Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

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Is it true that in Medieval Times kings used to invite other king for a feast and poison other king's drink? this became so prevelant that the guest king would clink his glass with the host king's glass so that some of the liquid in his glass spills into the guest's glass, or did pirates do it?

When, where and why the tradition of clinking glasses and saying cheers started?


According to Snopes both clinking glasses to ward off evil spirits, and to test for poison in the spirits, is false.


Many explanations have been advanced to explain our custom of clinking glasses when participating in toasts. One is that early Europeans felt the sound helped to drive off evil spirits. Another holds that by clanking the glasses into one another, wine could be sloshed from glass to glass, thereby serving as a proof the beverages had not been poisoned. Yet another claim asserts that the “clink” served as a symbolic acknowledgment of trust among imbibers who did not feel the need to sample each others' drinks to prove them unadulterated.

Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Apparently the real reason has its roots in a benediction end of worship service tradition when everyone used to drink out of the same cup. To make up for the fact that everyone now drinks out of their own cup, we clink glasses to bring everyone together as if we were all drinking from the same "loving cup".


“Toasting,” our term for the pronouncement of benedictions followed by a swallowing of alcohol, is believed to have taken its name from a practice involving a shared drinking vessel. Floated in the “loving cup” passed among celebrants in Britain was a piece of (spiced) cooked bread that the host would consume along with the last few drops of liquid after the cup had made one round of the company. In modern times toasting has become a matter of imbibing from individual drinking vessels rather than from one shared flagon, so to compensate for the sense of unity lost in doing away with the sharing of the same cup we have evolved the practice of simultaneously drinking each from our own glass when a toast is made, thereby maintaining a communal connection to the kind words being spoken.

Here’s Why People Tap Their Glass On The Bar Before Taking A Shot

Have you been at the bar and seen or been part of a group of friends who order a round of shots, but before they pound the shooter they tap the glass on the bar? Do you wonder why people tap their glass on the bar before taking a shot? So did we, so we tried to find an answer to this unusual custom on the World Wide Web and it turns out there are a plethora of possible reasons for the drinking ritual.

  • There are some who say you tap your glass on the bar to pay your respects to friends who couldn’t make it out or fallen friends who can’t enjoy a shot of Jameson. It was apparently the Middle Ages version of pouring one for your dead homies.
  • In ancient Ireland, drinkers at the pub thought their whiskey might have evil spirits that could be harmful if consumed, but tapping the glass scared away the demons.
  • There is the legend of Aldwyn, a 5th-century Saxon peasant who was said to be the first person to tap his glass upon a rough-hewn bar to ward off evil spirits.
  • There is a belief that you give cheers by clinking glasses with friends to welcome the future, but you tap the bar to remember the past.
  • When someone taps their shot glass on the bar, it is to show respect to the bar or tavern that you are in as well as the employees of the establishment, especially the bartender. It is said that clinking glasses is to toast one another, but tapping the bar is to toast the house.
  • If you have a beer, tapping your mug is said to cause the head to settle. This is especially handy if you are competing in a drinking contest.
  • If you were in a drinking contest, the sound of your cup hitting the table would allow the judges to hear that all of the contestants started at the same time.

Whatever your reason for tapping the bar, savor the shot, but most importantly cherish the company of good friends.

1 Answer 1

There is the usual great stuff relating to 'Toasting'. From wikipedia - which is normally correct.

I then had a quick look at snopes.com, they proclaim the following to be false:

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast? A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.

ORIGINS: Many explanations have been advanced to explain our custom of clinking glasses when participating in toasts. One is that early Europeans felt the sound helped to drive off evil spirits. Another holds that by clanking the glasses into one another, wine could be sloshed from glass to glass, thereby serving as a

proof the beverages had not been poisoned. Yet another claim asserts that the “clink” served as a symbolic acknowledgment of trust among imbibers who did not feel the need to sample each others’ drinks to prove them unadulterated.

