Flat champagne is always seems to get leftover after New Year’s. Whether you forgot to put the cork back on, opened too many bottles or just didn’t have the stomach to finish the bottle, champagne ends up bubble-less at the bottom of the bottle. It’s always a sad thing to see the morning after, especially if you spent a pretty penny on it but, all is not lost, there are actually several uses for flat champagne. By the way, if you usually go the prosecco route, these ideas work for that too!
#1 Champagne Vinegar
This gourmet ingredient requires minimal effort to make and gives you serious flavour in the end (talk about bang for your buck!). Champagne vinegar is an ingredient that is always talked about by chefs and one that sounds way fancier than it actually is but, it’s extremely simple and easy to make. Add your flat champagne to a jar and then cover with muslin or cheesecloth and let sit for four to six weeks. The champagne naturally turns into vinegar. You can taste it periodically to see if it’s turned or if you want it to ferment longer. Use it in vinaigrettes, over potatoes or as an added touch of brightness in marinades!
#2 Champagne Syrup
Champagne syrup is the perfect way to revitalise your champagne in drink form. Simply boil your flat champagne with sugar to create a champagne simple syrup. You can add different flavourings during this step if you like (we love rosemary and ginger!). Then, simply add your syrup to any cocktail you’d like to sweeten. It adds that much-loved dry and floral undertone to your drinks. Don’t limit yourself to cocktails, champagne simple syrup is perfect for sweetening lemonade, fruit juices and even iced teas! Top with soda water for effervescence.
Sauces that call for white wine are great for substituting with flat champagne. However, champagne in this case is usually less acidic than what is needed for the recipe—to fix this, add lemon, lime or orange juice to counteract the flat champagne. We recommend not using cheap champagne in this case as the flavour of the champagne is very pronounced and needs to be of good quality. Flat champagne also works well to make pan sauces. Simple deglaze your chicken or fish with the flat champagne, add butter and lemon and boom, a lemony-champagne pan sauce.
#4 White Sangria
We are well-aware that for this to work you need an entire flat bottle of champagne which is hard to come across however, there is nothing wrong with concocting a one-serving sangria for yourself. Simply substitute your flat champagne with white wine. Champagne is usually a bit sweeter than wine so, be mindful when adding sugar to your sangria.
#5 Ice Lollies
Boozy ice lollies don’t only require flat champagne but also imparts the flavour of even the cheapest champagne extremely well. Combine flat champagne with fruit juice, chopped fruits, mint and sugar or honey. Pour into your lolly molds and then freeze. It’s a lovely adult snack for girl’s night!
#6 Poaching liquid
Flat champagne mixed with water and infused with cinnamon and citrus zest becomes an aromatic poaching liquid for pears and plums. Serve poached fruits with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or with granola for a gourmet dessert. Alternatively, for savoury dishes, flat champagne combined with lemon juice, water and peppercorns is delicious for poaching white fish and shrimp.