Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

The Toast of Time

two champagne glasses

View All Posts

December 2, 2016

For centuries, it has been a tradition to raise your glass and toast to the good times. But where did it all originate? Let’s open a bottle, pour a glass and see what we can uncork about this age-old custom.

While there are several stories about how toasting came about, the true origin is still unknown. Theorists have long posited the idea that touching glasses evolved from concerns of being poisoned. It was thought that by clinking glasses together with enough force, each drink would spill over into the others’, contaminating both glasses if any nefarious acts had been committed. Other stories claim that the word “toast” takes on a more literal meaning, referring to the 17th century when it was not uncommon to flavor drinks with spiced toast. However, the most widely accepted meaning comes from the International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture: they believe toasting acts as a secular vestige in which sacred liquid was offered to the gods. Hence raising your glasses.

The act of toasting has certainly stood the test of time, but it has also spread across the entire world. It’s one of the few traditions that nearly every culture has a saying for, and we’d like to share some of them with you.

GERMAN = Prost (pronounced as “prohst”)

CHINESE =  Gan bay (pronounced “gān bēi”)

IRISH = Sláinte (pronounced “slawn-cha”)

ITALIAN = Cin cin (pronounced “chin chin”)

SPANISH = Salud (pronounced “sah-lud”)

SWEDISH = Skål (pronounced “skawl”)

YIDDISH = Sei gesund (pronounced “say geh-sund”)

Whatever your reason for toasting to the season, we raise a glass to you, your family, and the warmest of wishes. Here’s to spreading holiday cheers.

Do you have a favorite toast you like to give on special occasions? Share it with us in the comments.