Amaze everyone at your next social function with le sabrage, or opening a bottle of champagne (or any sparkling wine) with a sword. Napoleon's officers did it––now you can, too! Teaching yourself to "behead" a bottle of champagne isn't hard, but takes a little practice (and a case or two of cheap bubbly) to perfect.
1 Obtain a bottle of chilled champagne that has not been shaken. It is best if the bottle has chilled in a cold refrigerator overnight. Some people additionally advise chilling the neck of the bottle in an ice-water bucket just before sabering.
2 Wipe away any moisture on the bottle with a napkin. Remove the foil from the top of the bottle. Unwrap and remove the wire cage from the bottle. Alternatively, to avoid the risk of the cork getting pushed out on its own prior to sabrage, loosen the wire cage and raise it up to the next level, then tighten it back down on the upper flanged end of the bottle.
3 Locate one of the seams on the bottle. This is where the two halves of the bottle join together.
4 Hold the bottle firmly and at a 30 to 45 degree angle upwards (pointed in a safe direction).
5 Lay the sword against the bottle. Put the back side of the sword (the blunt, non-cutting edge) towards the cork, as shown in the pictures. Move the sword to the base of the neck, still keeping it flat against the bottle.
6 Slide the sword slowly and gently along the bottle back to the lip. This is to get a feel for the movement you will need to execute. Go back and forth lightly until you feel comfortable holding the sword to the bottle with this motion.
7 Firmly and quickly slide the knife down the vertical seam (the cleanest break will occur at the seam intersection), towards the lip that holds the cork. This should be one firm, continuous movement. Weak, unsure attempts often result in simply ricocheting off the top of the bottle. With the correct amount of pressure and the blade properly positioned (flat and on the seam), the lip of the bottle (a little glass ring) and the cork within should cleanly break off (as shown in the picture) and go flying.