give a proper toast.

13 Jul

There are a number of things I love about writing You’re A Grown Man: getting to be obnoxiously sarcastic, women emailing me saying that they’re going to “make” their boyfriends read the blog (sorry, man), and resurrecting nuances of etiquette that are being discarded.  Today, my good men, we’re bringing back a good one – the toast.

When I say toast, most of you mentally head to a wedding where the best man gets up  and brings the reception to a grinding halt .  “Oh man, you remember that time we said we’d marry the hottest girls ever!?  We were so drunk, bro! Anyway, I’m really glad you’re marrying Jenna – she’s very wholesome.” Nice one, chief.  And while the best-man toast has become abhorrent, that’s another 600 words for a different day.  Today however, we’re talking about the good-old-fashioned, couple of beers with a broseph on a Monday night, toast.


Here’s what happens right now when you go out.  Your drink comes, somebody mumbles something, and the trough is open for business.  What we’re missing is the formality, the class, and the recognition that comes with replacing the mumble with a sentence or two that expresses warmth and gratitude.

“But Grown Man, I’m not as funny as you!  You would know the perfect thing to say! I’m just a dumb animal.”

You all know I make up these quotes, don’t you?  Anyhow, here’s what you do,  think of someone or something you’re grateful for.  For example, last night I did a toast for my friends newborn son.  I had just held the baby before we went to the bar and the little guy was on my mind.  So, I raised my glass and said “To Hank”, and my friend said, “Yep, to Hank” and we both had our first sip and thought for a moment about how pleased we were to know that baby.  The whole moment changed for us and a trendy craft beer became a shared experience between friends.  That’s what a toast does, it acknowledges that the time together is paramount and worth having a drink over.

Because I know you need structure and order, here are the rules:

1- Make the toast short.  We’re not doing a long, rambling, monologue about the finer points of life – we’re honoring someone or something.

2- Make eye contact.  If you’re with one guy, look him in the eye.  If you’re in a group, scan the table.  Go here if you forget why you should do this.

3- Spill away.  It’s supposed to be good luck if you spill a bit o’ the drink during the clank.  And, while I think there’s no such thing as luck, it’s just right for guys to bang the glasses.  Much like a hearty handshake or good slap on the back – guys aren’t meant to be ginger with each other.

4- Have a default toast prepared.  Sometimes, there isn’t someone or something that pops into your head when you raise the glass.  For just such an occasion, have one in the bag.  I usually use, “Eat, drink, and be merry” or “To good friends and good spirits”.  Or, if it’s the holiday season, I use “God rest ye merry, gentlemen.”  Oh man, guys love that one! It never fails to sound über-classy.  In any event, just think of one and share it with the class in the comments below.

5- The toast isn’t as vital on the 2nd, 3rd… 19th rounds – but it’s still a good move and will get progressively more amusing as the evening carries on.

Gentlemen, that’s all for today.  Give this one a try, I can assure you it’ll garner respect and admiration from those who you floor with your Grown Manliness.

“To Hank!”

9 Responses to “give a proper toast.”

  1. Amy 13 July 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I always think it’s cool when someone does a simple “cheers” type toast in another language like Russan or Japanese or some other language from a hard drinking country. Of course, I can’t think of any right now, but hopefully you get my drift.

    • Tony 14 July 2010 at 7:26 am #

      Aye, “Nazdrovia” goes down well. It apparently means ‘for your health’, which is a good one.

    • You're a Grown Man 14 July 2010 at 7:53 am #

      I think toasts in other languages is an awesome idea! Also, you could pretty much say anything and the folks your with would just think you’re enlightened and brilliant. Good thinking, Amy.

      • Tiny 14 July 2010 at 12:54 pm #

        If your blanking, I have found that a word associating your drink with a fond memory is good. Example (sharing Makers Mark) “To the sweet burns of the trail, gentleman!”

        GM, do you think this is a good call? It’s almost a combination of today’s post and a previous post (about knowing about what you drink).


  2. lookingforsomethingtofind 14 July 2010 at 1:21 am #

    “May lady luck and father time, both treat us well”

  3. longboardu 14 July 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Did you know that in Georgia (country, not the state), toasts with beer are typically sarcastic (to our boss!), while toasts using all other forms of alcohol are genuine? I found it odd when my Georgian friend brought it up, but now I’m a lifelong sarcastic beer toaster and genuine everything-else toaster.

    To Ekaterine, whereever you are.
    Neat post, GM.

  4. spiritofshizuku 17 July 2010 at 2:08 am #

    When I was 4 or 5, I was having “tea” with a friend and she said, “Cheers to God.” Ever since then, my family and I have used that toast together. So that’s my favorite go-to toast.

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