Mango cider Bellini is an alternative to classic Bellini cocktail. The combination of sweet fruit juice and bubbly booze here is provided by mango and dry apple cider. Inspired by but quite diferent from the original, this alternative Bellini cocktail has a lower alcohol content, making it the perfect brunch drink!
What is Bellini cocktail?
Bellini is a wine cocktail made with Prosecco and peach purée. The simplified version easier to make at home has peach juice instead of purée. In any case, peach and Prosecco. No ice, served in a flute glass. Bellini was invented sometime during the 1940s at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, by Giuseppe Cipriani. The same guy who invented carpaccio, just sayin’. What a genius.
Other fruit varieties exist, and just like Bellini they’re also all named after distinguished Italians. Prosecco and strawberry purée make a Rossini; Prosecco and mandarine a Puccini; Prosecco and pomegranate juice a Tintoretto. What about mango, then? As far as my research went, a mango and Prosecco cocktail has not been named after any important personality but is simply referred to as Mango Bellini. If you are aware of any other name please let me know, I would love to know what historical character got the honour.
Apple cider Bellini
Since Bellini can evolve into so many variations, among the various unofficial ones ranks apple cider Bellini. It is a drink that gets pretty popular come fall, in fact it is a Pinterest seasonal staple round Thanksgiving. I do follow a few libation-related boards on the platform and apple cider Bellini really is pretty popular that time of the year.
Not being a defined set recipe, variations exist of apple cider Bellini. Cider is obviously the main ingredient, but often not the only source of alcohol in the drink. Sparkling wine (often champagne rather than prosecco) and (flavoured) vodka make their appearance in the ingredient list, too. That is not the case in my mango cider Bellini recipe. In this cocktail the apple cider is the only alcoholic beverage used, and it is mixed with mango nectar. Two ingredients, that’s it. Like the original Bellini.
How to make mango cider bellini
The biggest difference between my mango cider Bellini and a mango Bellini is the fact that we are using cider instead of sparkling wine. For best results, I recommend to use dry apple cider. Dry cider, just like dry wine, has less residual sugar, resulting in a less sweet taste. Since we are substituting Prosecco, on the dry side of the spectrum, we need to go for a similar profile in our hard cider choice.
The other ingredient, mango juice, can be a tricky one. Unless you’re juicing your mangoes yourself, you’ll have to rely on commercial mango juices. The amount of actual mango in those varies, and so does the water and added sugar content. I tend to prefer slightly thicker juices, but I have made mango cider Bellini using various brands of mango nectar and it always worked.
The classic Bellini recipe calls for one part peach purée and two parts Prosecco. Following the same proportion, to make mango cider Bellini you stir together one part mango nectar and two parts dry apple cider. The dryness of the cider should balance the sweetness of the mango juice and the cider should both thin the texture of the juice as well as lend a light sparkle. These proportions have worked when blending ciders and mango juices of various brands, but feel free to taste and adjust your drink to your preference if your ingredients yield a cocktail that is too sweet.
The perfect brunch cocktail
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Mimosa is the perfect brunch cocktail. Mimosa, a combination of juice and sparkling wine, is not very different from Bellini after all. The ingredients of a mimosa are orange juice and champagne. A lightly boozy variety of breakfast orange juice – that’s what makes it such a mid-morning classic, I believe. How can my mango cider Bellini compete? The answer is: because it’s lighter.
Prosecco has an alcohol content of at least 10,5% by law. Can’t go lower than that. Cider goes anywhere between 1,2% and 12%, but most commercial ciders average around 5%. That is half as much as sparkling wine. Which means that mango cider Bellini is lighter than a regular Bellini, proving easier to drink when it’s mid-morning and your stomach is not very full yet. That’s a great feature for an AM cocktail and that’s what makes my mango cider Bellini a winner at brunch.
Mango juice for breakfast is something I would always choose during our honeymoon in Cambodia. It has pretty sweet memories attached. Never asked to spike it with cider, though. But their freshly squeezed mango juice was glorious, nothing like the boxed stuf we get here. Would definitely make some excellent mango cider Bellinis!
Have you tried some other Bellini variations? I would love to taste something new, so hit me up with suggestions in the comments, please! And pin this recipe for your next brunch!
Mango cider Bellini
A twist to classic Bellini cocktail where mango nectar is used instead of peach and dry apple cider subs the prosecco. Pleasantly sweet and lightly bubbly, and much lighter on the alcohol content make mango cider bellini the perfect aperitivo or brunch drink.
- 1 part mango nectar
- 2 parts dry apple cider
- fresh rosemary sprig for decoration (optional)
Combine 1 part mango nectar and 2 parts dry apple cider in a jug. Stir and pour mixture into a flute (champagne glass). Decorate with a fresh rosemary sprig. Serve chilled.
For best results choose a dry apple cider. If your mango nectar has a high sugar content, adjust the amount of juice in your cocktail.