Each of those explanations is false. While making a racket for the purpose of scaring off evil spirits underpins other customs that carry over to this day (e.g., the tolling of church bells at weddings, and the loud shouts and noisemaking at the stroke of twelve on New Year’s Eve), the “clink” is a relatively new aspect of toasting and, as such, came along well after folks had relinquished the notion that demons both lurked in every corner of typical day-to-day existence and could be sped on their way by a bit of noise. As for sloshing wine from one glass to another, drinking vessels would need to be filled to the brim to effect that, and if they were, such practice would waste valuable potables (because some would be sure to land on the floor) and likely douse the toasters too. And while the poisoning of enemies has long been part of the ordinary mayhem of the world, the practice of touching of one’s filled glass to those of others when participating in a toast is unrelated to suspicion of the wine’s having been tampered with such killings were not so common at any nebulous point in the past that a signal to one’s host indicating he was clear of suspicion of attempted murder needed to be enshrined in the canon of social gestures.

To get at the real reason for the clink of glass on glass, we have to first look at why and how we toast, and where the practice originated.

The custom of sealing with booze expressions of good wishes for the health of others dates back so far that its origins are now lost to us, yet in numerous cultures

such acts of camaraderie often involved shared drinking vessels. The clinking of individual cups or glasses as a proof of trust wouldn’t have meant much when everyone drank from the same bowl. Indeed, in those cultures where shared drinking containers was the norm, to produce one’s own vessel in such company was to communicate an unmistakable message of hostility and distrust it would have been regarded as akin to bringing along a food taster to sample the repast.

“Toasting,” our term for the pronouncement of benedictions followed by a swallowing of alcohol, is believed to have taken its name from a practice involving a shared drinking vessel. Floated in the “loving cup” passed among celebrants in Britain was a piece of (spiced) cooked bread that the host would consume along with the last few drops of liquid after the cup had made one round of the company. In modern times toasting has become a matter of imbibing from individual drinking vessels rather than from one shared flagon, so to compensate for the sense of unity lost in doing away with the sharing of the same cup we have evolved the practice of simultaneously drinking each from our own glass when a toast is made, thereby maintaining a communal connection to the kind words being spoken.

The clinking of glasses has been added to the practice of offering toasts for a few reasons, none having anything to do with poison. Prior to such augmentation, toasts pleased only four of the five senses by adding the “clink,” a pleasant sound was made part of the experience, and wine glasses have come to be prized not only for their appearance but also for the tones they produce when struck. Yet beyond mere aural pleasure, the act of touching your glass to that of others is a way of emphasizing that you are part of the good wishes being expressed, that you are making a physical connection to the toast. The practice also serves another purpose, that of uniting the individuals taking part in the benediction into a cohesive group: as the wine glasses are brought together, so symbolically are the people holding them. On a deeper level, the wine is also being recommuned with itself — that which had been one (when it had been in its own bottle) but was separated (when it was poured into a variety of glasses) is brought back into contact with the whole of itself, if only for a moment.

Etiquette mavens say one need not clink glasses with everyone present when participating in toasts among large assemblies. Rather than reach across vast expanses of wide tables (thereby risking losing your balance and ending up in the guacamole), simply raise your glass and make eye contact with the group.


So, with all this in mind, my own thought is that in times gone by as 'rivals' drank each others health, they would drink from the other person's cup (to avoid poisoning - however all one would have to do would be to poison one's own cup - surely that would have worked?!), as the cups were held to the other person's lips they would inadvertantly 'clink' together. As time moved on and we attempted not to kill everyone in our paths the clinking just wort of became symbolic.

Origin of the toast: Why do we toast?

If an alien landed on Earth and observed a human stand up whilst holding a glass, followed by a room full of people all holding up their glasses and taking a sip in perfect unison amidst a chorus of shouts, he would surely wonder what these strange humans were doing. Yet, whether it’s at weddings, birthdays, retirement parties, housewarmings, or another occasion, most of us have experienced the toast at one point or another in our lives. Why do we have this interesting ritual of the toast?

The History of Toasting

It is likely that the precursor to toasts were libations. The act of libation is the ancient practice of offering a drink to a deity or god. Libation is a long-practiced ritual which has taken place since the days of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and before. It is still practised today amongst certain religions, such as the offering of milk to idols in Hinduism, and the offering of wine to the Prophet Elijah during the Jewish festival of Passover.

