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August 20, 2010

Here is another roundabout cocktail story.  Somehow cocktail stories always are.  As you may know, earlier this week I visited The Fresh Market, Albany’s newest gourmet grocery store.

Anyhow, there had been a discussion on the Table Hopping blog about the market earlier this week, and RobertR invoked the sacred name of Frog Hollow peaches. I had not thought about these delectable treats since I was at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco about a year ago, but indeed they are some of the best peaches I have ever eaten.

It never even occurred to me that one could order Frog Hollow peaches online and have them shipped.  They are so ripe and fragile that a cross-country trip just seems like a bad idea.

Just to twist the knife a bit further, RobertR supplied the link to order these amazing fuzzy orbs of liquid summer sunshine. Honestly, they weren’t nearly as expensive as I had thought.  That is, until I calculated the recommended overnight shipping.  I will pay a lot for great peaches, but eighty dollars is a pretty penny to pay for postage.

But on the Frog Hollow site I stumbled upon the availability chart.  And that’s when it really hit me that we are at the height of peach season.  It also explains the giant display of local peaches right at the entrance of The Fresh Market.

That can only mean one thing:

This is yet another marvelous drink that has been dealt a crushing blow by bartenders who make some kind of disgusting concoction and try to pass it off as the stunning original.  If a drink contains peach schnapps or other kind of peach liqueur, it’s not a Bellini.  If a drink is a peach-flavored frozen slushy, it is not a Bellini.

There are a few liberties I will permit, but at its heart the drink is simply a purée of fresh peaches topped with prosecco.  Some might argue that it’s impossible to make outside of Italy without Venetian white peaches.  They may have a point.  But if any drink made from a luscious purée of sun-ripened peaches and prosecco is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

To make the purée, you can use a meat grinder or a food mill, and push the pulp through a fine mesh strainer.  Taste for sweetness adding simple syrup as needed and then chill.  Pour one part of the peach purée into a chilled fluted glass and top with chilled prosecco.  Stir gently, and savor the sparkling sunshine.

One last thing.  Some advocate two parts prosecco, while others insist on three parts.  But I will leave this one up to your personal taste.  You can always add more, but you cannot take it away.

Thanks to my marvelous CSA I’m already sitting on some peaches.
Guess who is off now to pick up a bottle of prosecco?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. wendalicious permalink
    August 20, 2010 5:53 pm

    What brand of Prosecco do you prefer? I enjoy Mionetto, but I honestly have not tried another kind (that I know of).

    And, I must admit I laughed a bit at this post – you’re a purist when it comes to capppuccino, but not Bellinis, huh? The horror. :)

    • wendalicious permalink
      August 20, 2010 5:54 pm

      Oh, the horror of too many p’s in my cappuccinos…but I didn’t notice it until I hit submit.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    August 20, 2010 6:38 pm

    Old man Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, the inventor of the Bellini, says it must be made with Italian white peaches, as you note. I would be willing to stretch the meaning of a true “Bellini” to incorporate any white peach from anywhere, but not orange peach. That, my friend , must be called a Bermani, or Danieli, or Fussini.

    • wendalicious permalink
      August 20, 2010 8:07 pm

      Fussini. Classic.

  3. August 20, 2010 6:39 pm

    The Frog Hollow peach season is almost over so you’re better to buy locally anyway. Their flagship variety is the Cal Red which is only available for a couple of weeks in July and has to be reserved well in advance.

    That’s also when overnight shipping is a good idea, just to avoid the heat. However, I’ve shipped several times to relatives in Texas (where the summer temperature is a few notches north of hell) and never had a problem with much cheaper two day shipping.

    Farmer Al’s peaches are worth trying. He feeds them seaweed and other amazing things. He’s a friend and client but didn’t pay me to say this. I have to pay for my peaches just like everybody else.

  4. Ellen Whitby permalink
    August 22, 2010 12:51 am

    Pick-your-own peaches season is in full swing and I highly recommend a trip out to Love’s Apple Farms to do so. It was a gorgeous day and the peaches were delectable – luscious and juicy straight from the tree, both yellow and white. We’ve been eating nothing but since we picked them and we’ve already finished our peach cobbler. Tomorrow our plan includes peach ice cream, another peach cobbler and possibly even grilled peaches. If all that works out well, we might take another trip out there.

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