02 July 2010

Summertime Bellini Cocktail

I fell in love with Italian cooking long ago. Along with a passion for pasta, I have discovered these lovely, refreshing summertime dessert, 'by the pool', or brunch cocktails. Take your pick where you'd serve them. I think they are so light and refreshing that they go well in varied situations.

When I sipped them by the pool, I would pour them over crushed ice to make the drink last longer ... do what you will with them! I also play fast and loose with the 'peach scnapps' ... I like apricot brandy instead, a smaller amount of lemon juice, and a bigger dash of peach nectar ... all combined just before pouring in the Prosecco. Mmmmmm! I get excited for this special treat just thinking about it!

My recipe comes from Jeff Smith's The Frugal Goumet Cooks Italian. I like his cook book because he gives good brief commentary on his recipes, has easy to follow directions, and most of the time, readily available ingredients. Nothing overly tussy-mussy; just good basic Italian fare. One day I will share his recipe for tiramisu ... truly wonderful!

Anyway ... try the Bellini Cocktail! It's summertime and the perfect time to sip one! Italy's answer to the mint julep ...

 Bellini Cocktail

Chill your cocktail glasses and prepare a small bucket of crushed ice.

For each cocktail,  measure into a cocktail mixer or small pitcher:

2 oz. peach nectar (Goya Products makes small cans)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I use less)
1 oz. peach schnapps (I use apricot brandy)

Mix this well.

Place a small amount of crushed ice in a chilled cocktail glass and pour the nectar mix over the ice.

Top with:

3 - 5 oz. Prosecco or Asti Spumante

Place a small twist of lemon peel and a thin peach slice on the rim of the glass and serve.

Note: Prepping the fruit and ice, chilling the glasses, and having the garnishes at the ready means you can really crank these drinks out for a party scene. I don't think I would try to make pitchers unless you plan to pour the whole pitcher right a way ... this drink would go flat pretty fast and there's no fun in a flat Bellini ... the sparkle is a big part of its refreshing charm.

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