If you’re toasting to something – the New Year, a wedding, Friday – chances are you have some bubbly in your glass. But that sparkling wine isn’t necessarily champagne (which, for the record, comes only from the Champagne region of France). This celebration standby goes by a different name for every place it’s produced in. Confused? Not to worry. I’m going to break the vocab down for you.
No matter what you’re celebrating, toasting etiquette always applies. Here, some tips to help you raise your glass with style.
The beverages. Champagne is, of course, the drink of choice – but it takes some planning. (Tip: Try a champagne cocktail, like these.) If the toast is spur-of-the-moment (or attended by non-drinkers), it’s perfectly acceptable to toast with wine, beer, soda, punch, or water. Just don’t use a glass that’s empty, or even less than 2/3 full.
The speeches. Keep most toasts to three minutes max. A birthday party or promotion toast can be a bit longer, as the speech should reflect upon the person’s accomplishments. Weddings, of course, have their own set of rules, as do retirements.
The glasses. This depends on the beverage used. If the event is formal, though, always use an actual glass – crystal champagne flutes, gold-rimmed wineglasses, and Pilsner glasses are all good choices – rather than a beer bottle or plastic cup.
The first toast. This belongs to the host. (And it’s polite for a guest to respond in kind, with a toast to thank the host.) The primary exception? A wedding reception, where the honor traditionally goes to the best man. And there’s no need to tap with a utensil – just stand and raise your glass until the room falls silent.
The clink. It’s not necessary to clink glasses with everyone nearby. This is fine for small groups, but in a larger party, just raise your glass and drink.
By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer
What’s your favorite beverage to toast with? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.
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