In Ancient Greece, wine was a common offering. The devout devotee would rise to his feet holding a cup full of wine up towards the sky, whilst looking upwards, offering the contents of the cup to the gods that dwelt up above.

After offering the gods the honor of the first sip by holding the cup skywards, saying a few prayers, and pouring a bit of wine from the cup onto the ground (giving it to the Earth), he would then take a sip himself. The offering was sometimes given as an exchange: a libation for the granting of a wish or prayer.

The resemblance is very strong between this ancient libation practice and our toast practice today. We too hold up a glass towards the sky, saying a few words of blessings and good wishes and then take a sip. One of the most common words of a toast is “to your health!” or “to a long life!” which is reminiscent of a prayer that might have been said in exchange for a libation. So although we may not intend our toasts as a prayer sent heavenwards to God to grant our good wishes, it may well symbolize precisely this.

How the libation evolved from a religious ritual to the secular toast

It is unknown exactly how the shift from libation to toast occurred, but several factors may have contributed to this.

One such factor was when people stopped drinking from one common cup and began drinking from individual ones. When people no longer imbibed from the same vessel, camaraderie was reduced and an element of mistrust reared its head. Why would mistrust arise? Because after people began having individual cups, it became a popular murder weapon! In the realm of sneaky assassinations it was not uncommon for people to drop dead after drinking from a cup presented to them by an enemy. Poisonings were a practiced way to eliminate opponents in fields like politics in Ancient Greece and Rome.

The toast may have arisen as a gesture of good faith, to rebuild camaraderie and unity by having everyone join together at the same time in good wishes even if they were no longer drinking from the same cup. Furthermore the toast, often followed with the words “to your health” was an appropriate reassurance for people who feared that they may be drinking a poison-laced drink. Many inventions are often inspired by existing things. WHen new traditions arose using hte cup they may in all likelihood have borrowed inspiration from the existing libations’ format.

An extension of the toast: The Glass Clink

One aspect of toasting these days which wasn’t conducted by our earliest ancestors is the glass clink. The story behind this ritual is closely linked to the history of the toast.

Why do we clink glasses?

There are many theories for the origin of the glass clink, some of them more likely to be truer than others:

Theory 1: Clinking increases feelings of camaraderie

Much as the collective raising of glasses during the toast raises feelings of togetherness that compensate for the fact that we no longer drink from the same vessel, the clinking of glasses serves a similar purpose.

Theory 2: Clinking is a sign of agreement to the toast

Aside from calls of “hear hear!”, glass clinking is a way to demonstrate your agreement with the words of a toast.

Theory 3: Clinking as a non-verbal message that you trust that your drink is not spiked

As described, one of the dirty tactics used amongst some people, especially politicians in Ancient Greece and Rome, was to lace drinks with poison to eradicate their rivals. The clinking of the wine glasses may have arisen as a silent acknowledgement of trust in your host, expressing that you are certain they have not poisoned your drink.

Theory 4: Clinking is done to spill the drinks so that they mix between the glasses

The desire to mix wine between glasses is based on a vestige of the ancient paranoia that people may be lacing their enemies’ glasses with poison.

Although sometimes drinks do spill into each others glasses upon clinking them, most of us usually don’t smash our glasses together with enough gusto and force to splash our fellow clinkees, which makes this theory fall into doubt. In spite of the likelihood that this theory is false, it makes a good story and has been spread widely in folk lore.

Theory 5: Clinking sounds drive away evil spirits

Many traditions that involve the use of sound arise from the belief that evil spirits are afraid of loud noises. Traditions like ringing of church bells and shouting in the New Year arose to scare off such spirits. Some suggest that the clinking of glasses serves the same purpose, especially considering that people used to believe that it was evil spirits in the alcohol that made people behave drunkenly after drinking too much. By clinking glasses, they were theoretically trying to free the spirit from the drink, making it safe to drink.

Others say this theory is unlikely because the delicate clinking of glass is not loud enough to frighten off much, let alone a drink spirit.


