Sabrage is the celebratory technique of opening a bottle with a sabre, where the blade travels up the neck of the bottle to swiftly break it away at the cork–leaving the main body of the bottle open and ready to pour. This (not so safe) party trick was made popular in France by Napolean’s armies after a victory.
“Champagne! In victory, one deserves it; in defeat one needs it.”
During a recent stay at The Milestone Hotel in London, I had the pleasure of not only witnessing the art of sabrage in person, but got to wield the sabre myself. Surprisingly, sliding the sabre across the bottle and popping it open was quite easy. You can see me in action below, but please excuse the poor quality.
Wasn’t that “POP” satisfying? It’s even better being able to drink the champagne after too.
If you would like to hear from a professional, listen to Fabrizio (“Fab”) Russo in the video below, my personal sabrage teacher and the Food & Beverage Manager at The Milestone Hotel. He discusses in a bit more detail the art of sabrage.