Any time you open a bottle of champagne, it feels like a special occasion, but the saber method—also called “sabrage”—packs that extra sense of ceremony. But first things first: yes, we’re talking about opening a bottle of champagne by cutting it with a sword. Stay with us.
Even though you look super impressive doing it, opening a bottle of champagne with a saber is just as easy as the traditional method. And it’s not magic—just physics! It might take several tries to get the hang of it the first time, but once you have a feel for it you’ll always have this party trick in your back pocket.
Now speaking of swords, a little backstory: this technique dates back to the time of the French Revolution, when Napoleon’s army celebrated its victories throughout Europe with bottles of bubbly. Napoleon’s brigade were all issued sabers, and after using the sharp sides of the blades to win on the battlefield, they’d use the blunt sides to pop bottles. But today, you can just order a dedicated champagne saber online. Far easier.
Just like the traditional method, you angle the top of the bottle away from you (and anyone else in the room). You quickly slide the blunt side of the blade away from your body, along the bottle, where the force of the blade hitting the lip of the bottle breaks the glass. The idea is one long, smooth, strong motion, so remember to follow through. The saber makes a clean cut, so the neck of the bottle is ready to pour. And when you pick up the cork (because you don’t want to leave sharp glass just lying around) you’ll see it’s still intact in the mouth of the bottle. Champagne magic physics!
If you’ve never tried this method before, don’t worry if it takes a few tries; the neck of the bottle will either break completely off in a clean cut, or it won’t break at all. So you won’t have little pieces of glass popping off, or a partially opened bottle. Take all the tries you need until you get the hang of it.
A champagne saber also makes a great gift for any newly engaged friends. We like to pair it with a bottle of the good stuff so the happy couple can toast to their future.