Transforming Leftover Champagne Into Vinegar Is Almost Too Easy

If you're the type to only bust out champagne for special occasions, you may be well accustomed to the frustration that arises once the bubbly falls flat. Instead of fretting about pouring money down the drain, turn the champagne into vinegar.

After sipping on champagne to celebrate, nature will take its course, turning the once effervescent drink flat. With the bubbles being the best part, we can't blame you for not wanting to drink stale champagne. Thankfully, there's a way to repurpose the leftover drink — all you need to do is let nature take its course once more. The light, fruity drink can easily be turned into a mellowed out, tart vinegar.

Pour the champagne – flat or bubbly — into a wide-mouthed jar or container. Cover the container with several layers of cheesecloth, secure it with a rubber band, and store it in a cool, dark place where it'll be undisturbed. Through a fermentation process in which bacteria turns the sugar in alcohol into vinegar, the vinegar should be ready after a minimum of four weeks. As the vinegar develops, taste a little bit to see if it's fully crossed the champagne-vinegar threshold. If it's not ready within a month, leave it for a few more weeks or another month before using it.

How to store champagne vinegar

Like other vinegars, champagne vinegar can be stored in a cool, dark place. Simply transfer the vinegar from the jar into another container and cover it. You can also take a page out of Ina Garten's book and store your vinegar in the fridge. While this may extend its shelf life, either way, the champagne vinegar will last up to 6 months.

Within half a year, you can find a myriad of ways to use up the delicate vinegar. Compared to other types of vinegar, champagne vinegar is airy, with a fruity-floral taste, a holdover from its past life as a sparkling wine. Since it's not heavy, it can be used to punch up recipes that other vinegars might overwhelm. If you want the fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to shine in your chopped Caprese salad, swap out rich balsamic vinegar for lighter champagne.

The vinegar is also great for bringing out the flowery aspects of stone fruits, making it an ideal choice for sweet and savory Italian salad pizza or a grilled peach and plum flatbread. The champagne vinegar can be splashed on top or turned into a delicious vinaigrette with olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic.