If you’re tallying a list of the terrible fates that could befall a human being, having your leftover Champagne go flat ranks somewhere between “minor toe cramp” and “having to sign for your neighbor’s package because they’re not home.” Still, you paid for the stuff and you’d like to enjoy it in its optimum state of effervescence.
A few years ago on New Year’s Day morning, I came back to my parents’ from my friend’s house, where I had learned the night before that whiskey sours and Champagne and risotto and chicken and something Funfetti-based in large quantities are not always an ideal combination. Needless to say, I was not feeling so hot from my evening of overindulgence.
This January 1st many families in Russia—and those from the Russian diaspora around the world—will wake up to their refrigerators still full. The leftovers of zakuski, the appetizers, prepared for and eaten at the New Year's Eve dinner, will be stowed there—covered with plastic wrap, stuffed into Tupperware, or stored in repurposed margarine containers. Someone from the family (usually a grandmother or a mother) will reach in, take them out, and place them on the table.