Saber Substitutes: What Else Opens Champagne?
Hervé Rousseau of New York City's Flûte helps us discover which household items can be used instead of a saber
Sabering champagne is a tradition that goes back to Napoleonic times, but it’s easy to see why it has survived: it is a massively cool party trick. You can take a sword or champagne saber and slice off the top of a bottle with one quick flick of the wrist. This is possible only with a real bottle of champagne (not prosecco or another sparkling wine) because of the pressure that exists in the bottle, which is comparable to the pressure in a tire.
But let’s be honest — most of us don’t have a spare sword lying around the house. They are dangerous and cumbersome and fairly useless in this day and age for anything other than, well, sabering champagne. So we decided to head over to New York City's Flûte Bar & Lounge and ask the owner and champagne connoisseur Hervé Rousseau to test out a few household items on champagne. Could we possibly open it with an iPad? A flask? A book? There’s only one way to find out: watch the video above.
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