Many of us welcome the new year with a Champagne toast, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. If you’d like your New Year’s Eve to get even bubblier, why not serve some gelées (that’s fancy for gelatin) made with sparkling wine? It’s a Jell-O shot gone upscale, yes, and it’s nifty to see how the fizzy sparkling wine lends a frozen-in-time effervescence to the gelatin.
These are far less boozy than the average gelatin shot, but if you prefer drinks on the sweeter side, you may be better off using Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider instead of the sparkling wine. Unlike the run-of-the-mill Jell-O shot, these don’t contain as much gelatin, so you’re best off serving them directly from small dessert glasses or Champagne flutes.
Fizzy St-Germain Gelées
Feel free to use the liqueur of your choice. Crème de Cassis or Chambord work well.
½ cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)
2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
3-1/2 cups decent sparkling wine, divided
½ to 1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup pomegranate seeds or other fresh fruit for garnish, optional
Freeze six to eight wine glasses or Champagne flutes for 15 minutes (this will help the gelées retain their bubbles).
Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup St-Germain and set aside to let the gelatin granules swell.
Heat 1 cup of the sparkling wine in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not allow to boil. Add the sugar and stir gently until all of the sugar is dissolved (use the full cup sugar for less boozy-tasting gelées). Add the softened gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
This next step works best in a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup or large pitcher, because the sparkling wine will fizz up, and you don’t want it to spill over. Pour the warm gelatin into the pitcher and slowly add the remaining 2-1/2 cups of sparkling wine. Divide the mixture between the chilled glasses. Refrigerate the glasses for about half an hour, and then drop fresh fruit, if using, onto the surface of the gelées (some fruit will float; some will sink a bit). Refrigerate the gelées until completely set, about five hours. Gelées can be made up to two days in advance.
by Sara Bir