If you want to impress a party, opening a champagne bottle with a champagne saber is always a success. Sabering as it is called, looks spectacular and is very festive. During tastings I often saber the welcome drink (usually a Champagne or a good prosecco), this always ensures a festive and enthusiastic start to the tasting.
But is sabring difficult or can everyone do it?
If you look up videos on youtube about sabring, it seems that things go wrong more often than right. It is sometimes done during television programs, but even then accidents do happen.
But no, it's not difficult, provided you know some rules. Don't go sabring without knowing these. Otherwise, the chance of failure is greater than the chance of success.
But if you know the rules, it almost always goes well. The word "almost" therefore just creates the tension. Recently on an American morning show I saw a very experienced (as she herself stated) viticulturist helping one bottle after another to the Philistines.
So stick to these rules:
- Use a good champagne saber (these are not sharp, it is important that the saber is blunt, earlier in the time of Napoleon, the back of the saber was also used).
- The bottle must be cold and preferably real Champagne (high pressure in the bottle), but a prosecco is also allowed, as long as it has a real champagne closure. So Champagne cork, foil and capsule. The manufacturer does not use this closure for nothing. Then there is a lot of pressure on the bottle. You will never be able to sabrage without sufficient pressure on the bottle. So don't try small bottles of champagne either, that won't work either. (tried, doesn't really work)
- Remove the foil completely, including the capsule, so the cage. There are people who leave this alone, but it gives an extra risk or failure.
- Take the bottle in your left hand if you are on the right and place your thumb in the soul (the concave bottom). Hold the bottle at an angle with a straight hand.
- Locate the weld seam. This is an important fact. Every bottle has a line, this is the weak spot of the bottle. You will slide the saber over this line later. This is the way the saber has to travel.
- Place the saber on the bottle at an angle of 30 degrees. And you slide the saber back and forth over the line to the head of the bottle a few times, so that the movement will be smooth.
- Then the hitting itself, it's like golf. Make a long smooth stroke. Do not use too much force, it is important that you make the stroke long, so stretch your arm completely. So you don't hit the top of the bottle, but you complete the movement until your arm is straight.
- When hitting, always aim the bottle at a safe place. Preferably do this outside. Keep in mind that the head shoots off with force. You won't be the first to hurt someone or something with it.
With the above rules it will be easy. Of course the first time is exciting. Actually, it remains a bit exciting every time, but that's what makes it fun. Keep a close eye on safety. The most common mistake is making the stroke too short, so make the stroke long and smooth. It is not the intention to hit through the bottle, but you hit the head off at the weak spot. Because of the pressure in the bottle, this is easier than you think. Don't worry about glass splinters. Any splinters will be blown away by the pressure.
Have fun and enjoy the Champagne!