You’re enjoying the perfect picnic, relaxing with a summer barbecue or just trying to slake your thirst on a bicycle tour and what happens? Someone forgot to bring the bottle-opener. Oh, the horror. This shocking scenario is sadly an all too familiar one. But once the recriminations have been concluded and blame duly apportioned (yes, we know, it’s always someone else’s fault), one is still left with the simple problem: what do we do now?
Luckily help is usually at hand. Someone always knows the perfect trick for cracking open the lid of that annoyingly non-screw-top bottle. Unfortunately, the inventive techniques for removing that pesky lid tend to end in blood and tears. Someone offers to open the bottle with their eye socket? Look away now, please. Someone can flip the lid with their teeth? Remind them of the cost of dental treatment.
No, removing a bottle cap with care and precision instead requires a cool head, calm nerves and the wisdom of the ancients. Read below to discover our 6 fail-safe bottle-opening methods.
1) The Tabletop
METHOD: Simply place the bottle next to the edge of a table so that one edge of the metal cap is resting on that edge. Firmly, but not with too much force, tap the top of the bottle with your free hand so that the lid is levered off the top of the bottle.
ADVISORY: Perfect for picnic tables, but definitely not recommended for that new designer coffee table or for your grandmother’s heirloom antique dining table – and remember, avoid using too much force.
2) The Key
METHOD: What could be simpler than taking the edge of a steel key and gradually levering up three or four of the pinched folds of the bottle cap? At this point the lid will gently come off in your hand.
ADVISORY: This is a method for the true connoisseur – someone happy to take time before savouring their bottled elixir. Use force and you will instead be levering up (ok, gouging) pinched folds of your fingers.
3) Locking Lips
METHOD: One for the entertainer. Simply hold one bottle vertically and then hold another bottle upside down. Lock the lips of the caps and gently pull apart. One lid will relent and gently flip off. Et voilà, problem solved. Feel free to stand and whirl one’s arms in suitably dramatic fashion while performing the manoeuvre. Your audience will thank you for it.
ADVISORY: For all the ‘jazz hands’ panache of a perfectly executed ‘Locking Lips’ method, you do need to stay focused. Should the lid of the inverted bottle be the one to flip off first, fellow imbibers will be less impressed by their precious drink flowing all over your arms, trouser leg and ground.
4) Money Roll
METHOD: No one can open the bottles? Sit back, sigh wearily and reach for your wallet. Pull out a note (why not make it a big one?) and savour the moment as all around gasp in anticipation. Slowly roll your note along the shortest side, rest the rolled note on top of your index finger and underneath the lip of the bottle, and gently lift the lid off. This should all be performed with a casual insouciance as if you are called upon to perform this impossible feat on a daily basis. You are the master of bottle openers and everyone knows it.
ADVISORY: This requires absolutely perfect technique and is only for the advanced bottle opener. Get it wrong, and you are scrabbling in the dirt for your dropped money roll, trying to repair the torn note or worse. You have been warned.
5) Stealth Operation
METHOD: This is one for those who like a hint of mystery underpinning their mastery. Simply look for any nearby metal edge or hook – it could be a door latch, a gate handle or a metal nail. Casually lean against the aforementioned item, swiftly lever the bottle against it and, oops, how did that happen?, that pesky bottle has opened itself all alone.
ADVISORY: An option for those that like to add the element of surprise to a situation. Be prepared for disappointment when your fellow drinkers discover your depressingly mundane solution to the eternal bottle-opening conundrum.
6) Buckle Up
METHOD: Did we say ‘Buckle up’? We should, perhaps, have said unbuckle. This most demanding of all bottle-opening techniques requires a certain body confidence, a flair for the theatrical and absolute focus. As everyone gives up on opening their bottles and accepting of their miserable, drink-free fate, you stand, unbuckle your belt and, having removed your belt, calmly lever the edge of the bottle cap off with your belt buckle. Having been stunned into silence by your taut waist and surprising solution, everyone will soon be toasting your ingenuity.
ADVISORY: Be sure that your trousers are, indeed, well-fitting. Grateful though people will be that you have opened their bottle, the site of your trousers around your ankles may be less impressive. A rigorous workout routine is also advised before drawing so much attention to one’s waist.
So, there you have it, six guaranteed methods for safely and securely removing any traditional bottle top. However, don’t say we didn’t warn you of the challenges involved. This is a game of skill and, however great the prize, it is not without risk.
Still thirsty for other creative bottle-opening methods? Discover a cavalcade of creative solutions in the video below.
Article by James Lee-Tullis
Do you feel mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for The Bottle Cap Challenge?