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Celebrate in Style: How to Perfect the Art of Champagne Sabering

Sabering or Sabrage is the technique of removing the neck of the bottle with one swift movement.

Updated
Food
2 min read

Around the world, celebration is synonymous with Champagne – whether it is a wedding, an anniversary or a podium finish. People love to pop open a bottle to mark the occasion. And one custom that enhances the grandeur of the occasion is the theatric art of sabering.

Sabering or sabrage is the technique of removing the neck of the bottle with one swift movement. It first became popular in Napoleon’s army, where soldiers decided that it was too much trouble to open a bottle the traditional way and so began using their swords to simply knock the tops off the bottle.

The bubbles in Champagne are carbon dioxide and the pressure caused by this gas in a single bottle of Champagne equals 620 kilopascals (90 psi). That’s as much as in a truck’s tyre! Which is why you should be very careful when sabering. The cork could take an eye out, or even worse.

The principle of sabering involves hitting the bottle at its weakest point which is at the intersection of the vertical seam and the lip. The current force at this point creates a crack and the pressure inside the bottle causes the cork and the top of the bottle to shoot out.

Step 1: Chill your Champagne well. Don’t shake bottle too much. (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
Step 1: Chill your Champagne well. Don’t shake bottle too much. (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
Step 2: Remove the foil and loosen the cage while holding it in place with your thumb (Photo Courtesy: <b>The Quint</b>)
Step 2: Remove the foil and loosen the cage while holding it in place with your thumb (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
Step 3: Locate the vertical seam (Photo Courtesy: <b>The Quint</b>)
Step 3: Locate the vertical seam (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)


















Step 4: Hold the bottle securely and the knife at a 45 degree angle (Photo Courtesy: <b>The Quint</b>)
Step 4: Hold the bottle securely and the knife at a 45 degree angle (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
Step 5: Using a swift sharp movement, glide
the blunt edge of the knife along the seam and follow-through (Photo Courtesy: <b>The Quint</b>)
Step 5: Using a swift sharp movement, glide the blunt edge of the knife along the seam and follow-through (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
And that’s how it’s done! (Photo Courtesy: <b>The Quint</b>)
And that’s how it’s done! (Photo Courtesy: The Quint)

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