Classy and classic, the Bellini is one of the simplest cocktails to make – it only has two ingredients! Which is where it becomes essential to emphasise the importance of the quality of said ingredients: the better your Prosecco and peaches, the nicer your Bellini will be! Many Bellini cocktails served in restaurants use a peach-flavoured liqueur such as crème de pêche. This results in a very sweet Bellini; if you have a sweet tooth, go ahead: just top up a little of the liqueur with Prosecco, and you're good to go. For a less sweet version using fresh peaches, read on.
Get more Christmas cocktail recipes in our festive roundup.
Fresh Bellini recipe
This recipe is mostly about getting your peach puree right. Ideally, you want fresh, ripe peaches that are soft to the touch. If it's easy to make a dent in it with your thumb, the peach is ripe. If you can't get fresh ones at all, you can buy frozen peaches instead.
1. Begin by peeling your peaches. We don't recommend peeling them with a peeler or kitchen knife, because you'll lose a lot of the tasty juice, although you can mitigate this by peeling the peaches over a mixing jug or bowl. However, it's much easier to peel your peaches if you put them in boiling water first.
2. Score the peach skin in an x shape; place them in just-boiled water for 10-20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or ladle and let rest until no longer too hot to handle. Start pulling at the skin where the incision was made – the skin will come off very easily.
3. Now stone and slice your peaches and mix into a puree using a hand blender or food processor. Voila, your fresh peach puree is ready, no added sugar required (although you can, of course, if your peaches aren't sweet enough).
4. Place a tablespoonful of the puree in each champagne flute/bowl and top up with chilled Prosecco.
If you don't have time to look for fresh peaches, or they're not readily available where you live, then buying Bellini Cipriani is your best bet – it's made by the descendants of the cocktail's inventor and uses a white peach base.
You can also experiment with other sparkling wines – Cava and French Cremant pair well with the sweetness of the peach, although we'd advise against using Champagne as it doesn't work so well with the peach flavour.