Bellini cocktails

Bellini

By Timo Torner / Last updated on October 1, 2022 

First published on November 11, 2021 

The Bellini cocktail is a classic two-ingredient cocktail from Venice, Italy. Invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, the drink is a celebration of white peaches.

When Giuseppe Cipriani first served the Bellini Cocktail in Harry's Bar in Venice, he had no idea how successful it would eventually become. 

Over time the recipe -Prosecco mixed with white peach puree- has seen countless variations, mainly due to the limited availability of the original ingredients.

Some of those variations are the Puccini cocktail (replacing peach purée with mandarin juice), Rossini (replacing peach with strawberry purée), and the Tintoretto (using pomegranate juice instead of peaches). 

Ingredients of the Bellini cocktail

To make an authentic Bellini cocktail, you need Italian sparkling wine, preferably Prosecco, and the puree of white peaches. 

Prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian DOC or DOCG type of sparkling wine. The DOC and DOCG are classifications that legally protect wines from Italy. 

It's produced in 9 provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions and is named after the village of Prosecco. 

Almost every Prosecco you will find is either spumante or frizzante (sparkling or semi-sparkling), but it's also available as tranquillo, a still version.

Bellini drink with peaches

For our Bellini cocktail, I recommend using sparkling (spumante) Prosecco. 

I prefer a bubbly Prosecco over a semi-sparkling. Plus, you always lose a bit of sparkling when mixing it with other ingredients like our white peach purée. By the way, the same applies to another famous Prosecco drink, the Aperol Spritz.

Sometimes Prosecco gets replaced by other types of sparkling wine. However, I want to note that some of the more flavorful ones, like Champagne, take away from the delicate taste of the peach purée.

White Peaches

White peaches are what give the Bellini cocktail its beautiful color. 

Unlike regular peaches, the fruit flesh is not yellow but white with a deep red surrounding the stone. When skinned, pitted, and blended, these red bits and white flesh mix together and create that elegant pale, peachy orange.

white peaches vs yellow peaches

In some supermarkets, you can get pre-packed white peach puree. And as long as it's unsweetened and 100% fruit, that works perfectly in a Bellini.

If you can't get white peaches, you can also make the Bellini cocktail with peach nectar instead of purée. To still achieve the peachy color, you can add a splash of raspberry or cherry juice.

However, whenever possible, stick to the original recipe and celebrate the taste of fresh and ripe white peaches. 

History of the Bellini cocktail

The Bellini cocktail got created somewhere between 1934 and 1948. There are different sources stating different years, so it's hard to tell the exact date. 

However, sticking with Cipriani Drinks, the drink was first served in 1948. Cipriani Drinks does belong to the Cipriani Inc. company and is named after Giuseppe Cipriani, the inventor of the Bellini.

Why Bellini?

When picking the name for his cocktail, Cipriani got inspired by the famous Italian painter Giovanni Bellini. 

Bellini with white peach garnish

In one of his most iconic paintings, a toga worn by a Saint is of a unique pink color. A shade quite similar to the one of the Bellini cocktail. His son Arrigo once stated:

"I had no idea at the time that the pink glow my father had so admired in one of Bellini's paintings would be the inspiration for his famous cocktail."

Arrigo Cipriani

Why peaches?

Arrigo also indicated that his father was obsessed with the idea of creating a drink incorporating white peaches. 

Peaches are available throughout the whole summer, all over Italy. But it was the white peaches specifically that Giuseppe was trying to bring into one of his cocktails.

"…my father had a predilection for the white ones. So much, in fact, that he kept wondering whether there was a way to transform this magic fragrance into a drink he could offer at Harry's Bar."

Arrigo Cipriani

White peaches for bellini cocktails

And finally, one of his experiments, puréed white peaches with Prosecco, became a success. 

At first, the drink became a seasonal offering only. But as people kept asking for it, Giuseppe put it on the bar menu permanently.

On a side noteGiuseppe Cipriani not only created a cocktail listed by the IBA, but he also invented one of the most popular Italian dishes - the Carpaccio.

Bellini cocktail

Bellini

A classic Prosecco cocktail mixed with white peach purée.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Prosecco
Servings: 1
Calories: 124kcal
Cost: $3.30

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4.5 oz Prosecco spumante
  • 1.5 oz White peach purée

Instructions

  • For the peach purée: rinse your white peaches and start mashing them with their peels. Use a fork or potato masher, and mash until you achieve a nice balance of juice and fruit pulp.
  • Add the purée into a Champagne flute and top with Prosecco.
    1.5 oz White peach purée, 4.5 oz Prosecco spumante
  • Gently stir the drink before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.5g | Protein: 0.45g | Sodium: 3.5mg | Potassium: 20mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin C: 2.95mg | Calcium: 2.5mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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