How to Saber a Bottle of Champagne

Sabering a bottle of champagne is probably the most dramatic way to open anything. A favorite flourish of Napoleon’s soldiers, the technique isn’t that complicated—sabering is essentially well-coordinated smashing. Join the Wills, Kates, and other members of the aristocracy with just a saber, a bottle of your favorite bubbly beverage, and some practice.

You will need

  • 1 1 (or more) bottle of Champagne or other sparkling wine (practice makes perfect)
  • 2 1 Champagne Knife/Saber
  • 3 Confidence


Chill Out

You want cold champagne. The best way is to fully submerge the bottle in an ice bucket or placing it in the fridge for two to four hours. Sabering a warm bottle will ensure an explosion, wet clothes, disappointed friends, and, worst of all, wasted champagne.


Prep the Bottle and Space

Sabering is an outdoor activity—glass may fly so make sure you are several yards away from spectators or pets. Unpeel the foil around the cork as well as the wire cage.


Find the Crease

Locate the crease or seam where the two halves of the bottle meet. Find the place where the crease meets the lip near the opening: this is the weakest part of the bottle, and the part you will strike. Run your knife along this seam several times to get your bearings.


Find Your Grip

Hold the bottle in one hand so that it points away from you at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Place the blade flat against the bottle with the edge aimed at the lip.



Rapidly and confidently run the blade along the seam and through the lip with the force equivalent to slamming a car door. The motion will take off the bottle’s top. Keep your hands off the bottle’s neck at all times to avoid sabering off fingers. Hold the bottle at the 45-degree angle for several seconds so that the foam pushes out any tiny shards of glass—and it looks more dramatic.



Now you have something to celebrate!