How to make raspbellinis: a new twist on the Venetian classic; a great way to remember your trip to Venice; serve for brunch or afternoon tea
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Raspbellinis: a bold twist on a Venetian classic

Harry’s Bar in Venice is famous for inventing the Bellini, and for its customers. While Harry’s Bar isn’t really on your itinerary when you are seeing Venice with a child, a Bellini is the perfect Venician recipe to share with you. Pimped Tea with Mum style, of course! Meet, the Raspbellinis!

The bar, the drink, the legend

Giuseppe Cipriani opened Harry’s Bar in 1931, it was an instant success. Over the decades, it became known for creating the Bellini and carpaccio, and for the numerous international stars who frequented the establishment: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Charly Chaplin, Orson Wells, Alfred Hitchcock, Truman Capote and George Clooney. Don’t forget Ernest Hemmingway – he wrote about the bar in his novel, “Across the River and into the Trees“.

The bar’s notoriety continues until this day. In 2001, the Italian Ministry of Culture declared Harry’s Bar to be a national monument.

The Bellini

Giuseppe Cipriani created the Bellini in 1948. It was originally just a way to use some of the sweet seasonal peaches. He named it after Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini, whose work was being exhibited at the time. Apparently, the drink reminded him of the painter’s favourite colour palette.

Guiseppe Bellini - Self Portrait

How to make a Bellini

Originally, the Bellini had two ingredients:

  • flat, white ‘vineyard’ peaches, which are now in season, and
  • prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine.

Cipriani didn’t even puree the peaches at first. He just cut them into small pieces. The puree came when he was trying to make larger volumes of the drink, as did the addition of the sugar syrup.

Vineyard peaches, how to make a Bellini

Sugar syrup – not just for the Raspbellini

Sugar syrup is so easy to make and is great to have on hand at this time of the year. You can whip it out whenever you feel like a cocktail, or use it to sweeten your tea. It stores well – add a little vodka to the finished syrup if you want it to last longer.

Sugar syrup recipe

I work with a 1:1 sugar to water ratio. Dissolve the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the lid on the saucepan and slowly simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Brown sugar adds a lovely, slightly earthy caramel taste to your sugar syrup, but the syrup will be darker. I tend to use half a cup of white and half a cup of brown sugar, to get the best of both worlds.

If you don’t have any sugar syrup preprepared, you can make some in a shaker as many barkeepers do. Just add equal parts of sugar and water to a cocktail shaker and shake (and shake) until the sugar dissolves. This sugar syrup won’t have the syrupy texture, but it will definitely serve its purpose.

Raspbellinis in the garden, Italian style

Raspbellinis

When I was double-checking the prosecco to peach puree proportions, I came across a recipe that suggested adding a dash of Chambord to the glass. Raspberry. Mmmm. Why not add some raspberries to the peach puree? 

And thus Tea with Mum Raspbellinis were born (see what I did there?)

So, how do you make Raspbellinis?

Tips on how to make (Rasp)Bellinis

Availability

If you can‘t get the vineyard peaches, use any white peaches (or yellow ones if it is all that you have available).

If peaches aren’t available, or you have no time, you can use peach juice. Most bars do nowadays, even Harry’s Bar does. Cipriani’s (the owners of Harry’s Bar) even sell a bottled bellini. The bottle looks good, but I am not sure about the contents.

Make sure you taste the mix before you add any sugar syrup so that you don’t accidentally make it the drink too sweet. Too much sugar syrup will overpower the peaches.

Likewise, any sparkling wine will do if you cannot get prosecco. I used sparkling rosé wine, just for fun. Yum! Just make sure that your sparkling wine is cold!

Preparation

A potato peeler designed to peel tomatoes (so, a tomato peeler?) will work great on peaches. We have this one from Triangle, a great little company with beautifully designed kitchen tools. Coincidently, it is just around the corner from where we live.

Just a tip: Be careful if you are peeling the peaches over a rubbish or compost bin. The peelers get very slippery and tend to dive in.

The lemon juice keeps the puree fresh so that you can make it ahead of time.

If you have time and patience, you can strain the puree. I had neither, so I just used it as is. It did not affect the taste but there will be some raspberry seeds in the bottom of the glass.

A toast to Queen of the Adriatic

The Raspbellini is not only a nod to a great day in Venice, but is a fantastic as a brunch treat or with afternoon tea.

You can also serve it as an aperitif. Of course, Raspbellinis are the perfect way to wind down on a warm, late Summer’s day. Go Italian and serve it with some green olives and crisps, just like all the good Italian bars do.

Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go and enjoy this balmy evening and my Raspbellini!

How to make a (Rasp)Bellini
Raspbellinis

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

11 minutes

Italian

Servings: 2 persons

How to make a (Rasp)Bellini - a twist on the Venetian classic; a great way to wind down on a warm, late Summer's day

Our raspbellinis – a twist on the Venetian classic in honour of our trip to Venice – are easy to make and are a lovely way to wind down on a warm late Summer’s day, when the peaches are ripe.

Ingredients

  • 2 vineyard peaches (or whatever peaches are available)
  • a small handful of raspberries
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar syrup
  • sparkling (rosé) wine

Instructions

  1. If you have time, peel your peaches. Remove the stones.
  2. Place the peaches, raspberries and lemon juice in a blender and mix until it forms a puree. Add the sugar syrup bit by bit, tasting as you go, until you reach your preferred level of sweetness.
  3. If you have time: strain the puree and set aside.
  4. Pour (about 20ml of) the puree into two glasses and fill with sparkling wine.

Notes

Peeling the skin and straining the puree will make the raspbellinis smoother, but they won’t affect the taste. If you’ve chosen peaches that have thicker skin, this step may be a necessity. Straining will also help remove the raspberry seeds and stop them getting stuck between your teeth.

Serve them in full Italian style – with green olives and some potato crisps – just like they do in Venice.

 

https://www.teawithmum.com/raspbellinis/
Cheers- sign off
Raspbellinis - a new spin on the Venetian classic; How to make a Raspbellini; our recipe to remember our trip to Venice with a small child; best served with olives and crisps

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