Courtesy St. Regis Hotels and Resorts

Uncorking a bottle of bubbly always ensures a great time — but opening one with a saber? Now that is going to be a night to remember. No one knows that more than guests who’ve stayed at a St. Regis Hotels & Resorts property. Every evening, there’s a champagne sabrage performed in honor of founder John Jacob Astor IV. The ritual has been taking place since 1904, when the business magnate first started having a bottle of champagne sabered daily at the original St. Regis in New York to “celebrate the transition from day to night,” St. Regis Hotels and Resort VP and Global Brand Leader George Fleck tells GRAZIA USA.

“Astor was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte, who would famously open champagne with his saber, both in victory and defeat,” Fleck explains. “Now more than 100 years later, sabrage continues to be a signature ritual of the brand, performed across our global portfolio of hotels and resorts from New York to Rome to Hong Kong.”

Resort guests and locals alike can get a more hands-on experience by booking a 30-minute private champagne sabrage masterclass. An expertly trained St. Regis butler leads groups of any size, and the unique lesson includes a bottle of champagne and canapés.

Courtesy St. Regis Hotels and Resorts

“Participants are instructed on everything from how to properly chill and prepare the bottle to how to hold the saber and where to strike the neck to ensure the cork goes flying,” Fleck says. “Before they know it, they have mastered the ultimate party trick.”

Luckily, opening a bottle in such a dramatic fashion isn’t as hard as it first appears. “Once you have one of our sabering experts walk you through the steps, sabrage is quite accessible, even for beginners,” Fleck notes.

Courtesy St. Regis Hotels and Resorts

In addition to New York City, sabrage masterclasses are offered at St. Regis’ portfolio of North American properties, which includes Atlanta, Aspen, Bal Harbour, Deer Valley, Houston, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington D.C.

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