Bastardizing the Bellini

By Katherine

A lot of bubbles

We really are the worst tourists. On our honeymoon in Venice, we decided to pop by the famed Harry’s Bar, birthplace of the bellini. We took a look at the menu, decided the bellinis were overpriced and walked right back out. Hey, people expect Americans to be rude, we were merely living up to our reputation.

The restaurant’s website has some very particular rules about how a bellini should be served. The glass should be very cold. Only white peaches should be used and you should never, I repeat, NEVER use yellow peaches. Well, we have those in spades at this time of year, so we’re chucking that rule. The never use peach schnapps edict? We’re ignoring that one too. (Early peaches aren’t as sweet and adding a little schnapps is a quicker solution than making a simple syrup.) Crime of all crimes, we even used Cava, instead of a nice dry Prosecco.

So with all apologies to Giuseppe Cipriani here’s our version of the bellini.

The “Don’t call this a bellini” bellini

  • Four white or yellow peaches, peeled and pitted
  • 1 bottle of dry sparkling wine
  • peach schnapps or sugar to taste

Puree peaches in blender. If they’re at their peak, you probably won’t need to add anything to sweeten the mix. If they’re not, add a tablespoon or so of sugar or schnapps. Put one to two tablespoons of fruit mix in the bottom of the wine glasses or champagne flutes. A three parts sparkling wine to one part puree is a good ratio. Make sure the bottom of the glass isn’t narrow or the puree will get stuck, like this. Top with champagne. Refrigerate any leftover puree.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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58 Responses to Bastardizing the Bellini

  1. Not going to lie, but I like bellinis made any which way as long as it’s got bubbly and pureed fruit! Your “not a bellini” sounds tasty!

  2. JamieAnne says:

    Bastardize the hell out of that Bellini! I’ll drink it! I’m not picky, it sounds wonderful. :)

  3. Laura says:

    Sounds delicious! I think yellow peaches taste better than white ones (at least the white ones I’ve had) so I would definitely go for the yellow guys!

  4. Lia says:

    You have the best ideas/posts about drinks. Too many I have yet to try, and the ones I have get rave reviews! thi just bumped something down the list.

  5. ChefMom says:

    I’ve never had a Bellini. I’m definitely going to have to give one of these a try sometime. Yum!

  6. joshuafagans says:

    Have to say I think it is the restaurant that is rude if they are overcharging and sticking it to the tourist. They should be ashamed. A bellini is a great start to an evening. I’ve even been known to use a high quality peach puree!

    • It’s one of those places every American just has to go, so they can charge what they like. We’re always disappointed in places like that.

      • Carolyn Chan says:

        It’s not just limited to Americans – Australians as well ! :) It’s such an overhyped place – I went there when I was in Venice in my early 20s and will be going again later this year (a good 15 years on) – I am so looking forward to the different experience it will be !

  7. Maureen says:

    You could fix one of these for me right now. No, make that three – we’ll all have one. :) Delicious any way you make it if you ask me.

  8. Charles says:

    Mm, I’d never even heard of a Bellini actually. I didn;t know such wonders existed – this looks great! Totally agree on your changes – Nothing annoys me more than purists who think that modifying a recipe means you’re ruining it. Nothing can ever evolve that way.

  9. Sissi says:

    Thumbs up! I am happy to hear there are people who are not frightened to walk out of a restaurant when they don’t like the menu/and or prices. I have done this several times in my life and never thought it was rude. I like your attitude :-)
    Your version of the famous Bellini looks luscious. I have never tasted nor made it, but it’s so famous, the ingredients are not complicated to get… I might even try the white peach version! Thanks for the lovely idea!

  10. Can I just say I loved reading this lol. You weren’t rude because you walked out, not to me. You were smart to keep your money in your pocket LOL. Nice recipe

  11. You rebels! I love the fact that you have rewritten the rules, enjoy those delicious looking drinks.

  12. banbamama says:

    It’s 10am over here and I want now!! This drink looks smashing.

  13. This honesty looks Iike it could easily become my favorite drink!

  14. Won´t call it a bellini, but will say yours looks wonderful! And I think you did the right thing in Harry´s Bar – have heard the same comments from others who have visited.

