What to do with leftover, mid-week prosecco
It’s Tuesday, and to me, that means the week possibly yawns ahead of us, with not a whole lot of inspo on getting ourselves fed and lubed appropriately. Which is what I’m hoping to help fix with #ThrowTogetherTuesdays A collection of thoughts on how we might all brighten up our midweek F&B game.
Today I thought let’s focus on booze!
Show of hands, who gets all cheered up with mid-week bubbles? (me, me, me)
Now who’s…. ummm… of a certain age and can no longer pound a bottle of bubbles in one evening? (also me)
There’s nothing quite as sad as morning-after bubbly. Even the snazziest of the bubbly-goes-flat-stopper gizmos don’t keep all the bubbles in.
And it helps to have a couple of strategies in place for what you might do with leftovers.
Strategy 1: Use it on the night of, bubbles intact, to make dessert.
This is the most fiddly of the options. But still massively achievable. This here would be Jamie Oliver’s proper recipe on the subject. My approach is a bit more thrown together. Here’s what I do… I get a pack of vegetarian ‘gelatin’, flavour-free if you can find it.
One tip here: Indian stores will have it. They sell brands of pre-flavoured jelly from India (many vegetarians there so this is quite a common product). Flavour free is hard though. Lemon is probably your safest best if you can only find flavoured. Make it up according to package instructions, subbing out bubbly, bubbles intact, for the amount of liquid called for.
If you are lucky or committed enough to score some flavour free jelly… mmm prepare for a treat. Again make it up according to package instructions with about 2-3 ounces less liquid (bubbly) than the recipe calls for. Put in those 2-3 ounces as a syrup (store bought is fine – my current favourite is a ginger vanilla one; or juice – like peach for a bellini inspired dessert). Even honey or maple syrup would be great. Feel free to add in a splash of vanilla extract if you’re that way inclined. Now you have you prosecco jelly ready (either packaged or the sweet perfection you crafted). Grab 4 of your favourite champagne glasses, fill to half with fruit. Blueberries and raspberries would be great. Or peaches. Or apricots. Anything really. Now pour in your champagne jelly nice and slow. Make sure to fill all the crevices. Fill to the top. Set for a few hours (or overnight). Serve with a long spoon that makes you feel all tall and glamorous. (The bubbles will sort of hold. Enough to give you a little kick out of the whole process. Literally and humorously.)
Strategy 2: Make a Bubbly-walk-of-shame salad dressing
So you forgot your bubbly on the counter. Or you made a half-ass attempt to step the bubble hara-kiri, but it didn’t pay off. All good. Make dressing. Simply substitute the amount of acid called for with flat, morning-after ‘bubbly’. Any dressing recipe on the interwebs would work. Here’s one I have. A super easy vinaigrette.
To further simplify, use half cup bubbly, 1.5 cups of olive oil, a tablespoon each of mustard and honey. One smashed clove of garlic. ½ tsp of your fave dried herb(s), salt and pepper to taste. All in a bottle, shake shake shake… serve. It makes 2 cups. Store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Take out, let sit for 10 mins at room temperature, and shake well before each use.
Strategy 3: Make a bubbly syrup for future cocktails
This is the easiest! And I love ease! Take 1 cup of flat-as-the-Prairies bubbly. Add in ½ a cup of sugar. Warm through to dissolve. Add your flavouring. (Think lemon and rosemary; black peppercorns and basil; orange and ginger; chilli….) Bring up to the boil. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, overnight. Strain out after atleast 8 hours. More is fine. Heck, much, much more is fine. Just stay on the right side of food safety. You know where the line is! This will also keep fantastically well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Put it in cocktails, iced tea, lemonade, or even your morning hot bevvie, if you take it sweet.
Strategy 4: Refreshed-bubbles cocktail
Now that we said cocktails… how can I not give you a cocktail made of refreshed bubbles the next evening?! I have 2 words for you: club soda. Yeah like a spritzer. Except with flat bubbly instead of wine. You can keep it simple and just go halvesies with the soda and drop in a lemon slice or a few mint leaves or some berries. Or elevate to a variation on the sangria theme with the bubbly, soda and fruit. Mmmmmm
And… at no extra charge, here’s a 5th strategy 😜 Buy smaller bottles of bubbly. This is a trick I learned from my friend R of the cool cocktails fame. He gets ones like these below (or similar); 3 packs of… ahem… single serve bubbles.
You can swig one down when the fancy takes you or break it out any night of the week to top off a couple of cocktails (or you know, Wednesday am mimosas if your life allows it)!