Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thirsty Thursday - Belinda's Bellini

My sister Linde is, like, the smartest and funniest person on the planet.  I asked her to do a guest post for Thirsty Thursday this week because she also makes the best Bellini on the planet.  Which basically makes her also the ruler of the planet.

From Linde (aka the Planet Queen):

Greetings.  It is Pitiful Relatives Month at Beauties and the Feast, which is why I have been invited to pen a guest post for today’s Thirsty Thursday recipe. I am Amber Asbjornsen’s sister, Linde Pirtle.  You may have known me by a few other names.  The name on my social security card is Belinda Pirtle, but I only go by Belinda when the government or a university transcript request is involved, or, as is the purpose of this blog post, when I am impersonating a champagne cocktail.  I also had a different last name until recently, and I will use that as a launching point into the main message of this space:

When I first was introduced to the delightful peachy drinkie that is the bellini, my name was Linde (Belinda, really, but we’ve been through this) Feeney, and I was digging the fact that the drink and my last name rhymed.  I am a girl who loves some good word play almost as much as she loves her happy hour, so I thought it would be uber-clever to create an eponymous cocktail and call it the Feeney Bellini.  Even better, Feeney Bellini sounds like something you might hear called out in the middle of a circus announcing the sparkling, breath-taking, sequined signature event of the evening:

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the center ring, where you will witness the international sensation … the amazing … the spectacular … the death-defying … the one … the only … FEENEY BELLINI!!!!!!!” All of this, of course, to deafening applause and, eventually, a syndicated talk show and my own line of clothing at H & M:

At least that’s how I imagined it (and I wish I had that outfit to wear to work).  In all honesty, though, if a Feeney Bellini circus act actually existed in real life, it probably would look more like this:

But alas, divorce rates being what they are, one day I was no longer was Linde Feeney.  I reclaimed Linde Pirtle.  Which presented a bit of a dilemma in the bellini department.

But wait!  Holy birth certificates, Batman!  There’s another name in our possession that just might work!  We could craft the Belinda Bellini!  Yes … yes … it’s not as mellifluous, but it could be functional enough.  While Feeney Bellini sounds so perky and could spring right off the tongue like a coked-up cheerleader, Belinda Bellini is just a wee bit more cumbersome and sounds like you’ve thrown back a few too many, and, well, that’s the whole idea, isn’t it?  The universe loves simplicity.

And so, the Belinda Bellini was born.

She was the signature event for Amber’s 30th birthday, which sounds so glamorous (and I should leave it at that, with you imagining us in sparkling ball gowns and stilettos, surrounded by tuxedoed hotties in top hats, gliding around a yacht that we chartered specifically for the event).

But really we were pretty much house-bound in Bellingham, decked out in the same sweatsuits for days, while our two two year-old sons jumped on a blow-up mattress and we took turns holding her newborn baby.  Here’s a picture of us on her birthday:

(OK.  That might actually be a picture of a pile of laundry, but it has the same metabolism and motivation we did and it and is moving at the same speed we were during her birthday week, so you get the general idea.  The resemblance is uncanny, really). 

And there’s nothing like your post-partum 30th birthday to make your sister want to get her drink on, so we might have had some Belinda Bellinis to celebrate.

Here’s how you make them:

1.      One bottle of champagne (or sparkling wine, if you must buy American. Thanks for doing your part for the economy.)
2.      One can canned peaches in heavy syrup (this is very pedestrian, but cuts out a lot of steps, and if you have three boys under the age of three up in your grill, you’ll thank me)
3.      A handful of fresh raspberries
4.      Peach Schnapps (amount depends on your taste and the speed with which you need to get your buzz on)
5.      Juice of one lemon

Puree the peaches and syrup and lemon juice.  You can puree the raspberries with the peaches, too, or if you’re feeling ambitious, do them separately and drizzle the raspberry on the inside of the glass first. Pour some peach mixture into a champagne glass.  Top with champagne and one ounce Peach Schnapps. Serve chilled. That’s it.

Now, that’s a drink, my friends.  But what happens if you run out of canned peaches and champagne and you’re house-bound because one or all the little boys are napping, and you’re moving at the speed of a pile of laundry?  This actually happened to us.

