Have you always wanted to learn how to saber Champagne?
It’s only The Best Party Trick Ever.
As a self-taught Champagne Saberer, I will say it can be pretty impressive, but also intimidating, when all eyes are on you to perform—and pop the cork!
Let me first take you back to a glamorous situation when the party trick came in handy.
Imagine yourself aboard a superyacht in the Cyclades Islands of Greece anchored somewhere in the majestic Mediterranean, French rosé literally pouring all day.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime picturesque adventure, everyone is feeling the luxurious European vacay vibe—and a drinking game of sorts ensues.
Party tricks all around…
There’s twirling on toes, a bottle of beer popped open with a gold wedding band and some impressive things done with body parts.
Annnnd then it’s your turn. No pressure…
You show off your party girl skills and saber a bottle of Champs off that boat like a pro. Whew!
Tips & Tricks
Sabering successes can be beginner’s luck or just good party juju, but there are indeed tricks of the trade to mastering the art and science of sabering a bottle of bubbly.
Let’s skip the science and share what’s worked for me on far less-sexier occasions than feeling like a Greek goddess aboard a megayacht near Mykonos.
Sabering a bottle of bubbly in that mesmerizing setting was an unimaginable moment, but I still feel a tinge of guilt thinking about catapulting trash into the bottom of God’s exquisitely pristine Aegean Sea.
So before we begin a crash course on the art of sabrage, that’s the first thing you need to know:
Tip #1: There will be broken glass.
The collar and cork with a jagged edge will soar, be impossible to find, and someone will eventually step on it.
Tip #2: Note which bottles saber easiest for you. To ensure success (and save embarrassment), the saber pros of the world suggest using a bottle of a high-end Champagne for a nice, thicker bottle.
However, I’ve successfully hurdled tops off bottles I know weren’t super fancy, including La Marca Prosecco, which apparently has less pressure than Champagne.
Keep a running list of which bottles work for YOU; this is your party trick!
Tip #3: The knife should NOT be sharp.
You want force to push the collar off, not the blade to cut into the cork and get stuck. (womp womp) If at first or second swing you don’t succeed, flip the knife around and try the dull edge.
A few more warnings and tips:
Do not allow anyone, especially over-served friends, near the swing zone of the knife or saber sword!
Do not saber Champagne off a balcony, a boat or on the beach!
A saber is a sword, as in a weapon, and that’s a seriously covetable party supply. I want this one but my weapon of choice in the meantime is a chef’s knife.
You learn by doing, so practice!
Ready to impress your friends and elevate the party vibe?
5 Steps to Sabering Success
- 1Chill out
Take the bottle and plunge it neck first in a bucket or cooler of ice for about 10 minutes. Begin manifesting the moment as the coolest party rocker. You’ve got this.
- 2Delegate duties
Assign a spotter to watch where the broken glass may land and retrieve it (not the same person who videos it).
- 3Uncage the bottle
Carefully remove the outer foil and gently untwist the cage. It can and will blow at any moment, so easy does it.
- 4Assume position
Hold the knife in your dominant hand and rest the bottom of bottle in the other hand. Tilt the bottle upward at a 45-degree angle and find the seam.
- 5Saber and wooooo!
In one fell confident swoop, run the knife up the seam and follow through like a golf swing. Boom! When the wooing dies down, pour the Champs!
"In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it." - Napoleon Bonaparte
More sabering thoughts:
What do Napoleon and Madame Clicquot have to do with your sabering obsession? Everything!