How to Sabre a Champagne Bottle

9th October 2020

St. Regis Tradition, Champagne Sabering at Sunset

Have you ever seen a bottle of Champagne being sabred? It always looks spectacular and dangerous!

Traditional sabring was done with a sword, The Art of Sabrage originated in France during the Napoleonic wars. Veuve Clicquot’s widow, Barbe Nicole Ponsardin, organised parties for officers and high society, after the party, she would give a bottle of Champagne to the officers, to take away with them to be able to enjoy before the battle. As the soldiers were riding on horseback, it was difficult to open the bottle and remove the cork, while also riding their horse. So one day, a young officer took out his sword and sabred the bottle with the blade.

Here we show you how it’s done, it’s not as complicated as it looks, but you need to be careful as there are many ways of getting it wrong and ending up with a smashed bottle and Champagne all over the floor or your guests!

  • Preparation is key, make sure the bottle is chilled, cool it in the fridge for 2 hours or 15 minutes in an ice bucket.
  • Remove the wire cage and find the seam on the bottle (the line on the bottle where the glass was sealed).
  • Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle and line the sabre along the seam with the blade facing you.
  • Line the sabre along the seam with the blade facing you.
  • Apply slight pressure and slide the blade along the seam and follow through.

Important tip: Always make sure no-one is in the direction of where the cork will go. The cork should come off with some glass attached, this is usually quite a clean cut and the pressure from inside the bottle will make sure no glass will be in the Champagne. A good sabrage will result in losing very little Champagne, so now’s the time to pour out the Champagne to all your impressed guests and enjoy!

Glass of Bubbly

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