Cheers! Toasting in style

Raising a glass to someone to mark an achievement or a special occasion, stems from ancient times.

The toast “cheers” reportedly originates from French for “head” or “face”, which is “chiere”. In time the meaning changed to “happiness” which pretty much sums up the mood when good cheer and good health is marked or a person or an occasion is celebrated with “Cheers!”

But how about a slice of toasted bread floating in your Martini?

The term “toast” seems to have its roots in the 1600’s, when records show that a chunk of spiced, toasted bread would be left to steep in a goblet of acidic wine to improve the wine’s flavour.

Here are  seven toasts to remember when celebrating abroad:

Italian: Saluti!

Spanish: Salud!

Greek: Ya Mas!

French: Santé!

German: Zum Wohl! or Prost!

Swedish/Danish/Norwegian: Skål! 

Polish- Na zdrowie!

It is believed that party animal Attila the Hun would offer no fewer than three toasts per course at his elaborate feasts.

A favourite toast in Tuscany is “Toccato Uno, Taccato Tutti’ which means “Touch one, touch all” if you cannot stretch across the table to reach everyone.

The etiquette of toasts:

It is considered good manners to never drink to yourself when toasted. Instead, you may raise your glass and graciously accept and acknowledge the toast with a simple “thank you”

And lastly, the end of the toast is indicated with a raised glass and a call of  “Cheers!”

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