One of my top bucket list items? Sipping a Bellini cocktail at Harry’s Bar in Venice. In the meantime, until it will be safe to travel again, I will indulge digging into a dessert version of the famous cocktail.
I’ve been very lucky to visit Italy’s amazing Venice several times, when the city was already swarming with tourists, albeit numbers were still manageable compared to those seen in the last couple of years. That is, before the global pandemic.
There are so many reasons to love this city. Had it not been for the crazy number of day tourists, I’d been back many times in all those years I’ve avoided it exactly for the sky-high and still rising number of tourists.
It remains to be seen how visiting Venice will look like after the pandemic. The city has ambitious plans to make local tourism much more sustainable and not return to the numbers of tourists it had been struggling with in recent years.
While we all eagerly waiting to travel safely again, I am putting Venice firmly on my post-Covid bucket list.
When there, sipping a Bellini cocktail at world famous Harry’s Bar is one of the things you can expect me to do for sure.
Meanwhile, with 25th April not only being a national holiday in Italy (Liberation Day, honouring the country’s liberation after World War II) but also the day of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice, I’ve put together a rather unique version of the famous Bellini.
Possibly because I am currently a bit obsessed turning cocktails into desserts or cakes (blame it on the pandemic) but also because it is a simple yet refined dessert for any occasion.
The story behind the famous Bellini Cocktail
This Italian classic was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, the famous founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice sometime between the early 1930s and late 1948.
The Bellini Cocktail is as classic as it is easy. The original recipe calls for simply two parts Prosecco and one part white peach puree plus a little shot of raspberry or cherry juice, which gives the drink its characteristic pinkish colour.
Originally, the drink was served seasonally during the peach season but quickly became so popular that it became a year-round fixture at all outlets of Harry’s Bar.
Off course it is now served globally at any bar selling Prosecco (and possibly made with other sparkling wines too). Indeed, the cocktail is listed as on official IBA cocktail (the International Bartender Association), which means it is one of the cocktails that is used at one of the cocktails in the annual World Cocktail Competition.
Bellini Mousse Recipe
Serves 4 – 6
4 sheets white gelatin
2 fresh peaches (circa 250 g of fruit)
4 tablespoons peach liqueur
4 egg yolks
40 g powdered sugar
200 ml Prosecco
250 ml whipped cream
200 g fresh raspberries
Soak gelatin in cold water for about 10 minutes.
Dip the peaches in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Take out and douse with cold water. Skin the peaches, cut in half and eliminate the stone. Puree the fruit with the peach liqueur.
In a bowl, beat egg yolks and powdered sugar until obtaining a thick white cream. Add peach puree and combine well.
In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the still wet gelatin then stir into the peach mix. Add Prosecco, stir gently then put in the fridge for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to set.
Whip the cream stiff and carefully stir into the peach mix.
Fill into 4 large or six small glasses and put in the fridge for another 3 to 4 hours.
Puree the raspberries with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Top the peach mousse with the raspberry puree before serving. Garnish with a mint leave.