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Swords, Cutting and Military History

More on opening Champagne with a sword

More on opening Champagne with a sword

photo via Wikipedia

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Yesterday I posted an interesting — and humorous — news piece on how to open a bottle of Champagne with a sword, known as saberage or sabering.

I’ve had a few questions about this technique, which I’ve answered below.  Have a look at the first two saberage videos, then scroll down for the short Q&A.




For those who’d like to see the action of saberage with a real sword in slow motion detail, here’s one for you:



There does appear to be a difference in technique for saberage, with some schools recommended using the back of the blade to strike the bottle.  It has been suggested this is both more traditional and safer, as you would not be swinging outward with a sharp edge.  With a tip of the hat to Randy Higgans of United Backyard Cutters for this tidbit.




Questions and Answers


Q:  “Is sabering done today?  Do they use swords?”

A:  Yes, this is done at some of the finer restaurants.  No they don’t use a real sword, but a specially made heavy knife known as a champagne sword, or “sabre à champagne“.   They come in various designs;  some modern variants look nothing like a sword at all, some are make to look like small sabers, others like butcher knifes:


Champagne knife


It’s also possible to perform saberage with any edged weapon.  But I’d be very, very cautious about attempting the following:



Actually, with determination and practice, any object will do, provided you strike the lip of the bottle correctly:




Q: “Are there any world records for saberage?”

A: Yes;  Guinness Records has two entries for records in Sabering champagne.

Most Bottles Sabered Simultaneously

In October of 2013, 277 bottles were simultaneously saber in an event held at Garibaldi, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Most Bottles Sabered in One Minute

This record is held by Mitch Anconna who, in 2013, sabered 35 bottles of champagne in 60 seconds, breaking the old record of 32.




Q:  “What’s the worst that can happen while sabering a bottle?”

A:  To this I’d have to answer:  “A picture is worth a thousand words”


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