It’s a hot summer night and you have friends around. Sure, you could open a bottle of sparkling or make a quick gin and tonic, but if you really want to impress guests, embrace a little bit of la dolce vita and enjoy a classic Venetian cocktail.
The home of the Bellini is unquestionably the iconic Harry’s Bar, tucked away from Venice’s famous San Marco square – and I was lucky enough to visit while on a Trafalgar trip around Italy.
While parked at the bar with my friend Julie, I discovered the cocktail was invented in 1948 and named after Giovanni Bellini, the fifteenth century Venetian painter.
From the immaculately presented waiters to the time-warp fixtures, the bar screams cool. This tiny watering hole proudly serves hundreds if not thousands of cocktails and meals every day, but the place still looks like Hemingway could walk in tomorrow and not feel out of place.
Our bartender advises that the secret ingredient to Bellini’s success is that everything needs to be as icy cold as possible (including the glassware). Unlike other more complicated cocktails, the Bellini only requires two simple ingredients – white peaches (always white, never yellow) and prosecco - which are mixed in a 1:3 ratio.
Peel the peach and blitz it in a food processor or blender.
Strain. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you can add a little sugar.
Serve them like they do at Harry’s - in a tall glass, not a champagne flute. Fill the glass up about a quarter to a third with the peach puree and then top up with prosecco.
Be warned – they are addictive.
Made possible by Trafalgar