  15. I don’t think you were being rude, my husband and I would have done the same! I never follow the rules….when it comes to recipes (just wanted to clarify). Bellini’s are one of my favorites!

  16. Kelly says:

    Hi Katherine – yellow peaches sound entirely legitimate and delicious to me! Looking forward to trying this version. Funny the perception about American manners. I find Americans among the friendliest people on earth.

    • katherine says:

      Thanks, Kelly. We live in the South and people are so nice here, it’s actually annoying at times. Everyone wants to talk to everyone! Sometimes I just want to check out and take my groceries to the car.

      • Kelly says:

        ha-ha! I know what you mean; that’s precisely our observation… so friendly/chatty – but that’s mostly a good problem to encounter :)

  17. There’s a local shop here that makes a Bellini sorbet when we have good peaches – she uses Cava, too… It is To. Die. For…

    On walking out of the esteemed ‘Harry’s’…good for you. Any place that charges more for a single drink than you’d normally pay for an entree – I’m looking at you, Budda Bar, Paris – doesn’t need your buisness. The food will be better at a smaller place anyway…

  18. spicegirlfla says:

    A peach bellini is my FAVORITE! Actually peach in any type of drink! I have some ripe and ready peaches, yellow, not white! I’m printing this out for the weekend!

  19. I had no idea there were so many bellini rules! I’m all about this bastardized version. :)

  20. Good call on leaving Harry’s! When I was in Venice with my college friends, we didn’t even bother going in. We just stared in through the windows, like bad American tourists.

    I like this version. Could Brandy be a good sub for the Peach Schnapps? I never have schnapps at home.

  21. nrhatch says:

    I love when people play with their food . . . and drink. :D

    vive la difference!

  22. I’m all for adding the extra schnapps! I’ll take a little extra liquor anytime. Maybe even for breakfast tomorrow! :)

  23. The Swedish Chef says:

    As long as they’re not canned peaches in syrup… I think it’ll turn out just fine. I don’t really believe much in rules when it comes to drinks (or food for that matter)!

  24. Love it – the rebel bellini :)

  25. Whatever it is called…it sounds perfect for summer!
    ronelle

  26. gisellecagli says:

    Jajaja. I can imagine the face of the stuck up Venetian barman when you guys walked away from the bar. Hilarious!!! You did the right thing!! Everything is overpriced in Venice!!!! I loved your version. To tell you the truth, I have drank some bad bellinis in Italy. Probably they do not use fresh peaches (some use concentrated peach juice), and low quality prosecco.

  27. Caroline says:

    I probably would have walked out as well, as I can definitely be cheap at times. Looks like you concocted an equally delicious drink though!

  28. I like it! Perfect for summer!

  29. Karen says:

    To each his own. Harry’s may be famous but yours makes you happy and that is more important. When I make mine, I add a little peach vodka. Who says we have to follow Harry’s rule. Wouldn’t life be boring if we all did everything just the same.

  30. Holly says:

    I love a bellini! I need a reason to use my (not so) new champagne saucers too..

  31. ChgoJohn says:

    I, too, love a good Bellini and you’ve posted the recipe for a good one. Saluti!

  32. People who are precious about recipes being “just so” are like people who obsess over split infinitives.

  33. Young Wifey says:

    Oh how dare you! haha, looks delicious! They’ll never know you’re such a rebel!

  34. Lisa says:

    I have to say I love the name of this and it sounds fantastic!

  35. Give me bastardized any day…and yellow peaches are sooo much nicer than the old white ones.

  36. This is defintely on my list for the mountain of yellow peaches, I have! I made the Mint Julep Peaches, by the way. They were amazing but I over reduced the syrup a bit so they were like Mint Julep toffee peaches, no complaints though, will be posting the recipe soon!

  37. Ummm…I only have a few peaches left from this years harvest (it was NOT a good year) and a bottle of bubbly on the bar…think I’ll make these tonight to celebrate Friday!

  38. Yuri says:

    I thought bellini was just prosecco and juice… I usually make mine with pear juice :P this version sounds much better with fresh peaches!

  39. Jessica says:

    haha! That sounds pretty darn tasty to me!

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