Italians love to start the evening with an aperitivo, or pre-dinner drink. It whets the appetite and provides the perfect opportunity to relax and socialise after a day’s work.
This famous Peach Bellini cocktail was created in Harry’s Bar in Venice in the 1930s. The recipe is meant to be a closely guarded secret, but a few years ago Gino managed to persuade the recipe from one of the barmaids! So here it is, with an accompanying snack of delicious crunchy little olive balls. Salut!
For the olive balls:
– 250g full-fat cream cheese (chilled)
– 125g soft goat’s cheese (chilled)
– 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
– 12 pitted black olives, drained
– 100g roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cocktail:
– 4 white peaches
– 1 x 750ml bottle of prosecco (chilled)
First make the olive balls. In a chilled bowl mix together the cream cheese, goat’s cheese and thyme until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Take a teaspoon of the cheese mixture and pack it around the outside of each olive until completely coated. Roll each ball in the peanuts and place on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate.
To make the cocktail, preheat the oven to 180c /gas mark 4. Place the peaches on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until softened. Leave to cool. Slice in half then remove and discard the skin and stones.
Transfer the peach flesh to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then push the pulp through a fine sieve set over a bowl.
Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of the mixture into a champagne flute then carefully pour over the prosecco. Stir well and serve immediately with the olive balls.
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