Drinking with your close fellas is an act of celebration around the world, and different cultures and folks have different manners of indulging themselves into the sweet elixir. But one particular tradition seems almost universal to the ‘cheering’: one of clinking everyone’s glasses before that first sip. We’re not sure if you’ve ever wondered how this tradition that has been passed down from our elders for so many years originally came around. But, historians, alcohol connoisseurs and general folk have speculated over many different theories of why.

Here are a few plausible reasons why it has become a tradition to clink glasses to cheer:

Historical scholars speculate over a fairly violent reason for the tradition.

Not unlike the time when Christ travelled along with the apostles, when sitting at the dinner table with your elbows on the table showed a sign of trust that you weren’t going to secretly shank someone under the table, clinking glasses with alcohol in them had a similar history. Historians speculate the tradition to have come from a time when poisoning drinks was a common manner of assassination, and clinking glasses was done so that the drinks would spill into each others’ glasses as a sign of faith. Therefore, if anyone did poison the drinks, everyone would die including the supposed assassin. Beautiful thought, I must say.


The modern interpretation claims the reason to be an inclusion of all the human senses into the act.

More popular among wine tasters, the new age speculation to the reason behind the clinking is slightly more poetic and philosophical. While drinking alcohol, especially wine, the act appeals to the sense of sight, smell, taste and touch. Something wine tasters delve into very academically. 

But, the sense of hearing seems to lose out on the occasion. Since, there is no way to hear the alcohol, people started clinking glasses to include the pleasant note of the glassy clink, adding the sense of hearing among the mix, making drinking a pleasurable experience through and through.


Whether you like it or not, you now know exactly how to derive the most out of your next drinking session with your buddies. Tell them this story for small talk.