Instead of the standard mimosa for your next Sunday brunch, why not jazz it up with these simple champagne passion fruit cocktails? The passion fruit syrup perfumes this easy bellini recipe and takes it way beyond the ordinary.
I read Anthony Bourdain’s memoir, Kitchen Confidential, Adventures In The Kitchen Underbelly, when it was first published. In that book, he pulled back the curtain on fine dining, giving us a glimpse into the real restaurant kitchen experience and derided brunch as the bottom of the barrel for chefs and line cooks. His particularly descriptive take on hollandaise had me avoiding eggs benedict for years. Here’s an excerpt:
“While we’re on brunch, how about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And hollandaise, that delicate emulsion of egg yolks and clarified butter, must be held at a temperature not too hot nor too cold, lest it break when spooned over your poached eggs. Unfortunately, this lukewarm holding temperature is also the favorite environment for bacteria to copulate and reproduce in. Nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. Most likely, the stuff on your eggs was made hours ago and held on station. Equally disturbing is the likelihood that the butter used in the hollandaise is melted table butter, heated, clarified, and strained to get out all the breadcrumbs and cigarette butts. Butter is expensive, you know. Hollandaise is a veritable petri-dish of biohazards.”
If that doesn’t give you pause, I don’t know what will. I’m not saying I never go out for brunch, but all things being equal, I’m just as likely to stay home and make my own — complete with mimosas, or this guava tangerine version, bloody mary’s, and my new favorite, this champagne passion fruit cocktail.
What’s In A Bellini?
This easy bellini recipe isn’t like most, which typically call for fruit puree mixed with champagne (or — let’s be honest –– a drinkable prosecco, cava or sparkling wine for under $10/bottle). Puree can be a little thick and heavy — and who wants the pulp sitting like sediment in the bottom of their champagne flute? Instead I use a homemade passion fruit syrup. It’s made with real passion fruit, steeped in just-made simple syrup and strained to a golden, shimmery, tropical elixir. Am I over-selling?
Flavor and Aroma of Passion Fruit
These bellinis have a great nose and are completely different from the standard mimosa because of the passion fruit. Passion fruit, to me, is a complex mix of all your favorite tropical fruits combined into one, heady, olfactory-assaulting bliss, that’s so unique, one taste and you’ll be hopelessly smitten. The passion fruit syrup takes a few hours of hands-off time to make, however, once it’s done, this easy bellini recipe is as quick and easy to assemble as your standard mimosa.
Customize The Easy Bellini Recipe To Your Tastes
Everyone has their own particular tastes and the beauty of this cocktail is that you can customize it to suit yours.
- Make your champagne passion fruit cocktails as sweet as you like it, by adding more or less passion fruit syrup.
- If you want/need a little extra hair-of-the-dog, whose to say a drop of rum, or vodka would hurt.
- Want to make it a mocktail instead of a cocktail? Mix with sparkling white grape juice or bubbly water.
Garnishing The Passion Fruit Bellini
The finale for me is an extra spoonful of the actual passion fruit seeds. This identifies your champagne cocktail as something “not orange juice, grapefruit juice or other citrus.” People will ask, “What’s that floating in my drink?”
To which, you’ll reply (in your best Ina Garten voice) “Passion fruit seeds, from my vine in the garden — but if you don’t have your own cultivated vine — store-bought is fine!” LOL. 🙂
These champagne cocktails would be ideal for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch. I advise making the passion fruit syrup a day before and chilling it so that you’re ready to serve up cocktails the moment your brunch celebrations begin.
If you can’t get fresh passion fruit, you can use frozen passion fruit pulp to make the simple syrup, but it won’t be quite as clear as when you use the fresh fruit. That’s ok. It’s still wonderful.
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Passion Fruit Bellini
- 1 1/2 ounces passion fruit simple syrup recipe on this site
- 1/2 ounce peach schnapps optional
- 2 ounces Brut sparkling wine chilled
- passion fruit seeds for garnish (optional)
- In a cocktail flute, combine the passion fruit simple syrup and peach schnapps if using.
- Add the sparkling wine and garnish with 5 or 6 passion fruit seeds reserved from the passion fruit simple syrup or from a fresh passion fruit.