The Origin of Toasting Drinks And 10 Toasts Worth Remembering

The Origin of Toasting Drinks And 10 Toasts Worth Remembering

Mar 01, 2024

We clink glasses, raise a toast, and share a heartfelt sentiment—it's a universal tradition that transcends cultures and languages. But have you ever wondered where this ritual originated, or why we clink our glasses together? Here at Brewfits, we're all about celebrating the history and enjoyment of a good brew, and that includes the rich backstory behind toasting!

From Ancient Libations to Shared Sips

Believe it or not, toasts have been around for centuries! Ancient civilizations like the Hebrews, Egyptians, and even the Huns all had their own toasting customs. Back then, toasting might have served a more practical purpose—ensuring your drink wasn't poisoned. Sharing a sip from the same vessel or swirling the contents together in your glasses were ways to demonstrate trust and safety.

The Greeks and Romans: Toasting to Health and Emperors

The ancient Greeks were known for toasting each other's health and well-being, a tradition that resonated with the Romans. In fact, Roman emperors like Augustus were toasted to at every meal! Interestingly, the Romans also added toasted bread crumbs to their wine to reduce its acidity, which explains the connection between "toast" and the act of toasting.

Clinking Glasses: A European Tradition Takes Hold

As toasting rituals spread through Europe, the act of clinking glasses became a prominent feature. While the exact reason remains unclear, some theories suggest it was a way to symbolically mix the contents of each glass, further signifying trust and shared experience.

The Rise of the Toastmaster

By the 17th century, toasting had become a much-loved custom, leading to the emergence of the esteemed role of the "toastmaster." These individuals played a crucial role at gatherings, ensuring the smooth flow of festivities. The toastmaster would orchestrate the toasts, making sure everyone had a chance to raise a glass and offer their sentiments. This ensured inclusivity and prevented any guest from feeling left out. In a time when social graces and etiquette were highly valued, the toastmaster served as a guide, keeping the merriment lively and ensuring that no awkward silences fell between toasts.

Toasting Around the World

The tradition of toasting has spread far and wide, with each culture adding its own unique twist. In Japan, Korea, and China, the toasts sound similar (kanpai, ganbei, and gonbae) but have distinct pronunciations. Korean toasting etiquette even involves emptying the glass and shaking out the last drops before refilling it for the guest, a custom contrasting with the Japanese practice of keeping glasses topped up.

10 Toasts Worth Remembering

We've all been there. The room falls silent, all eyes turn towards you, and the dreaded words hang in the air: "So, a toast..." Your mind goes blank. Do you wing it and risk a cringe-worthy fumble? 

While a heartfelt sentiment straight from the heart is always appreciated, a touch of wit or a clever turn of phrase can elevate your toast from forgettable to legendary. So, whether you're celebrating a milestone achievement, a joyous occasion, or simply raising a glass to good company, here are 10 toasts worth remembering:

  • "Here's to those who've seen us at our best and seen us at our worst and can't tell the difference."
  • “Here’s to the floor, who will hold you when no one else will.”
  • “May we never go to hell, but always be on our way.”
  • “Over the gums and through the lips. Look out stomach… here we go.” (from Michael Scott, in The Office)
  • “May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”
  • “May our children have rich fathers and beautiful mothers.” 
  • “Here's to a long life and a happy one. A quick death and an easy one. A good girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one."
  • “May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future."
  • "May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live."
  • “May the roof above these friends never fall in, and may the friends beneath this roof never fall out.”

From its ancient origins to its global variations, the tradition of toasting continues to be a powerful social ritual. Here at Brewfits, we believe that raising a glass with friends, family, and fellow beer enthusiasts is a way to connect, celebrate, and appreciate the good things in life. So, the next time you gather for a brew, take a moment to appreciate the rich history behind the simple act of raising a glass and saying "Cheers!"

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