According to various apocryphal stories, the custom of touching glasses evolved from concerns about poisoning. By one account, clinking glasses together would cause each drink to spill over into the others' (though there is no real evidence for such an origin). [2] According to other stories, the word toast became associated with the custom in the 17th century, based on a custom of flavoring drinks with spiced toast. The word originally referred to the lady in whose honor the drink was proposed, her name being seen as figuratively flavoring the drink. [3] [4] The International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture says toasting "is probably a secular vestige of ancient sacrificial libations in which a sacred liquid was offered to the gods: blood or wine in exchange for a wish, a prayer summarized in the words 'long life!' or 'to your health! ' " [5]

Toasts are generally offered at times of celebration or commemoration, including certain holidays, such as New Year's Eve. Other occasions include retirement celebrations, housewarming parties, births, etc. [6] The protocol for toasting at weddings is comparatively elaborate and fixed. At a wedding reception, the father of the bride, in his role as host, regularly offers the first toast, thanking the guests for attending, offering tasteful remembrances of the bride's childhood, and wishing the newlyweds a happy life together. The best man usually proposes a toast in the form of best wishes and congratulations to the newlyweds. A best man's toast takes the form of a short speech (3–5 minutes) that combines a mixture of humor and sincerity. [7] The humor often comes in the shape of the best man telling jokes at the groom's expense whilst the sincerity incorporates the praise and complimentary comments that a best man should make about the bride and groom, amongst others. The actual "toast" is then delivered at the end of the speech and is a short phrase wishing the newlyweds a happy, healthy, loving life together. The maid of honor may follow suit, appropriately tailoring her comments to the bride. The groom may offer the final toast, thanking the bride's parents for hosting the wedding, the wedding party for their participation, and finally dedicating the toast to the bridesmaids. [8]

Typical traditional wedding toasts include the following: [9]

(to the couple)
Here's to your coffins
May they be made of hundred-year-old oaks
Which we shall plant tomorrow.
May you both live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live
May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows. (to the bride)
May I see you grey
And combing your grandchildren's hair.

Toasts are also offered on patriotic occasions, as in the case of Stephen Decatur's famous "Our country! In our intercourse with foreign nations may we always be in the right but our country, right or wrong." Equally traditional are satiric verses:

Here's to dear old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where Lowells speak only to Cabots,
And Cabots speak only to God. [10]

Toasts may be solemn, sentimental, humorous, bawdy, [11] or insulting. [12] The practice of announcing one's intention to make a toast and signalling for quiet by rapping on the wineglass, while common, is regarded by some authorities as rude. [8] Except in very small and informal gatherings, a toast is offered standing. At a gathering, none should offer a toast to the guest of honor until the host has had the opportunity to do so. In English-speaking countries, guests may signal their approval of the toast by saying "hear hear". [13] The person honored should neither stand nor drink, [14] but after the toast should rise to thank the one who has offered the toast and take a drink, perhaps but not necessarily offering a toast in turn. As toasts may occur in long series, experienced attendees often make sure to leave enough wine in the glass to allow participation in numerous toasts. [15]

Putting one's glass down before the toast is complete, or simply holding one's glass without drinking is widely regarded as impolite, suggesting that one does not share the benevolent sentiments expressed in the toast, nor the unity and fellowship implicit in toasting itself. [16] Even the non-drinker is counseled not to refuse to allow wine to be poured for a toast. [17] Inverting the glass is discouraged. [18]

Toasting traditionally involves alcoholic beverages. [19] Champagne (or at least some variety of sparkling wine) is regarded as especially festive and is widely associated with New Year's Eve and other celebrations. [20] Many people nowadays substitute sparkling fruit juice (often packaged in champagne-style bottles [21] ), and many authorities consider it perfectly acceptable to participate in a toast while drinking water. [18] Toasting with an empty glass may be viewed by some as acceptable behavior for the non-drinker, [22] though feigning to drink from such a glass would likely be seen as ridiculous. The person giving the toast should never do so with an empty glass, even if the glass contains nothing more than water.

