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FIOL Rooibos & Strawberry Bellini | Will It Beat The Original?



Ciao, Friends of Cocktails. It seems that my bar cart has stayed in Treviso, but that’s great as we’re making more cocktails with FIOL Prosecco - this time a couple of Bellini’s with strawberries and rooibos tea! That’s right, we’re going back to Italy for this one, so if you don’t want to miss out on the beautiful scenery of an Italian Villa in the summer, check out today’s episode in full by clicking here, or with the video player at the end of this post.


Ok, in reality we loved Treviso so much that we filmed 2 episodes during our visit. A beautiful Italian villa, as much FIOL as you could wish for, and of course, the tiramisu - who wouldn’t want to stay a little longer? So we took advantage of some extra time on our hands and enjoyed another regional specialty, the Bellini.


The Bellini is a cocktail made with prosecco and the pureed pulp and juice of "verona" white peach, and it was invented in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, head bartender at "Harry's Bar" in Venice. Cipriani chose the name for his cocktail from the pink color of a saint's tunic in a Renaissance painting by Giovanni Bellini, and the bar he worked at became an Italian national landmark in 2001. We’ll maybe check it out for our next trip, but this time I enjoyed a Bellini in Treviso and it was incredibly tasty.


We already made a DIY Peach Puree for a classic Bellini a few years ago, so I thought we could switch it up a bit and make a classic variation on the Bellini: the Rossini. For the Rossini you’ll just need to swap out the peach purée with the strawberry one, which we’ll modify with a hint of basil. I’m also switching out the Prosecco, going with FIOL Rosé instead.



FIOL Rosé has a beautiful color, as well as fruity aromas of raspberry and wild strawberry with hints of citrus lemons and white flowers. This plus the perfect balance between acidity and sugars is achieved by the perfect balance of glera and up to 15% pinot noir grapes, making this a sparkling wine that stands out for its harmony, elegance and freshness. A perfect bottle for an easy summer party. If you’ll be serving Rossini cocktails, here’s how to first make the best strawberry purée. It’s Cocktail Time!


Strawberry Puree

● 200g Strawberries

● 1g Basil

● 50g Simple Syrup


Into a blender add the strawberries, basil and simple syrup, or use a stick blender to blend everything together and it will be ready to use. With this small amount of basil you of course don’t have to blanch it - it’s there just for a hint of herbal notes to complement the sweet strawberry. If you don’t use up this puree in a few days it might turn into a soft gel, but you can usually just blend it again and it should be good to go. Perfetto!


I think using it to make a few Rossinis for yourself and your friends on a summer evening sounds like a great idea, so let’s go.


Rossini

● 60mL (2oz) Strawberry Puree

● 120mL (4oz) FIOL Rosé


Into a well chilled mixing glass or shaker add the Strawberry Puree and the FIOL - I saw some Rossini recipes that also add strawberry liqueur and lemon juice, but we’re keeping it simple. To pour sparkling wine into the purée in a way that it doesn’t foam too much, hold the glass at an angle with one hand while slowly pouring the wine along the side of the glass with the other hand. Then gently mix the two ingredients with a barspoon before pouring into a flute glass and garnishing with a strawberry.


Keep in mind that we didn’t add any ice, so it's important to pre-chill everything - purée, prosecco, and the glasses. This popular Bellini variant is named for the 19th-century Italian opera composer, Gioachino Rossini, and before we make my version of it, let's try the classic Bellini alla Fragola. Saluti!



The aroma of strawberries with a hint of basil. It’s light, lively, and fruity. Sweetness of the strawberries shines through with FIOL Rosé providing a beautiful freshness, elegance and balance. Like with the classic Bellini, it has a smooth and silky texture, providing a luxurious sensation - this is an excellent and easy summer expression of a classic cocktail. If, however, you’re looking to go that extra step for an elevated version of the bellini I’ll show you how to make a rooibos tea purée for a Rooibos Bellini.


We’ll need dried rooibos, water, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and xanthan gum, to get the right texture and consistency. To start we’ll need to make rooibos tea, which is not actually a true tea as it doesn't come from the tea plant, but more about that later.



Rooibos & Strawberry Puree

● 200g Rooibos Tea

● 30g Strawberries

● 10g Balsamic Vinegar

● 1.5g Xantham Gum

● 40g Sugar


To make some Rooibos Tea, steep 5.2g of rooibos in 300g of boiling hot water and infuse for 10 minutes, before straining it out and leaving it to cool down completely. Afterwards it’s as easy as our previous puree, so add all the ingredients to a blender and combine until smooth. When done, transfer to a bottle and place in the fridge alongside your chilled FIOL Rosé, to get it colder and for the bubbles in the Puree to settle. Once that happens it’s ready to be used in the Rooibos Bellini.

Rooibos Bellini

● 45mL (1.5oz) Rooibos & Strawberry Puree

● 90mL (3oz) FIOL Rosé

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution


Again I’m starting with a chilled mixing glass to which I’m adding the purée, FIOL Rosé and Saline Solution. I suggest you skip the jigger when measuring FIOL, or any bubbly liquids like tonic or soda water, as the bubbles make it hard to measure and it loses some carbonation. Now gently mix the Rooibos Bellini before you pour it into a chilled Nick & Nora glass, garnish with a basil leaf for the beautiful contrast and the nice aroma, and then all you have to say is Saluti!



Herbal and fruity aroma with rooibos notes coming right after the basil, while the strawberry blends with everything. The full-bodied taste complements the luxurious mouthfeel perfectly, and the vinegar provides just the right amount of tartness that this cocktail needs. FIOL Rosé also adds something special to this Bellini with its floral freshness - it’s perfect.


And just like that we’ve reached the bottom of the glass, and before we leave I’ll tell you a bit more about rooibos. Also known as red bush tea, rooibos is a popular herbal infusion native to South Africa. The leaves of the rooibos plant are fermented, and dried to create a caffeine-free and flavorful tea with almost no tannins, so it’s known for its smooth taste with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor profile with hints of berries.


Rooibos has plenty of antioxidants and it’s loved worldwide for its soothing, calming properties. It can be enjoyed both hot and iced, and apparently as a purée as well. To see another cocktail using tea, check out the Chaloma I made in a collaboration with Anders Erickson. I’ll see you all next week, back at the Cocktail Time studio. Ciao!



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