It has been said that the art existed during the middle of the Napoleonic war where the mounted troops of the great Napoleon Bonaparte himself called as Hussars use their saber when knocking the lip of the bottles in times of victory. It became popular after the French revolution when Empress Veuve Clicquot was fully entertained on how the Hussars do the sabering. This is where the art of sabrage was born.
Using a long champagne sword or sabre is fun and impressive to watch. It may look like the person who knows the technique took years of training to execute it right. But, sabering a bottle is not as difficult as it looks like when you know the secret behind the art. There are about 5 chemical reactions that happen in the champagne bottle since it built the fermentation process. The secret is not ramming the bottle too hard but by just tapping the bottle using a champagne sabre to its weak spots allowing the pressure inside to do the trick.
It’s the Pressure
The technique is by taking the advantage of the pressure inside the bottle. When you perfect this art, there will be no small shards of glass. Getting this done properly will vary depending on the bottle. There are bottles which are very hard to hit and there are also champagne bottles which are too soft just a bit of force will do.
Few more tips
- When executing the art, make sure that the bottle is cold, not warm and not iced cold. The bottle can be weakened if it is cold. But, there will be no chemical reaction if the bottle is iced cold that makes the champagne inside frozen. Keep in mind that if the bottle is too cold, there are times that it pops by itself. This can spoil the good wine and leave you disappointed.
- Make sure that you use champagne and not sparkling wine, there is a big difference between the two and that is quality. Also, it is not smart to use your ordinary kitchen knife when executing the technique, It is highly suggested to use champagne sabre when sabering champagne. If you look closer, you will see that the blade is blunt since the bottle does not need a sharp blade cutting its lip. Champagne sabre or sword is specially designed to perfect the art.
- It is also highly suggested to remove the foil before sliding the blade. Also, make sure you put your thumb for support when you remove the wire from the cork, there are cases that bottles pops up the cork by itself so better to put your thumb for support just in case.
- Now before sliding the blade, look for the seam of the bottle. You can find the seam when you remove the foil. As you trace the line, it points to the lip of the bottle and this is your x mark. Keep in mind that you don’t have to hit it hard otherwise you may break the neck and not the lip of the bottle .