Sunday Brunch: Bellini

June 26, 2011

Bellini - Courtney-style

With peach season in full swing, I decided it was time to make a favorite of mine (and really, when a sparkler is added, when is it not a favorite?), the bellini. As I’m sure you already know, the bellini was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice. It’s a blend of white peach puree and prosecco, two sweet items. While I think it is a grand marriage of two yummy things, I always like adding a bit of liquor to any of my champagne/fruit juice cocktails. It cuts down a bit on the sweetness, which is perfect for me. As you can imagine, this caused tremendous confusion at Harry’s, me toying with their decades-old drink.

The exchange went something like this. “I’d like a bellini, but could you float a little brandy on top?”

“Brandy? On a bellini?”

“Yes, just a little, poured on the top.”

“But a bellini doesn’t contain brandy.”

“Yes, I know, but I would like a bellini *with* brandy. On top.” I motioned a bit here.

A few shakes of the head, some staring at the bottles behind the bar, and I ended up with a bellini topped with cognac. The bartender gestured to see if this is what I meant, I nodded, smiled, and enjoyed my bellini.

Round 2: Ordering the second bellini.

During the time I drank the first bellini, the bartenders changed shifts, so I had to go through the whole rigamarole again with a new bartender. He was not as easily swayed as the first bartender, and went to check with management after a long exchange about floating cognac on my bellini. Management came over, we continued to have a conversation about floating cognac on top of the sacred bellini, and finally they nodded and began making my bellini.

For a moment, I was happy. Success was mine! Then they brought the bellini…. and a snifter of cognac on the side. I could do what I wanted with it, but they would not be changing their bellini recipe for me.

My husband and I had a good laugh, and even more of a laugh as I attempted to pour cognac from a snifter into a champagne glass. I made quite the mess, but I still had my superior bellini.

Courtney’s (Superior) Bellini Recipe
2 ounces fresh white peach puree or juice (depends on if you want it to have a bit of texture)
4 ounces prosecco
1/2 ounce brandy

Pour the peach puree into the champagne flute, and slowly top with prosecco. Be careful, as the prosecco will want to bubble over as it reacts with the puree. Mix gently. Using a spoon, float a bit of brandy on top, and enjoy!

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