Slice and Pour - How to Sabre a Bottle of Champagne Perfectly
It's the start of the year and just a couple of weeks before Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. You wanna impress your friends, family, loved ones, that special partner... and our friends from the Sarment Group have the perfect way of doing it.
Before we introduce the art of sabrage to you, along with proper instructions on how to do it, we'd like to preface this by pointing out that you're doing this at your own risk. Sabrage is not the easiest way of popping open a bottle of champagne, and it should definitely not be done indoors. We take no responsibility for any objects or persons damaged in your attempt to sabre a bottle of bubbly.
Julien Drevon, head sommelier at the Sarment Group Singapore, explains that the art of sabreing a bottle of champagne came about during the Napoleonic era, when his army would be celebrating their victories on the road, but since no one was going to be bringing along crystal champagne glasses in war, they would slice open bottles with the sabres of the Napoleonic uniform and drink it straight. It's cool. Provided you do it right. Since the pressure in a bottle of champagne can be considerable, we would not suggest standing in front of a bottle of champagne that's about to be sabred open.
Here's a few tips Drevon has to offer:
1. Make sure the cork and neck of the champagne bottle is more chilled than the rest of the bottle. This creates a pressure difference that makes the bottle of champagne easier to sabre.
2. Let the champagne flow a little first. An imperfectly sabred bottle of champagne can have bits of glass in it. Let it pour out slightly before you take a sip.
3. It's about how you strike the bottle. Striking it hard and fast at the neck, just where the cork meets the bottle, is how you can get a perfect sabreing. It's very fun to perform.
4. Practice makes perfect. But you may want to reserve that expensive bottle of vintage Henri-Giraud for the last, when you've perfected it. Otherwise it's very expensive practising.
Check out our video on how to sabre a bottle of champagne open, and have fun practising!