Ah! So that’s the reason we clink glasses!
Have you ever wondered why you clink glasses with your drinking buddies when you say “Cheers!”?
Of course not! You’re in a hurry to get to the main event!
But come on! You’ve got to know the origins of this common practice.
First, the myths!
The most popular explanation is that clinking glasses was done in the past to show that the drinks weren’t poisoned.
Once upon a time (when there wasn’t forensic science), it was pretty common for hosts to poison guests by spiking their drinks.
To show that the drink was not tampered with, drinkers would clink their glasses together. The sloshing of drinks from one cup to another was supposed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the drinks weren’t poisoned. It must have led to many broken glasses and brawls!
Another version is that the clinking of glasses would drive away evil spirits.
Actually, there are no historical records to validate either of the two versions, though they are the most commonly believed.
The practice has it’s origins in the “toasting” tradition in ancient England, where a piece of alcohol-soaked spiced bread placed in a large cup that was passed around. After all the guests drank from the cup, the host would eat the piece of bread. This ritual was done to symbolise unity and camaraderie in the group.
As times (and hygiene standards) changed and individual glasses replaced common jugs, the practice of toasting was modified slightly. Raising one’s glass to the group soon became the popular way of reiterating friendship and brotherhood.
Clinking glasses was an extension of this practice that crept in later on. In some cultures raising your glass in the direction of your friends or guests will do. This works in a large group of course, because you don’t want to lean across the dinner table and fall face-first into the soup!
So the next time you raise your glass and say “Cheers!”, you know something the others don’t! You’re welcome!
Cheers <audible clink!>