When the guests left New Year's brunch on Tuesday and I began cleaning up, I found half a bottle of Champagne left on the counter. Exhausted and ready to put my feet up, the bottle went into the refrigerator and was soon forgotten. Now, with half a flat bottle on my hands, I've started brainstorming uses for it in cooking or baking. But you know what idea I like best? Doing almost nothing......and making vinegar. Making vinegar from leftover wine, Champagne, or sparkling wine is unbelievably easy. Simply pour the liquid into a well-washed mason jar (or other wide-mouthed vessel like a crock) and cover with a couple of layers of cheesecloth (to prevent dust or bugs from getting into it. Then, just store it in a cool, dark place for a month to six months. Taste it periodically to determine when it has turned to vinegar then transfer it to a bottle with a stopper and store in the pantry.
Voila! Champagne (or wine) vinegar that you'd pay a lot for at the store made easily from leftovers that could have gone to waste!
Have you made your own wine vinegar before? Please share your stories and secrets below!
Related: What Can I Do with Leftover Champagne?
(Image: Flickr member jo.marshall, licensed for use under Creative Commons)