We’ll come right out and say it: nearly everybody is making toasts the wrong way.

We’re not talking about the speech—that’s another post entirely—but about the climactic moment when everyone raises their arms and sends their glass careening towards the middle, ricocheting from flute to flute like a pinball filled with champagne.

Gentlemen, this is not how it’s done.

Touching glasses is supposed to be about sharing joy, dispensing your blessing across everyone in attendance, so you need to know whose glass you’re clinking up against. That’s why ever since the 17th century, the custom has been to make eye contact at the moment you touch cups. It takes a bit of coordination, since you can’t have your eye on your glass, but it makes the whole ritual feel more intimate.

And if simple etiquette isn’t enough, legend has it that looking away at the moment of contact dooms you to seven years of bad sex.

Which actually explains a lot.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom