For my close friend Jen’s wedding shower last August, I made peach and strawberry bellinis in addition to classic mimosas. Preparing for the mimosa and bellini bar was fun. Jen and I tried out the sparkling wine in mimosas, verifying the correct OJ to champagne ratio, and Alex and I got to try several different variants of bellini mixes at home. We did rigorous taste testing of 3 different strawberry bellini recipes. Below are the versions that we chose.
Peach Bellinis (should serve about 7) (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1.5 lb white peaches
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 bottle sparkling wine
Make an x on the bottom of each peach. Plunge into boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to an ice water bath for 1 minute. Peel skin from peaches – it will slip right off! Pit peaches and put peach pieces in a blender. Add lemon juice and sugar and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve. Chill until ready to use.
To serve, combine 1 part peach puree with 2 parts sparkling wine. You won’t be able to pour all the champagne at once due to the bubbles. Stir to combine after the first pour, then top with more bubbly.
2 pounds strawberries
3 tbsp creme de cassis
3 tbsp sugar
1 bottle sparkling wine
Cut tops off of strawberries. Blend strawberries, creme de cassis, and sugar. Strain through a sieve. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, combine 1 part strawberry puree with 2 parts sparkling wine. You won’t be able to pour all the champagne at once due to the bubbles. Stir to combine after the first pour, then top with bubbly.
The strawberry bellini mixture was my own creation. I added the creme de cassis because strawberries weren’t at their best in August; the liqueur made the mixture taste more berry-y. If strawberries had been perfectly ripe, I would consider skipping the creme de cassis and adding a little lemon juice to balance the sweetness. I would also skip the creme de cassis if I was serving this with sparkling grape juice for anyone avoiding alcohol. A little grenadine might also enhance the flavor of the mix in place of the creme de cassis.
Peach bellinis were easily the biggest hit of the three beverages. Strawberry was popular too, perhaps because of the novelty of it. I froze the leftover puree in heart-shaped ice cube molds; each ice cube contained about 2 teaspoons of mix. I stored them in zipper bags in the freezer, and Alex and I broke out the strawberry bellini leftovers for our anniversary brunch. They were still as good as when I’d made them. I highly recommend freezing the bellini mix for ease of use. The heart-shaped ice cubes were cute, although they did melt quickly. Use 4 per glass of champagne, and stir well.