Invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, named for artist Giovanni Bellini who was exhibiting in Venice in 1948, and originally made with hand-squeezed white peach puree – these days frozen or bottled puree is acceptable. Shake together 1 part white peach puree, 3 parts Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco and ice and strain into a chilled flute.
Aperol Spritz (Veneto)
This cocktail, which chef Alessandro Pavoni introduced me to several years ago, has become the go-to drink when guests arrive for a party at our house! Pour 1 part Aperol and 2 parts La Prova prosecco over lots of ice in a big wine glass and add more or less soda to taste (or depending on who’s driving).
Negroni Sbagliato (Lombardy)
My all-time favourite cocktail was created in Milan when a barman mistakenly added Prosecco instead of gin to a Negroni (‘sbagliato’ means ‘mistaken’ in Italian). Pour 1 part red vermouth (I like Punt e Mes), 1 part Campari and 2 parts Zonin Prosecco over ice, stir and garnish with an orange slice.
Sgroppino al Limone (Veneto)
A traditional Venetian mid-course palate cleanser, to which a nip of vodka is often added these days for a refreshing post-dinner drink. Consistency varies with the amount of sorbet, I whisk together equal parts lemon sorbet and Dal Zotto prosecco to a slushie consistency and skip the vodka … but feel free to experiment.
Hugo (Trentino-Alto Adige)
This cocktail from South Tyrol in northern Italy is also very popular in nearby Austria and Germany. You can vary the alcohol and sweetness to suit the occasion but start by trying equal parts Brown Brothers prosecco and soda with a good dash of elderflower cordial poured over muddled mint and lime with plenty of ice.