Have leftover bubbly? Turn it into jam!

Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:07 AM ET

Paul Wegman /
Chef John Eisenhart's Prosecco Preserves.

If you find that you didn’t finish off every last bottle of bubbly during your New Year's celebrations, don’t let it go to waste! Chef John Eisenhart of Kimpton’s Pazzo Ristorante in Portland, Ore., proves that there are better uses for an opened bottle of champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine than pouring it down the drain.

“I had a few open bottles of prosecco," Eisenhart said, "and I really wanted to do something with them other than throw them out.  So I started trying different recipes and different ingredients.” 

Some of his ideas are:

  • Make a vinaigrette. Combine with citrus to create a deliciously balanced dressing for root vegetables.
  • Make butter. Mix together with butter and refrigerate to create a champagne butter for the ultimate oysters.
  • Make fritters. Add to the batter for fritters, zucchini blossoms, etc. instead of sparkling water for flavor enhancement.
  • Make ice cubes. Freeze the leftover portions in an ice cube tray and use later for mimosas during brunch.
  • Make sorbet. Just combine champagne with simple syrup and freeze for a light and fresh after-dinner treat.

His favorite recipe is for prosecco preserves (seen in the photo above). He suggests that this jelly is best served with any northern Italian cheese like gorgonzola, fontina, parmesan or ubriaco.  He also suggests serving it with grain bread.  

See below for the recipe, which you'll notice includes the rare kitchen tool, a CO2 canister. Don't be intimidated by this contraption, as Eisenhart points out, "If you don’t want to use the C02 canister you can make it without — that’s what gives it the nice bubbles though. The good thing about this recipe is most of the ingredients are things most people already have in their kitchen."

Never toss an open bottle of bubbly again!

Chef John Eisenhart's prosecco preserves:

  • 1/2 bottle of prosecco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1/4 ounce pectin

Mix together sugar and pectin. In a pot, combine all ingredients. On low flame, slowly bring pot to a boil and stir frequently. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside. When prosecco is warm (not hot, not cold) place in a CO2 canister with a new cartridge. 

At this point, get a container that holds ice water and a wide bottomed pan to fit inside. Slowly release the CO2 pressure into the cold pan. This will 'arrest' the bubbles into the gel. Refrigerate. Lasts up to two weeks.