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History of Toasting
Main History of Toasting Art of Toasting Column
Toasting has long been a part of cultures celebrating special occasions throughout the world. In its earliest form, the people of Ancient Greece would take part in libations, which was the act of pouring a drink, often wine, as an offering to a god. The gift to the gods was a means of people connecting to the Earth and was a common theme in Greek tragic plays. The toast also served a practical purpose. Spiking wine with poison was often a common means of disposing an enemy. To alleviate this concern, individuals would toast by pouring a bit of each individual’s drink into the other’s cup or drink from a common pitcher to discourage this practice.

The term “toasting” is thought to have originated in Ancient Rome where people would drop a piece of burnt bread in wine to mellow the flavor. The toast would help reduce the acidity of the wine and make it taste more agreeable. The wine would be shared by many and the last person who drank from the glass would claim the “toast” at the bottom. This was also a common practice in Olde England during the 17th century when the term “toasting” was first used

The idea of the “toastmaster” originated in the 1700’s whose responsibility was to ensure all guests were given an opportunity to present a toast. During the 1800’s, toasting became a traditional method of recognizing and dedicating a glass to someone. To refrain from toasting was considered rude in that it signified that nobody in the room was worth drinking to. The British Duke insisted that every glass had to be dedicated toward someone during dinner. Leaving out any guest was a sign of disrespect and contempt for that person.

Toasting continued to grow in popularity and permeate throughout the world as a custom for various occasions. Toasting clubs also began to emerge, which contributed to toasting becoming more of a social, rather than, drinking event. Today, toasting continues to be a popular custom for celebrating all aspects of life.

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