It's been my experience that you need three things to throw a good party: a well thought out guest list, good music, and at least one good drink. With that in mind, I hosted a Christmas Paint Party Friday night. I invited eight ladies from the neighborhood. Some introductions had to be made, but since all the ladies had several things in common, it was a good mix. The music was a no brainer. Christmas parties need Christmas music. Now for the biggie. The drink. Christmas time is a special time so I wanted something bubbly and festive. Giada's Bellini Bar fit the bill perfectly.
A bellini is a mixture of sparkling Prosecco wine and fruit puree, peach being the most common. Giada's Bellini Bar features three flavors: homemade peach, strawberry, and blueberry puree. I wasn't sure how popular a blueberry puree would be so I elected to make peach, strawberry, and cherry purees. Now for the Prosecco. The fella at the liquor store recommended Riondo brand. I bought four bottles and immediately put them in the fridge to chill while I made the purees.
Giada's Bellini Bar
Recipe from Food Network
by Giada DeLaurentiis
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peaches, thawed
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen strawberries, thawed
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen blueberries or blackberries, thawed
4 to 6 (750-ml) bottles Prosecco or other sparkling wine,
*For garnish: chilled fresh fruit, such as pomegranate arils,berries, citrus slices, etc.
Note: I replaced the blueberries with a 16 oz. bag of sweet cherries
For The Simple Syrup: Stir the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
For The Peach Puree: Puree the peaches and orange peel in a blender with 1/2 cup of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer and into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
For the Strawberry Puree: In a clean blender puree the strawberries with 1/3 cup of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a clean fine-meshed strainer and into another bowl. Discard the seeds.
For The Blueberry Puree: Puree the blueberries in a clean blender with 1/3 cup of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a clean fine-meshed strainer and into a third bowl. Discard the seeds and solids.
To Serve: Pour each of the purees into clear glass bowls or small pitchers. For each serving, pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of the desired fruit puree into a Champagne flute. Slowly pour enough Prosecco into the flute to fill. Gently stir to blend. Garnish with the whole berries, as desired, and serve.
Do-Ahead Tip: The fruit purees can each be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.