The History of the Bellini

There is something quite fancy and decadent about the Bellini.

It feels a little bit more special than your standard classic cocktail and takes the edge off a dry glass of Prosecco. Fruity, yet fizzy, it satisfies all the senses, with its pretty pink colour making for an elegant finish. So, where did this classy cocktail come from?

Who invented the Bellini?

The famous Harry’s Bar is the location for the creation of the Bellini. This well-known establishment was a haunt of many a famous face back in the day, including Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemmingway and Truman Capote, who adored the Venetian bar and the views over the grand canal.

The cocktail was dreamt up by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner and founder of the bar, in 1948. Harry’s Bar would often use ingredients from the local countryside, bringing a fresh and authentic vibe to the menu. The region must have been flush with white peaches that year, because, alongside Prosecco, they are a key ingredient of this drink.

The peaches were pureed and then added to the Prosecco at a ratio of 1:2. The resultant mixture reminded Cipriani of a beautiful sunset painting created by Giovani Bellini, so much so that he named the cocktail after the local artist.

In 1988, a family in the Prosecco region of Italy decided to bottle the Bellini, adding a few drops of raspberry juice to the mixture to make a unique and delicious offering.

Variations of this Cocktail

There are many variations of the Bellini, most of them switching out the peaches in favour of another type of fruit. For example, a Passion Fruit Bellini uses passion fruit juice and a dash of Cointreau, while an Elderflower Bellini uses apple juice and a shot of Elderflower cordial. Add a strawberry and a mint sprig for a fruity fiesta!

If you want to get a little bit festive with your cocktail, why not try a Gingerbread Bellini? This swaps peach juice for Frangelico, lemon juice and a tablespoon of gingerbread syrup to create the most incredible Christmas drink.

And, of course, if you prefer a mocktail, you might like a Baby Bellini. The Baby incorporates lemon juice, apple juice and peach juice to give that fruity taste that is irresistible to children, designated drivers and those that are actively avoiding alcohol.

The Bellini is a cocktail that inspires creativity – pour two-thirds of a glass of Prosecco and add a fruit juice of your choice. Hey presto, you have your very own variation! What will you call it?!

This post was written by ....

Suzanna H
Hi, I am Suzanna. I would describe myself as a bit of a foodie with a side-interest in fancy cocktails. Anything sweet and alcoholic and I'm in! I am also an avid writer, proofreader and editor and work freelance through the website People per Hour.

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