From Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl, there’s one word we say a lot in the States: Cheers! We have a ton of reasons to raise a glass, and we take advantage of all of them. Some people claim that the reason we clink our drinks is very logical. The process of drinking wine involves all of the senses, but one: sound. We touch the glass, we smell the wine, we look at it’s color, and of course we taste it! The cheers-ing of the glasses adds hearing to complete the experience.
Whatever the reasoning, we all do it all across the globe — which is why it’s such a great way to form and cement friendships. A shared drink can be all you need to create a bond, or a memory. Different cultures have different ways of doing it, but they all feel the same sentiments of celebration, solidarity, and inclusion when they do. When you’re traveling and tasting around the world, make sure you know how to cheers right along with the locals. Here’s a list of how to say and do the toast correctly in a few other countries!
China: When you’re at the bar in China, there are a few key phrases you need to know. Number one: Ganbei, which is the equivalent of “bottoms up!” Number two: Kai Pay, which means “empty your glass.” These two expressions bring us to number 3: Sui Bian, which is your exit strategy, after phrases 1 or 2 are thrown at you, say number 3 to tell your new pals that you’re ready to sip instead of chug! It means “please proceed your way, and I will do it my way.”
France and Belgium: When your sharing Champagne with your new French friends, make sure to look them in the eyes as you clink. The expression à votre santé or more casually Santé means “to your health.” Eye contact is a sign of sincerity and you shouldn’t sip until you’ve shared a glance with everyone.
Germany: In Germany you should exclaim Prost or Zum Wohli and clink glasses while sharing eye contact with your group.
Italy: In Italy you have lots of choices! Just remember one of these before your next trip: salute, alla salute, and cin-cin to toast everyone’s health.
Spanish speaking countries: Spanish speakers toast your health by using the phrase: salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo, which means “to health and love, and time to enjoy it.” To casually share a drink, simply say “chin-chin.”
These different toasts from around the world remind us what’s important: health, love, and good times sharing good drinks. Now let’s all raise a glass to the weekend! Happy Friday and happy sipping!