Summer Drinks Bear Fruit


Eating seasonally has become a big deal to a lot of people. CSA’s are popping up all over the place. Here in Richmond, we have a couple who have teamed up with local farmers to offer us the freshest produce and meats available. I think that it is a good thing and far healthier for us all.

There are also certain drinks that should be sampled in situ. Harry’s Bar in Venice is one such place. It is here that the Bellini was said to have been invented by Giuseppi Cipriani sometime in the 30’s or 40’s. It’s unique colour was said to remind the inventor of the colour of a Saint’s gown found in a painting by Bellini.

I have not had the pleasure of visiting Venice (Mrs. E. has, but not Harry’s Bar) but we did try a Bellini at Cipriani in New York. A light and refreshing drink, it is wonderful for a summer afternoon when the white peaches are in season.

The classic Bellini recipe calls for the purée of one white peach, a splash of cherry brandy, a dash of lemon juice and a topping of Prosecco.

Above you see what I had on hand. White peaches were on sale at my local Kroger supermarket. I peeled and puréed two with an immersion blender and set to work to make:

The Easy and Elegant Life’s Bellini-esque Cocktail

Peel and purée 2 white peaches
Add the juice of 1/2 lemon
Add a healthy splash of Calvados brandy
(an optional dash of Chambord will give it a saintly glow)

Mix the above together in a nice tall pitcher and, stirring all the while to keep down the foam, fill with crémant or Champagne (Prosecco’s smaller bubbles and lighter flavours really work best, but I had a crémant on hand.) Or you may add a teaspoon or two to a flute and top with the bubble. Pour carefully as it will froth over the top of the glass quite readily.

Perhaps I should have called it the Fellini after one of the director’s frothier movie sequences? A number of these would make you want to dance in a fountain.

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