If you want to play baseball with four strikes in an out, I’m not stopping you. Throw a party on February 31 — knock yourself out. Put “i” after “e”, wear white shoes before Memorial Day, spit into the wind, and mess around with Jim; I’m sure not going to be the one to tell you no. Because, really — contrary to popular belief — I don’t really give an animated rat‘s backside if you order a Mojito in a midwinter maelstrom. I just hope you know that we’re all laughing at you and the bartender’s spitting in your nachos.
In this permissive spirit, I encourage you to make your Bellini with any-ol’ peach puree. Heck, substitute cheap peach schnapps or metallic peach nectar from a can for all I care — I’m sure you’ll love it. But please don’t try to stop me from heading down to the nearest farmers market and finding myself a gorgeous, perfectly ripe heirloom peach. And seeing as how I’m just like that, I’m even going to make it a white peach… Signor Cipriani would be so proud!
You see, these lovely aperitivi are called Bellini not because they’re petite and pretty (which they undoubtedly are, when — ahem — traditionally concocted). But rather, it’s because their decidedly pink blush calls to mind the paintings of a certain Giovanni Bellini, a Renaissance painter who applied a deep, rosy glow to the togas, turbans, and other trappings of his art. Made with a standard yellow Prunus persica, the drink takes on a golden tone — more Klimt than Bellini — so some folks encourage the blush with a touch of raspberry. Which, you know, you could do also. And a very interesting cocktail you would have.
Just don’t make me call it a Bellini, or I’m liable to leave some rude remarks on your blog.
1 white peach
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 ice cubes
Sparkling wine, perferably prosecco or other off-dry bubbly
Peel and pit the peach. Cut into chunks and place in a blender with the lemon juice and ice. Puree very well, until the ice is liquefied and the peach well blended. (The resulting puree yields enough for 3 to 4 cocktails.)
Place 1-1/2 to 2 oz of the prepared puree in a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine, stirring constantly with a bar spoon to prevent too much foaming.