Learn sabrage and show bubbly who’s boss at this luxe NYC hotel’s new class


There are a few different ways to be the coolest person at a party. You can spend the whole night smoking cigarettes out back, remain aloof even to the most invited flirtation, hilarious joke, or delicious hors d’oeuvres, and/or keep those fingers tap tap tapping on your phone so everybody knows that you’re wanted, needed and desired someplace else. 

Obvious tropes aside, we have exited the era of “try-hard” derision and entered a new phase of admiration for those that do the most. Rehearsed remove is out. Turning on the razzle-dazzle like some kind of charismatic, super-magnet is in. And one way to both delight and expand access to alcohol is with sabrage. 

Sabrage is the art, science and all-around tubular move of opening a bottle of Champagne (or sparkling whatever) with a saber. The practice is commonly linked to the Napoleonic Wars, purportedly an easier way for soldiers on horseback to crack bubbly than the standard. Do not follow these instructions alone, but (dangerously) simply put, one surfaces the seam of a bottle, steadies the blunt side of a sword or knife above, and swiftly, confidently, runs the metal through the precise spot on the bottle’s upper neck just below its ridge to reveal the celebration juice inside, never releasing the cork. There are abundant opportunities for this to go terribly wrong. So, like most apparently spontaneous neat feats, it’s better to learn, practice and create the appearance of ease rather than risk misadventure. 

The St. Regis hotel is now Manhattan’s most luxe place to pick up the potentially perilous trick under the watchful eye of an expert butler. The chain’s recently introduced private classes follow the company’s own connection to the form, which dates back to 1904 when its founder would celebrate each day turning to night with sabrage, according to a press release, which is highly amusing to imagine becoming routine. 

Classes are also available at locations across the country, and NYC’s costs $500 for a 30-minute session, a bottle of Veuve and canapés for up to four people. Aspiring Champers hackers can book by calling 212-753-4500. Horse sold separately. 



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