The Famous Bellini Cocktail: A Sparkling Brunch Favorite

The Spruce
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Puree: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
115 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 1g
Calcium 14mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Bellini is a popular sparkling wine cocktail that puts a peachy twist on your favorite wine. It's a very easy recipe and a lot of fun to share, especially when you have a few friends over for brunch cocktails. It makes a nice dinner drink, too.

The story behind the Bellini is that is was created in 1948 at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani. It was named after the Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini. Supposedly, the drink's color reminded Cipriani of the painter's preferred warm and subdued color palette.

Originally, the Bellini used Prosecco and it is still made that way in Italy. Elsewhere, it is often made with Champagne, which tends to be drier (unless you choose a sec or demi-sec wine). Any sparkling wine will do, though.

For the peach flavor, a purée of fresh white peaches is best and traditional; out of season, canned peaches will work. But again, there are other options so you can choose whatever's easiest for you.

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Ingredients

  • For the Peach Purée:
  • 4 peaches (white; pitted, quartered)
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar (or 3/4 ounce simple syrup; to taste)
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 2 ounces ​peach purée
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine (​Prosecco; chilled)
  • Garnish: peach slice

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Peach Purée

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a blender or food processor, add the peaches, ice, lemon juice, and sugar (or syrup).

  3. Taste and add more sweetener or lemon juice as needed.

Tips

  • You can remove the peach skin if you like, but it's not necessary. Be sure to rinse the fruit before cutting, though.
  • For an interesting twist, choose a few peach varieties and combine them into the puree.
  • If you like, strain the purée through a fine-mesh strainer to make it more like a juice.
  • Four peaches should yield around 1 1/2 cups of purée with the added ice. That's enough for six Bellinis.
  • The lemon juice acts as a preservative so a homemade peach puree should be good in the refrigerator for up to one week in a well-sealed container.

Make the Bellini

  1. Pour the peach purée into a Champagne flute.

  2. Slowly top with sparkling wine while gently stirring to incorporate. If you like, garnish with a slice of peach, either slit and rested on the rim or dropped in the glass.

  3. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Peach juice or peach nectar can be used as a substitute for the peach puree.
  • You can also simply pour a shot of peach schnapps into your glass.
  • Some Bellini recipes add a dash of raspberry liqueur (e.g., Chambord), but this is not original to the drink.
  • Freezing peach slices in a single layer (so they don't stick together) is a nice option if you're going to drop the garnish into the glass. It will keep the Bellini colder without any dilution.
  • If you want something a little more innocent, try the baby Bellini. That recipe skips the wine, pouring nonalcoholic sparkling cider instead.

How Strong Is a Bellini?

The Bellini is such a great brunch drink because it is a low-proof cocktail. It's really no stronger than the average glass of sparkling wine, even a little less because of the peach purée. On average, the Bellini's alcohol content is just 7 percent ABV (14 proof). Double that if you choose to pour the schnapps.