Let’s be honest: Leftover champagne isn’t a common problem, but with the 2020 holiday season looking a little different than most, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t quite get to the bottom of all those bottles you stocked in the fridge in preparation for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. If you’re still wondering what to do with that half bottle of champagne left over, waste not: here are six creative ways to use up every last drop.
- Create a delicious pan sauce
Just finished sautéeing chopped vegetables or browning meat? Use a splash of champagne to deglaze (in the same way you would with leftover white wine), releasing the caramelised brown bits and tasty aromatics at the bottom of the pan. Then let the liquid reduce to cook off the alcohol and concentrate the flavour, and voila! You’ve got the beginnings to a beautiful pan sauce.
- Make a bright champagne vinaigrette
Whether it is livening up a frisée salad, dressing up gems or drizzling over arugula, there is something undeniably refreshing about champagne dressing—a light, bright and zesty enhancement to any plate of greens. Leave leftover bubbly to ferment in open jars for a few weeks to create your own champagne vinegar, then mix with a little Dijon mustard, lemon juice, shallot, honey, salt and pepper for homemade champagne vinaigrette.
- Freeze into ice cubes
Too tired to lift a finger in the kitchen post-holidays? We hear you. Pouring leftover champagne into an ice cube tray is one of the simplest hacks to drain those last dregs—to be thrown into mimosas, cocktails or punch bowls throughout the year.
- Stir up a comforting champagne risotto
Winter’s (slightly) cooler temperatures are reason enough for us to whip up a satisfyingly stick-to-your-ribs weeknight dinner: champagne risotto. This sophisticated comfort food is simpler than it sounds: Just add roughly 1 cup of champagne (for recipes serving two) to your rice and let it simmer until almost evaporated, before ladling in the broth in your go-to risotto recipe.
- Steam with seafood
Champagne and shellfish make a natural pairing, the acidity of the wine acting as a crisp counterpoint to the natural sweetness in seafood. Swap in champagne in this blanc-buerre sauce to coax out the delicate flavour in crab, or steam mussels with champagne and citrus for an elevated take on the classic French bistro recipe.
- Make a DIY face mask
Complexion suffering from one too many holiday tipples? You might be surprised to hear that champagne can actually be good for your hair and skin, containing antioxidants and tartaric acid to lighten and even skin tone, and antibacterial properties to prevent breakouts. Try out this DIY mask, or just empty out the remainder of the bottle in the tub for the ultimate exfoliating bath.