apricot nectar, sparkling grape juice, crushed ice and fresh mint is an instant hit. 

If you’re looking for something to cool down with, this Rosemary Infused Frozen Peach Bellini is a match made in heaven.

The added rosemary truly elevates the flavor – so consider this your go-to summer drink. 

For a non-alcoholic version, add sparkling water instead of sparkling wine. 

Do it yourself

Making a standard version of Bellini is a fairly easy task.

While a fresh purée is always recommended, you can of course opt for a store-bought one. 

Place the peach purée in the champagne flute and top it off with half a glass of Prosecco. Use a slice of peach for a co-ord garnish – or contrast it with raspberry toppings.

Bellini is much-loved for its light fruity flavor. Sweet, sour, and sparkling, this Italian drink is a crowd-pleaser no matter the occasion.