Teetotalers may view the drinking of toasts to be abominable and incompatible with their stand, as witnessed by this narrative from The Teetotaler (1840):

At the anniversary of Cheshunt College, Sir Culling Eardley Smith was in the chair. This gentleman, after dinner, said "he had subscribed to the Teetotal Pledge, which of course was incompatible with the drinking of toasts" when the Rev. J. Blackburn, (minister of Claremont Chapel, Pentonville,) said "he was not a teetotaler,—he was not in bondage, [23] —and on that subject he had very recently been preaching." What could the Rev. Gentleman mean by this, but that he had recently been preaching against Teetotalism? Let the Rev. Gentleman look at drinking customs and their enormous evils, and ask himself if he has done his duty or whether he expects to be pronounced "a good and faithful servant", if he continues even from the pulpit to encourage the great damning evil of this nation. Mr. Donaldson said that he was happy to add, that one of the most popular ministers of the day, the Rev. J. Sherman, gave Mr. B. a pretty severe and well-merited reply, by saying, "His brother Blackburn had said, he (Mr. B.) was not in bondage he must be allowed to say, that he rejoiced that he (Mr. S.) had been enabled to break through the old and stupid custom of washing down sentiments by draughts of intoxicating liquors. He had thus become a free man. [24]

Mr. Donaldson concluded with some very severe animadversions upon the infamous conduct of Mr. Blackburn. [25]

It is a superstition in the Royal Navy, and thus the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Navies as well as the United States Navy that a toast is never to be made with water, since the person so honored will be doomed to a watery grave. [26] During a United States Air Force Dining In, all toasts are traditionally made with wine except for the final toast of the night made in honor of POWs/MIAs [27] because these honorees did not have the luxury of wine while in captivity, the toast is made with water. Some versions of the protocol prescribe a toast in water for all deceased comrades. [13]

It is or was the custom in the (British) Royal Navy to drink the Loyal toasts sitting, because in old-type wooden warships below decks there was not enough headroom to stand upright.

Prosit/Prost Edit

Prosit is a Latin word, meaning roughly "be well", which is a toast in Latin and modern Italian, from which the German short form "prost" is derived. This is a toast in German. The expression dates back to the beginning of the 18th century when it was used among university students and eventually made its way into every day language. In a ceremonious context and in connection with a short speech, the English word "toast" may also be used.

The Latin word comes from the verb "prodesse" (= "to benefit sth/sb", "to be beneficial"). Consequently, "prosit" is the conjugated form (3rd person Singular, Present Subjunctive, Active) and therefore an optative: "To you/ to your health". Like the colloquial "prost", "prosit" was originally used by university students. [28]

Usage Edit

In German, synonyms like "Wohl bekomm's!", "Zum Wohl!", and many versions from other languages may also be used instead of "prosit". The acclamation itself is also referred to as a "prosit". The verb form is "zuprosten", where the prefix "zu" means that the speech act is targeted at one or several people.

In the Swabian dialect, the word has the further meaning of a belch, called a "Prositle". The acclamation is followed by the clinking of glasses, often linked to other rules like making eye contact. This ritual is commonly attributed to a medieval custom, whereby one could avoid being poisoned by one's drinking companions, as a few drops of each beverage got mixed when clinking glasses. There is every likelihood that this did not work. It was much more effective for one table to share one or more drinking vessels, a procedure which was common for a long time.

In Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian, prosit is a blessing used in response to a sneeze, in the same way the English expression "bless you" is used.

In Germany, toasting, not necessarily by words but usually just by touching each other's drinking vessels, is usually a very closely observed part of culture. In private company, no one should drink a sip of alcohol before having toasted all the other people at the table. In doing this, it is very important to look directly into the other drinker's eyes. Not practising this is considered rude and often, humorously, believed to attract all kinds of bad luck (e.g. "seven years of bad luck" and the like).

