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