How to sabre a champagne bottle

13_How to sabre a champagne bottle

Alison Godfrey


(Australian Associated Press)

Here’s a trick from Canada that will have your New Year’s Eve guests enthralled – it is possible to cleanly slice the top off a champagne bottle with a large knife.

The process called sabering comes from the time of Napoleon and is a highlight of many tourists’ trips to the Barefoot Bistro in Whistler, Canada.

Known for extravagant parties, the Barefoot Bistro offers champagne sabering, al-a-carte and degustation menus and a chilled vodka tasting room.

To sabre a bottle of champagne tourists are taken to the 20,000-bottle cellar, given simple instructions and a large flat knife.

Barefoot Bistro owner Marc Des Rosiers told AAP the secret to sabering safely and cleanly is all in the wrist.

The bottle must be chilled for 24 hours and then put in ice for 10 to 15 minutes before sabering.

In Napoleon’s time sabering champagne was a tradition of good luck in war. If the cut to the bottle was clean the soldiers believed they would be headed for victory in battle. If not, at least they could drink the wine.

At the Barefoot Bistro patrons are encouraged to sabre their champagne aiming at the target flag. Hit it cleanly and you will be assured of a large cheer.

The trick to a clean cut is a fast flick of the wrist. Rub the knife along the bottle smoothly three times and then smack the end as hard as you can. Hopefully luck will bring a clean hit.

If not, there’s always the vodka room.


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