In the British Royal Navy, the officers' noon mess typically began with the loyal toast, followed by a toast distinctive for the day of the week:

  • Monday: Our ships at sea.
  • Tuesday: Our sailors (formerly Our men but changed to include women). [29]
  • Wednesday: Ourselves. ("As no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare" is often the retort and not part of the toast)
  • Thursday: A bloody war or a sickly season (meaning the desire and likelihood of being promoted when many people die: during war or sickness).
  • Friday: A willing foe and sea room.
  • Saturday: Our families (formerly "Our wives and sweethearts" with the retort of "may they never meet"). [29]
  • Sunday: Absent friends.

The sequence was also prescribed in at least one publication for the United States Navy. [30]

A toast might be spontaneous and free-form, a carefully planned original speech, or a recitation of traditional sentiments such as this Irish example: [31]

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

An informal variation of the last two lines:

And may ye be in Heaven a half-hour
afore the devil knows ye're dead!

Why We Say Cheers

Traditional rules of etiquette have, for the most part, been retired. It’s difficult to imagine anyone other than my grandmother caring which fork I use, how I fold a napkin, whether or not I excuse myself from the table after dinner. But when it comes to drinking, there are certain rites and rituals that never faded out of style. Raise a glass. Share a toast. Clink. Maintain eye contact. Say cheers, and do it with feeling.

These are the things we do and have done for centuries, millenia, forever. But why? What is their cultural significance?

While the ritual of clinking glasses has evolved to become a means of connection among friends, it started, like most things do, as an act of self-preservation. The custom of touching glasses arose from concerns about poisoning, as clinking coupes and steins together jubilantly would cause each drink to slosh and spill over into the others’. Over time, as fears of contaminated cocktails waned, the ritual took on a new meaning.

According to the International Handbook of Alcohol and Culture, toasting “is probably a secular vestige of ancient sacrificial libations in which a sacred liquid was offered to the gods: blood or wine in exchange for a wish, a prayer summarized in the words 'long life!' or 'to your health!'"

So the next time you’re at a wedding and some drunken groomsmen stumbles up to the microphone to toast to the bride and groom, think of it this way: it’s not about how your cousin Steve was a total legend in college as much as it is a sacrificial libation to the gods.

Saying “cheers,” similarly, holds a deeper meaning. The phrase originates from the old French word chiere meaning “face” or “head.” By the 18th century, it was used as a way to express happiness and encouragement. Today, the phrase is entirely symbolic, a practice of camaraderie that is so routine it’s almost second nature. As the round of drinks hits the table, it’s expected before taking your first sip that you raise your glass, lock eyes, and clink clink clink.

It’s a tradition that transcends language and culture. Salute in Italian, skol in Danish, sante in French, cheers in English all mean roughly the same thing: I’m happy to be here, in this moment, with you. And even when our meeting places are digitized and we can’t share a drink IRL, these small acts of communion remain.

Drinking – why we say Cheers

It’s widely accepted that the custom of toasting originates back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who gave offerings to the gods during ceremonial banquets. Those present would raise their wine-filled drinking cups in honour of the dead and to the health of the living.

It’s customary in English speaking countries to say ‘cheers’ while raising your glass and clinking them with those in your company, be it before sipping your wine at dinner or gulping down a few beers with your mates at the pub. But have you ever wondered why exactly it is we say cheers?

The gesture of sharing a drink is a universal language of friendship and celebration around the world. Across the globe, making a simple toast ahead of drinking alcohol is the done thing. In the Netherlands they say ‘proost’, the Czech say ‘na zdravi’, in France it’s ‘sante’, the Italians say ‘cin cin’ or ‘salute’ and in Mexico, it’s ‘salud’. However, all of those phrases basically mean the same thing, which is ”to your health”. Universally, almost all phrases associated with toasting are either a reference to good health or future prosperity or both.

The English ‘cheers’ has been shortened from the phrase to ‘have good cheer’, or to put it more simply ‘be happy’. For most of us, I guess it would be pretty hard to separate health and wealth, from happiness. It is thought the word ‘cheers’ originated from the old French word chiere which meant “face” or “head. In the medieval times ‘cheer’ originally meant mood. By the 18th century, the word ‘cheer’ had begun to be only associated with good humour. There doesn’t seem to be any precise record as to when “cheers” entered the English vernacular as a word with its present-day use. However, around the time of the end of WWI is suggested in some quarters.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, why not check out more of the articles in the series by clicking the following link: Why do we…….?

