No bubbles, no troubles
So if you’re reading this, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that you didn’t see and/or heed my advice for keeping Champagne from going flat and hey, coolcoolcool. We’ve all got lives to lead and sometimes things fall by the wayside, but now you’re stuck with a lot of flat Champagne and like a sensible human, you don’t believe in pouring potentially usable booze down the drain. This time, will you listen to me? Just because your Champagne is flat, it doesn’t mean your hopes and dreams must be. Consider these creative uses for flat Champagne, and your future brunches will pack a little extra pop.
Add a bit of dazzle to your brunch beverages with Champagne ice cubes. Of course alcohol won’t freeze as hard as straight-up water will, so consider these as a sort of slushifier. Just pour the Champagne into ice cube trays, let it firm up for a few hours or overnight, and add the cubes to OJ, grapefruit juice, sangria, or even a bloody mary. This way you get all of the chill of regular ice, minus that pesky watering down from plain old watery ice. If you felt like adding some fruit juice or cider to the mix before freezing, it can transform into a pretty glorious granita.
Poach with it
Just because the bubbles have gone doesn’t mean all the flavor has fizzled out. If you have more than a glass or two, use flat Champagne (or cava, prosecco, and the like) as a liquid for poaching fruit (apples and pears take especially well to this), eggs, and even seafood. Heat it to a low boil, then reduce the temperature and follow your favorite method to bring an extra oomph to your favorite poached dishes. (Seriously, we at least semi-managed to poach eggs in Jaegermeister and Gatorade. You can do this.)
Make syrup with it
Simple syrup is a godsend to have around the house. It stirs smoothly into cocktails, iced tea, sangria, and plenty of other beverages that call for a touch of sweetness. Just measure out the flat Champagne, then an equal amount of sugar, stir, and simmer on the stove until it’s thickened. Once it’s cool, pour it into a lidded container and store in the fridge for up to a month.
Longtime fans of Extra Crispy know that we’re big fans of turning almost any liquid that comes our way into jelly. We’ve made it work with Orange Faygo, Mountain Dew, and Milwaukee’s Best, but on occasion, we like to class up the joint. Follow our basic method for soda jelly, and you’ll be slathering Champagne on your morning toast and muffins in no time.
You know how wine turns when it’s in an open bottle for too long, and suddenly it’s too sharp and funky to sip? Yup, that’s what we’re going for. The same physical processes that make Champagne a thrill in the glass turn it into a killer vinegar once it’s past drinkability. Pour it into a jar and stretch cheesecloth or a coffee filter over the mouth so it can be exposed to the air, yet not have random crap or flies fall into it. Secure that with a rubber band or the band part of a two-part lid. Let that hang out in a dark cabinet or closet for four or five weeks and it’ll naturally turn into vinegar. If you’d care to amp up the process, swipe some of the “mother”–those weird bits of goo—from another bottle of vinegar and see what deeper flavors develop.