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Recipe: Lillypilly Bellinis

20 April 2009 6 Comments

Lilly pilly belliniA couple of weeks ago I promised to post the recipes of the lillypilly treats I made. This is the first…

A real bellini is a “brunch cocktail”, made by pouring some peach puree into the bottom of a champagne flute and then topping it up with sparkling Italian wine. Champagne or other sparkling wines are often used instead, although that’s not the authentic recipe.

This recipe is a variant using lillypillies (riberries) instead of peach puree. In keeping with that theme, I also used an Australian sparkling wine.

Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 cup lillypillies (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • (optional) 2 or 3 lemon leaves (or lemon myrtle leaves, if available)

Lillypilly syrup being heatedTo make the lillypilly fruit syrup, poach the lillypillies in the water, stirring in the sugar until it dissolves. Drop the leaves in for a little zesty flavour.

The lillypillies will go translucent when they’re poached, and the sugar will dissolve (you may need a little more or less water to get a nice syrupy consistency). Allow the fruit and syrup to cool and remove the lemon leaves.

Lillypilly syrup, cooledThis syrup will keep in the fridge for several days, so it’s very handy to prepare in advance.

Spoon some of the poached lillypillies and syrup into a champagne flute, then top up with a sparkling wine or soda water. I used a fairly cheap Australian sparkling wine, and it produced a very drinkable summer tipple.


  • Hannah said:

    Thanks for such an informative series, Darren. I am now well and truly inspired to seek out some lillypillies and try your recipes out for myself.

    H 🙂

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Hannah: Cool! Give it a go – it’s been fun finding a use for berries I always thought were pretty worthless. I’ll be posting some more recipes over the next couple of days.

  • Wilson Pon said:

    Darren, can I substitute the lemon leaves with lemon juice? As I prefer the sour taste here. Or, do you have other good suggestions? I think I should go to the local market and find the Lillypillies, as I can’t wait to carry out the recipe…

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Wilson: Yes, you could probably use some lemon juice. It wouldn’t be quite the same, but it would be OK. Or possibly a little lemon rind if you like it.

  • Felicity said:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. I’ve been hopping all over the www trying to find some recipes for lilly-pillies. We have a long driveway bordered with two gardens full of trees that would each be a couple of meters high. Of course each tree is jam-packed [no pun intended!] with fruit and although I love seeing the myriad of birds which are being attracted, I couldn’t help but wonder what I could be making with the berries.

    We have two types the small round light pink version and the dark pink-red, longer version. Sorry I don’t know the botanical or even common names.

    Do you think that they’d both be safe to eat/drink?

    Am looking forward to making the Bellini syrup for Christmas drinks,


  • Darren (author) said:

    @Felicity: They’d make great Christmas drinks! I want to try lillypilly jam this year.