A Toasting Curse

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know that it’s discouraged to toast with water in your glass, and here in Wine Country, we don’t love the idea either. Clinking glasses with water is looked down upon across many cultures. It’s believed that the act brings bad luck or even death upon the recipient, and in some cases, death upon yourself. The U.S. military actually forbids it with Naval folklore claiming that a toast with water will lead to death by drowning.

In Spain, toasting with water, or any non-alcoholic drink for that matter, can result in a different kind of misfortune: seven years of bad sex. In a no-win game of Would You Rather, we think it’s best you keep your toast alcoholic.

But, don’t rest easy just yet. Spain’s toasting curse is actually quite popular across Europe. In France and Germany, all it takes is breaking eye contact during a toast to ruin bedroom activities for seven long years, and the same horrific curse can fall upon you in the Czech Republic, but it’s not nearly as simple to avoid.

Toasting there is a rigorous process where you need to individually toast to the health of each person at the table (by saying “na zdravy!”) before taking your first sip. You must always look the person you’re toasting in the eye, and while maintaining eye contact, you need to ensure that two things don’t happen. One, don’t spill from your drink, which can be tough when you’re not allowed an initial sip, and two, do not under any circumstances allow your arm to cross over with someone else’s while toasting. That’s what will supposedly trigger the curse on your sex life. Lastly, you must touch your glass to the table before finally taking a drink. While we’re not totally sure of the consequence of the final step, we would rather not test the waters to find out.

Bar Etiquette: Why Do People Tap Their Drink on the Bar after Clinking Glasses?

We love questions like this one because they’re endlessly debatable. We often wonder if people imagine that a definitive tome of alcohol lore exists, and that in the 5th century, a Saxon peasant named Aldwyn was the first to tap his glass upon a rough-hewn bar to ward off evil spirits. And so it was written, and thus it became truth. But seriously, if that book does exist, can we borrow it? We’ve got some questions we’d like answered.

Still, there are many theories as to why it began, and there are very good reasons as to why people still practice the custom. As to who or why anyone did it first? We have no idea, and honestly, it’s unlikely that anyone knows the actual answer. The important thing now is that it’s a tradition that has different, equally valid sentiment to the folks who practice the custom.

Here are some varying ideas as to the meaning behind this practice—presented in no particular order of likely origin:

  • Some people tap their glass on the bar as a quiet tribute to absent friends and comrades.
  • In Ireland, it was believed that liquor contained spirits that might be harmful if consumed, and tapping the glass dispelled those spirits.
  • In drinking contests, tapping your beer could cause the foam to settle, making it easier to finish quickly. Likewise, tapping your glass or mug on the bar signified when you started a new glass.
  • Fraternity members frequently claim that it’s an old Greek tradition.
  • Others say that it’s a mark of respect to the bartender.
  • Some believe that you cheers to the future, but a tap on the bar acknowledges the past.

Nearly everyone agrees that if you’ve worked in the industry, you’re far more likely to tap your glass on the bar. And while no one knows the reason it began, people have certainly been able to find meaning (sometimes profoundly so) in a custom with a forgotten origin.

Where did it all start?

We have the Greeks and Romans to thank for the now rife use of ‘cheers’. It was both a Greek and Roman tradition to leave an offering to the gods, including alcoholic beverages, when they had big banquets. This was most commonly done when there was a feast following the death of a person. It is believed this custom evolved into a toast to the health of the living. And to this day we still raise our glasses to the ‘heavens’ as if offering our drink to the gods.

Of course like any history there are a multitude of myths and tales that go with it. Our favourite is that the real reason people clink their glasses together before drinking is to ensure the drink is safe, because the liquid will slosh over the side of the cup, mixing all of the drinks. If someone has chosen to put poison in the glass it will then poison all of the drinks and the treacherous person will have to reveal themselves.

Watch the video: Ερχεται προταση εκπληξη.