1300 views 20 comments

Peach – Orange Bellini

by on June 11, 2011
 

Or ten reasons why summer is the best season of the year. Minus spring. And autumn. And even winter.

  1. Peaches and nectarines are in season
  2. Lone peaches, left on the counter can be put to good use
  3. Leftover prosecco can find a good home
  4. Ice cubes have reason to exist – perfect for cooling off
  5. Cocktails are ever so fashionable
  6. When the sun shines, you can sit in your small patch of a back garden and take a sip of any cocktail
  7. When the sun shines, you can also sit in…..your living room, and have the light stream through your glass windows
  8. Pretty summery coloured drinks make you happy
  9. Berries, peaches and citruses in some combinations are divine
  10. Bellini’s epitomise summer. For me.

DSC_0757I had my first ever bellini in March at Brio’s, an Italian eatery in the Town and Country suburb of Houston.

IMG_3903

I feel in love. Served in a tall glass, the peach nectar was sweet and fragrant. with peach blossoms. Slushy and fresh with the sparkling Italian wine, I sipped and sipped this incredibly fruit cocktail, while I nommed on crabcakes with vegetables and some hollandaise.

IMG_3902

And so when a lone peach spun in the fruit bowl last Sunday, a gift to my son (from a driving greengrocer) whose fruit loves are boxed in my strawberries, bananas and kiwis, the first thing that came to mind was….a bellini.Truth be told, I’m not much of an alcohol lover when it comes to drinking. I always say to people ‘I’d much rather cook with my alcohol than drink it’. But this is an exception. A simple combination of peaches, raspberries and orange juice, simmered in sugar and pureed….a couple more steps in between and finished off with some leftover prosecco, which I didn’t want to waste. And a dazzling cooler’s to be had.

DSC_0741

Preferably on a sunny day.

According to the mother of all information, Wikipedia:

A Bellini is a long drink cocktail that originated in Venice. It is a mixture of sparkling wine (traditionally Prosecco) and peach purée often served at celebrations. It is one of Italy’s most popular cocktails.

The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. Because of its unique pink color, which reminded Cipriani of the color of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini, he named the drink the Bellini. The drink started as a seasonal specialty at Harry’s Bar, a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles. Later, it also became popular at the bar’s New York counterpart. After an entrepreneurial Frenchman set up a business to ship fresh white peach pureé to both locations, it was a year-round favorite.

Other sparkling wines are commonly used in place of Prosecco, though richly flavored French champagne does not pair well with the light, fruity flavor of the Bellini.

For a non-alcoholic version, sparkling juice (like sparkling cider) or seltzer is used in place of the champagne.

Peach-Orange Bellini,makes 2

Ingredients
1 peach peeled and sliced into small chunks, pit discarded
Juice of 1 large orange
20g fresh or frozen raspberries, about 20
Caster sugar, to taste
Prosecco, to top
Directions

In a pan, combine chopped peach, orange juice, raspberries and 2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar, or to taste. Gently warm on low to medium heat stirring till the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust sugar as necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

DSC_0562
When cold, blitz in a blender till smooth.

DSC_0565

Make 4 ice cubes of the puree and store the rest in a container. Refrigerate till the cubes are frozen. They don’t have to be hard…slushy is nice.

DSC_0735

When ready to serve, divide icecubes between the two glasses, top each with the refrigerated puree and finish off with the prosecco or sparkling wine.

DSC_0747

Stir to combine and serve.

DSC_0752

Lone peach, about to wander meets frozen raspberries in pan…..and falls in love with orange juice and sugar. Heat. Whizz. Puree is set……

Ready to embrace leftover prosecco. Real Italian prosecco, from a night of fun and laughter. The union is made in heaven, or on the sunny coast of Amalfi.

Best sipped in a small house in the Netherlands.

Enjoy your weekend.