Salud, Skol, a votre Sante, Prost, Cin Cin or bottoms up.
Why do we clink glasses?
Historians guess that the toast most likely originated with the Greek libation, the custom of pouring out a portion of one’s drink in honour of the gods. From there, it was an easy step to offering a drink in honour of one’s companions.
But the clinking of glasses is also a symbolic gesture of mutual trust
As with many of our food traditions, the clinking of glasses traces its roots to the health and safety of the drinker. In this case, it goes back to the tendency of nobles to kill each other off by poisoning their food!
Wine was very commonly drunk during medieval days because it was one of the only safe liquids available. Water was often polluted, and milk was both useful for other things and thought to be for children only. As the wine was often full of sediment, a poison was easily introduced into it.
To prove that the wine was safe, the host would pour a bit of his guest’s wine into his own glass and drink it first, to prove it was safe. If the guest trusted his host, however, he would merely clink his flagon against that of his host’s when his host offered his cup for the sample. The ‘clink’ (or perhaps ‘clunk’ back then, since wood or metal was more common for drinking vessels) was a sign of trust and honesty.
Later, as metal and glass became more common, the chiming noise also brought a festive feeling to events and brought to mind the ‘safe’ feeling of church bell.