To saber – or slice off the top of a Champagne bottle with a knife – dates back hundreds of years to war in France. Upon winning a battle, soldiers would immediately begin drinking Champagne, and would simply hack off the top of the bottle with their swords in an effort to consume the bubbly as quickly as possible. Anyone with a knife and a little know-how can saber a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine, but you must first know where to look.
And for the most part, YouTube is the wrong place. It’s the right place if you want to see what not to do. The real trick to a successful saber is exploiting the seam of the wine bottle. Every bottle has one, and in order to safely shoot the cork, cage and top of the bottle away from you, you must run the knife along the seam prior to the cut.
If you are on point, you will end up with a bottle completely free of the cork and lip of the bottle, a mouth with slightly jagged edges and all of your eyes will be fully functioning.
And safety when celebrating should always be the number one priority – because nothing ruins a party like a trip to the emergency room.
Video: How to safely & successfully saber sparkling wine
One of our matre d’ instructors at the Culinary Institute, the lovely and talented Frank, demonstrates the correct way to saber. Santé!