Fortunately, Amber is of the mindset that if it is at Costco, one must buy it, so she had a lovely collection of canned fruit cocktail in her pantry.  She also had a bottle of chardonnay hiding in the back of her refrigerator behind the Gogurt. We were desperate, as it was getting perilously close to 4:30 p.m. and we were uncertain about our happy hour prospects, so we threw some fruit cocktail into a glass of chardonnay.  It worked, sorta.  Having tried it, though, I cannot in good conscience recommend this as a consumable alternative to a legit bellini, except in the following cases:

1.       You are served up a side of fruit cocktail on your school lunch tray, and you chose a pint sized carton of white wine instead of chocolate milk.  If this scenario presents itself, by all means throw that grainy, sugary fruit mix into your drink.  It will make fifth period much more enjoyable.

2.      You are served up a side of fruit cocktail on your tray in the nursing home (I am sorry to break it to you that if you are reading this blog, this is actually a more plausible possibility for you than Scenario 1), and you and your geriatric friends have a bottle of Two Buck Chuck left over from the last time you snuck out and squandered some more of your social security check at Trader Joe’s.  By all means, mix and enjoy.

If neither of these scenarios applies to you, however, please, stick to the original recipe, whatever you choose to call it.  As they say, a bellini by any other name still tastes as sweet.  Cheers!
Pin It


  1. Reading this post was SO MUCH FUN. I feel like I just had a little 4 minute vacation from my work day! I'm going to continue to think of my Best Bellini moment (lunching with my grandmother at the cafe in the Bellagio in Vegas a few years back. We both had a few too many, and it was way too much fun!! Then, she ditched me for the slot machines! She had secret ways of gambling, and ALWAYS won, but didn't allow anyone else to be around her!) for the rest of the day! Thanks, Linde!

  2. I freaking love the Pirtle sense of humor! Great post Linde, loved it. I have to say that I am not sure I would ever be desperate enough to eat fruit cocktail but good for you.

  3. Fabulous. Delicious. Fun. Love that Linde B. and the bellini. Go easy on the schnapps, tho. Bugs

  4. So awesome! Thanks for guest posting Linde! Pretty sure this recipe would make even me go out and buy champagne. And I would totally rock the canned fruit cocktail version too...

  5. Linde--LOVE this! I was laughing so hard...I have to agree with your sister...You are the smartest, funniest person I know as well! Cheers! :) Amy

  6. I am SO blessed to be part of this family. You are all unique and beautiful in ALLways. That includes James "BEAST" Pirtle! LMAO! Love you all! Lynda

    p.s. Linde...can you make a cocktail named after me? LOL.

  7. My daughter is beyond funny. So is the rest of the family of Pirtles. Not sure from whence the humor gene came as we Pirtles have some very dour ancestors. Linde's great, great, grandfather Martin Thomas Pirtle comes to mind. I have a snap of him, wooly beard, luminous eyes and all. Enough to scare the beJesus out of a sinner or otherwise. I suppose that was the idea back in the day.

  8. You always make me smile and make my day a bit brighter. Such a Linde Pirtle gift. And we are the blessed ones to receive it!

    Thank you,

  9. Belinda Beatrice - Sooooo enjoyed the post my beautiful friend. You are a lovely gifted and entertaining writer...
    I literally DID laugh out loud while reading. I much prefer the new or rather new old name.
    I'm sold! Will be trying this recipe this weekend.
    Love, Aline

  10. Amber, I feel like making a Queen of the World crown for your sister, with real jewels and all. She deserves it. This made my entire week.

  11. I had to look up the definition of eponymous. Good word, I’ll be using that one! Linde, can’t wait for your H&M clothing line and I can’t stop laughing. GREAT post and GREAT cocktail recipe!

  12. Very amusing post, Linde! It sounds as if this fizzy fruit slushy, recently renamed, a Belinda Bellini, would get any social occasion off to a scintillating blastoff and give any family celebration a warm fuzzy feeling. I am sure that after downing a couple of these, there would be high probability of fuzzy feelings the day after.

    Best wishes from your Canadian connection,