Classic BelliniIf you find yourself craving something sweet and fruity during these hot summer days, we've got the perfect suggestion for you: the Bellini.  The Bellini originated in Venice, Italy at Harry's Bar (which is still going strong and serving great Bellinis!).  The Bellini is a very simple cocktail that uses only two ingredients--sparkling wine and peach puree (making this the perfect recipe for summertime, when the peaches are at their sweet and juicy best).  These two flavors play off of each other exceptionally well, and make for the ideal hot-weather cocktail that is great with brunch, for a bridal shower, or just any old lazy Sunday.

For the best quality Bellinis, we recommend using fresh summer peaches.  Traditionally, this recipe is made with Prosecco, which is a generally dry Italian sparkling wine.  However, you can substitute any decent-quality Champagne, sparkling wine, or Cava.  (Unlike in many of the cocktails we post, because there are so few ingredients in a Bellini, the quality of the sparkling wine you use really makes a difference, so don't buy the cheapest stuff for this one.)  Here's the basic recipe:

  • Pour 2 oz peach puree into a champagne flute.
  • Slowly add 4 oz sparkling wine.
  • Garnish with a peach slice.

Could that be any easier?  Just make sure that you don't pour too fast or, heaven forbid, mix the cocktail, because you can disturb the bubbles and make the final product flat rather than fizzy.  For that reason, it's best to make this one at a time rather than in a big pitcher.  Now go to it!