As I noted yesterday, I'm into bellinis, the lightly sweet cocktails (traditionally) made of white peach nectar and prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine. South Sound mixologists are taking their liberties. Here are four bellinis I've had recently:
Babblin' Babs Bistro's bellini was straightforward and traditional, just a burst of prosecco and white peach nectar in a tall glass. Babs' bellini's bubbles perked up brunch on a gloomy, leisurely weekend.
Adriatic Grill's bellinis no longer go 'round and 'round all day in the balky slushy machine behind the bar. They're now blended to order, with fresh peach puree, champagne, rum and sangria, served in a martini glass. The sangria goes in the glass first, providing a purple, contrasting base for the thick peach puree, slushed up in the blender. It's more of a gulping drink than a sipping drink, more sweet than effervescent, more Slurpee than bellini.
Speaking of sorbet, Pizzeria Fondi, Restaurants Unlimited's thin-crust Neopolitan-style concept, plops a dollop of sorbet inside a glass of Italian bubbly. It's not just any sorbet. Try luscious passion fruit-mango, or strawberry, concocted by Olympic Mountain of Shelton. Fondi's bellini floats my boat before and after dinner.
Throw in some protein powder and Olive Garden's bellini could be a meal-replacement shake. The national chain Italian eatery makes no secret about its bellini's ingredients: packaged peach-juice product and Gallo sparkling wine. I'll keep no secrets either: I liked it. As iced, blended drinks go, this one was thick and creamy, like a boozy smoothie.
Adriatic Grill: 4201 S. Steele St., Tacoma; 253-475-6000
Babblin' Babs Bistro: 2724 N. Proctor St., Tacoma; 253-761-9099
Pizzeria Fondi: 4621 Point Fosdick Drive, Building 10, Suite 200, Gig Harbor; 253-851-6666; and 504 Ramsay Way Suite 107, Kent; 253-850-3126
Olive Garden: In a shopping center near you