Like a lot of cocktails, the Bellini originates from the 1930s. Created by an Italian Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice and traditionally made with white peach puree, of which there is an abundance of white peaches in Italy, and topped with prosecco.
The pinky-peach colour of the cocktail reminded him of the colour of a saint’s robe in a 15th-century Venetian painting by the artist Giovanni Bellini ~ hence the name. Bellini also means Little Beautiful One in Italian. Quite appropriate for this peach of a drink.
The Bellini is an official IBA (International Bartenders Association) cocktail and listed in their contemporary classics.
So the traditional Bellini is made with white peaches. White peaches are a bit scarce north of the Mediterranean. Which got me thinking. What could be more traditionally British in spring than rhubarb and ginger?
This Bellini cocktail recipe takes its inspiration from the original and gives it an English twist.
This Bellini cocktail recipe contains a couple of units of alcohol. If you want to dial it down a bit so it is light enough to be served at brunch or lunch then just add 30ml / 1oz of gin instead of 60ml or 2oz.
Use a London Dry gin. Save your expensive craft gins for another day. The ginger ale might overwhelm them.
Glass: any that take your fancy!
- 60ml / 2oz London Dry gin
- 30ml / 1oz rhubarb syrup
- For a recipe to make your own homemade rhubarb syrup click here.
- Ginger ale. If you prefer prosecco then, by all means, keep to the tradition. Another variation would be to add elderflower pressé or tonic.
- Pour the gin and rhubarb syrup into a champagne flute or Collins glass filled with ice.
- Top with a good quality ginger ale.
- It’s that simple.
Tip: If you want to omit the gin you can just use the syrup and ginger ale to make a Baby Rhubarb & Ginger Bellini.