Why Do We Clink Glasses Before Drinking?

You might have given some thought to why it is tradition to say "cheers" or "salud" before taking the first sip of your drink in a group, but have you ever considered the second part of the toasting? As it turns out, there are quite a few theories and ideas behind why people clink their glasses together before taking a drink. Though some advise against clinking glasses because it weakens the glass and can cause it to break more easily, as Vintage Roots explains, it's a cultural practice people can't seem to shake.

Apparently, completing a toast with a final clink of the glasses before taking a drink dates back much further than you might expect. In fact, people have been lifting their glasses together since ancient Greek and Roman times, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Then it was a symbol of offering and honoring the gods. It was even a means for toasting Bacchus, the god of wine. While the reason behind toasting and clinking glasses has changed over the ages, it's clearly a tradition deeply rooted in human civilization.

This is how the tradition continued into modernity

But clinking glasses didn't end with the ancient civilizations. According to The Daily Meal, during the Middle Ages, aggressively toasting by knocking glasses together was almost a means of survival. People would toast their glasses so that the drink inside of both glasses would spill over into one another. This was done to make sure one person was not trying to poison the other and was a means for building trust and accountability between those toasting, per The Sydney Morning Herald. (It is also said that some believed that the noise made from toasting could scare away evil spirits.)

While you probably don't toast in order to weed out potential poisoners today, there is still a reason why people continue to clink their glasses. Per the Farmer's Almanac, the reason people still clink glasses to this day has more to do with the overall drinking experience. You might know about drinking methods to enhance the flavor and perception of the drink's profile, but the actual clink is said to improve the drinking experience, too. As it turns out, clinking glasses today has everything to do with utilizing all your senses. As the Herald explains, from the feel of the glassware to the sound the glasses make, the action of clinking glasses is said to pique the senses and to tune you into the moment even more.