Monday, July 18, 2016

Drinking Peaches

Summer is the season for ripe, delicious fruits served in a variety of ways - from peach cobbler to strawberry shortcake.  Raw, sliced and put in a bowl or right out of your (clean) hands. 

This summer, peach-based alcoholic drinks are in the vogue.  They are not new.  Venice, 1948,  Giussepe Cipriani, the bartender at Harry's Bar, had more peaches than he could handle - it must have been the short four month season for white peaches - and to get the last possible use out of them, he came up with The Bellini - peach nectar and sparkling prosecco with a teaspoon of raspberry puree to add color. 

The resulting shade of pink  reminded him of the color of a saint's toga in a painting by Giovanni Bellini hence the name.  I swear, everyone in Italy must have an artistic bent and a familiarity with Italian artists and works of art.  And good for them!  We should all be so cultured. 

Meanwhile, the French not to be outdone came  up with one of my favorite things - Peach Champagne.  I love it ice cold in summer; it is perfection for refreshment.  (Ditto ice- cold rose.)  Both are South of France drinks that sustain the Provencales during the hot months.  And they do have "hot" there. 

Amour de Paris, a genuine French champagne imported to the US, has long been a favorite.  It has a champagne front taste with a peach after taste.   I get it at Trader Joe's, but you can find other outlets by Googling it.  I would imagine that Bev-Mo might have it or an acceptable substitute, too.  $4.99 so you know it is not a "fine wine."

New this summer is Secco Peach Bellini ($5.99) which comes in a frosted bottle that is very appealing looking.    It announces "chilled" in no uncertain terms.  The  "cap" is made to look like a champagne cork, but is actually a black plastic replica of a cork - complete with the wires - that hides a screw-off top.  I mention this if you are not fans of the explosive POP! of a real champagne cork. 

Of course, you can make your own!  There are only three ingredients - cheap champagne or sparkling prosecco, peach nectar and a teaspoon of raspberry preserves - for the whole bottle, not each individual drink. 

With great drinks like these, summer could last a full 10 months! 

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