Poor Giovanni Bellini, the Venetian master painter. If he
only knew his lasting claim to fame would come when the famous barkeep Harry
Cipriani named a peach and Prosecco cocktail after him. Harry liked peaches, and in a moment of
inspiration (which probably meant he had a ton of peaches around and he had to
use them or lose them) he combined the peach puree with some sparkling wine and
a summer cocktail classic was born.
Bellini’s are only as good as the peach, so if you don’t
have good peaches, you may get by with some very good quality peach nectar.
I’m lucky, there’s a peach farm down the road, it’s peach
season, and I had a boatload of peaches in the kitchen. Six kilos of peaches to
be exact. Some went into a peach
cake, some went into peach ice cream and some went into a Bellini sorbet. The sorbet is a simple concoction of
pureed and strained peaches, a little bit of lemon juice and a tiny bit of
simple syrup combined with about half a bottle of Prosecco, then still-frozen.
Meaning I didn’t use an ice cream machine, I just poured the liquid into a
container and put it in the freezer.
When it’s time to indulge in a Bellini slush, cut out a
chunk of the sorbet (it’s stays firm but not ice hard due to the Prosecco’s
alcohol content), and combine in the blender with some ice cold Prosecco.
I bet Harry Cipriani would approve of my Bellini slush. As
for Giovanni Bellini, I hope he liked peaches.