How to saber bubbles (and generally be a badass)

Ever dreamed of winning friends and impressing thousands with one simple act? The vision of you being thrown onto the shoulders of loved ones and strangers alike, all shouting your name and cheering? We want to teach you a trick that just might help. Resolve to be hard core this year by learning how to master the art of sabering sparkling.

Sabrage (an awesome vocab word they never put in my GRE flashcards) dates back to Napoleanic times when the soldiers wouldn’t have the dexterity to open a bottle while riding a horse back to their bases. They would pull out their sword and have at it in order to celebrate (or mourn) the battle outcome. Nowadays, it is merely a tactic to impress friends, out-cool your colleagues or get laid.  Good luck with that.

Sabering Champagne First and foremost: Saber at your OWN risk. This is potentially very dangerous and could put out more than an eye if done incorrectly. It is only for the very courageous.

You will need:

  • A very, very cold bottle of bubbles (go cheap while practicing).  Do not freeze the bottle, just don’t let it sit out for long.
  • A saber or butcher’s knife. We will be using the dull side of the knife. This is about pressure, not actually cutting the glass with a sharp knife.
  • Protective eyewear if you are smart and don’t care about people pointing and laughing at you.
  • A place outside that you can launch a cork thousands of miles per hour.
  • Lack of a conscience, as you might take out a small family of birds in the process.

Okay, here we go.


Step 1: Remove the foil entirely, you need a clean edge to slide the blade.

Step 2: Remove the cage, sure to keep the bottle ALWAYS pointed away from you and your audience, who should stay behind you at all times, we don’t want you to blind anyone or, God forbid, behead someone by accident with your blade.

Step 3: Find the most dominant vertical seam in the bottle. This is the vulnerable point.

Step 4: Hold at a 45degree angle and note the little rim, that will be where you want to hit the bottle with the dull side of the knife.

Step 5: You want to do this in one forward follow through motion. Just hit that point with little force and follow through.

Step 6: Before attempting any of this, watch some YouTube videos for motivation and visual aids.

Step 7: Enjoy being a total badass.


About Ashley Hausman

Originally from Wisconsin, Ashley moved to Colorado to hike and climb mountains as soon as she had a B.A. in hand. Quickly she learned, she needed to find a career. So she went back to grad school to get her PhD in English & American Literature, beginning with a Masters at New York University. A few long papers, a thesis and a masters degree later, she found wine was not only an incredible way to enhance Derridean studies, but it had its own story to tell: of regions, soils, cultures and farming. While Woolf still had her heart, Burgundy was creeping in… She decided to postpone the PhD and go for the plunge. Now, she manages Little’s Wine & Spirits near the University of Denver. She orders by day, sips and tells all in her blog by night, and runs private wine parties in between in addition to giving advice on cellar building, wine vacations and food pairing. It’s a passion that grows only more complex with every passing vintage.