Sabrage: The Ultimate Party Trick

The next time you have a cocktail party, why not consider impressing your guests – or perhaps scaring the daylights out of them – by opening a bottle of champagne using the sabrage technique. Sabrage, or the art of opening a bottle of champagne with a saber, is actually not scary at all, but actually quite beautiful and ceremonious. Now swinging a saber around and trying to open the next bottle after drinking the last two bottles of champagne may be a little scary, but we trust that you have better judgment than that…

How does it work, you ask? The saber is slid along the body of the champagne bottle towards the neck. The blade’s force hits the lip of the bottle to break the glass, effectively separating the collar from the neck. It’s that easy, and the top of the bottle just pops right off with cork and collar remaining together. Here are some tips if you would like to try it out:

1) Buy a bottle of champagne or champagne gift. Possibly start with low-end varieties so that you wouldn’t accidentally break and waste a bottle of Dom (gasp!).

2) Watch videos on-line of the act being performed. Note that people are not simply hacking the top of the bottle off. There is a technique to be followed.

3) If you no longer have that ridiculous machete your parents hated from your teenage years, invest in a saber with a short blade and broad back. A sturdy kitchen knife and even the base of a champagne glass will also do the trick.

4) Chill the champagne for at least 24 hours. Cold liquid holds more gas and will limit the spillage after the sabrage has taken place.

5) Hold the saber in one hand and the lowest part of the bottle in the other. Be sure to loosen or remove the typical champagne wire cage.

6) Find the seam of the bottle that runs from top to bottom, and slide the blade sharply along the seam until it hits the lip of the bottleneck. Be sure to “follow through” with your motion.

7) Allow a little champagne spray to spill out so that any small glass splinters are washed away.

8) Take a bow and have a well-deserved glass of champagne. Cheers!

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