Cocktail

5 New Ways To Use Champagne

December 31, 2014

The sound of Champagne bottles popping is the best "fresh start" soundtrack we know of (sorry, Beyoncé). Yet we've always wondered why bubbly had to be reserved for midnight toasts. We hate to dump half-finished bottles down the kitchen sink the next day or shove the extra ones to the back of the closet for the next big celebration.

This year, we resolve to keep those extra bottles right on the counter and to make as many days a celebration as we can. Here, five excuses to pop bottles no matter what day of the week, or of 2015, it happens to be:

Champagne Cocktail

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1. Make cake. If there's anything more celebratory than a bottle of Champagne, it's a gorgeous, chocolate-covered, glittery cake. We love this champagne ganache for any special occasion. And for the record, special occasions include birthdays, anniversaries, and "Wednesday nights when we're all still in one piece."

More: Want an extra flourish of drama? Saber open that bottle

2. Wash down some shnitzel. Fried chicken and champagne has long been a classic combination -- so much so that entire restaurant concepts are being built around it. The dry, crisp drink's ability to cut through hot, greasy bites of poultry extends beautifully to this fried turkey schnitzel, which is much easier than fried chicken to pull off on a weeknight.  

Turkey Schnitzel + Champagne

3. Strawberry fields forever. It's a beautiful thing when you can satiate kids and adults in one fell swoop. For a fussless cocktail both the grown-ups and little ones can enjoy, make homemade strawberry juice. It's the perfect base for a refreshing cocktail, and it's also great on its own for the under-21 set. 

Strawberry Juice and a Champagne Cocktail

4. Just a trifle. Trifles, a.k.a. those wonderfully layered British desserts, may seem elaborate enough as is. To kick ours up a notch, however, we love to add a splash of champagne to the fruit purée. There's no such thing as a trifle that won't benefit from a little sparkle. 

5. Two words: jello shots. For those with dreams of being a host or hostess with the most and mostess, this is the secret weapon you've been looking for. Hardly your average frat-house jello shot, these innocent-looking little rhubarb-and-bubbly cubes are your ticket to being the life of any party.

Champagne Rhubarb Jelly Shots

What are your favorite ways to use champagne? Let us know in the comments! 

7 Comments

arielcooks January 2, 2015
Also, didn't Julia Child have a recipe for Champagne Breakfast? This involved a champagne sauce served on eggs.
 
klrcon January 2, 2015
Poach pears in it with a little sugar for dessert. Then reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup and use that to sauce the pears. If you've got the energy, make zabaglione from it to top the pears as well. Also, in my family we make a traditional risotto with mushrooms, fontina cheese and a splash of champagne at the end - truffles optional. Very delicious.
 
jackie January 1, 2015
I drink Champagne over a couple of days. No problem. The Champagne I'm drinking right now was opened yesterday afternoon. It was perfect then and it's perfect now and whatever remains will be perfect tomorrow. I put a simple stopper in the bottle or a stopper with side levers (if that's the right word) that keep a supple cork in place. You can have your Champagne and drink it too.
 
TheAstonishing December 31, 2014
Champagne cream sauce! Just fabulous served on a weeknight with roast chicken and fingerling potatoes.
 
arielcooks January 2, 2015
Mmmmm!
 
arielcooks December 31, 2014
One New Year's Day we were cleaning up and found half an open bottle of champagne. That evening, for our New Year's ham and sauerkraut, I rinsed the sauerkraut and cooked it in the flat champagne. It was so good that I've made sauerkraut the same way ever since. Even for fancier sauerkraut, nowadays I start it off with flat champagne.
 
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Talia R. December 31, 2014
I LOVE that. Great tip! <br />