Celebrate Christmas with an engraved glass toast

Back to Blog

Christmases, birthdays and other special occasions are traditionally celebrated with a toast. The following sections explore the history of the toast, what it means and how engraved glassware can elevate the experience.

A brief history of the toast

Historians believe that the concept of a toast originated in ancient Greece, when a small amount of a drink was poured in honour of the gods. The next step was to offer a drink to honour companions.

In first century Rome, the Senate decreed that the health of Emperor Augustus had to be drunk to every day with meals.

The first recorded toast in England was written in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “History of the Kings of Britain”. He said that in 450 CE, a toast was given to honour King Vortigern by the Saxon Rowena, who offered him wine with the words “good health”. Vortigern was so impressed by this gesture that he promptly asked Rowena to marry him.

What does the word “toast” mean?

The word “toast” comes from the custom of dipping charred or spiced toast into wine to make it taste better. In Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor”, Falstaff asks for spiced wine and says:

“Put toast in it.”


The Order of the Temperance was established in Germany in 1517 and was dedicated to the end of toasts. The movement had some success. Louis XIV banned court toasts, and in 1634, Massachusetts banned drinking to another’s health. Samuel Pepys refused to drink a toast at a dinner in 1664.

A compromise was made in polite society. Toasts had previously involved drinking a whole glass of wine, but by the mid-19th century, etiquette dictated that a sip was plenty enough.

Modern toasts

Most people now regard the toast as a fit and proper way to celebrate an occasion or to honour a guest. What the puritan anti-toast movement forgot was that a toast does not have to involve alcohol. Non-drinkers are happy to drink non-alcoholic wine or soft drinks. The importance of a toast is the occasion, not the drink.

Make a toast special with engraved glassware

At Christmas, a toast is a small ceremony to celebrate a time with friends and family. Adults drink red, white or fizzy wine, whilst younger members of the family celebrate with soft drinks or fruit juice. The importance of the toast is what it means to everyone – a celebration of being together at a special time.

If you drink from engraved wine glasses or champagne flutes, this elevates the toast into something extra special. For a Christmas toast, put the date on the glasses and give each celebrant their own glass to keep that reminds them of the occasion. If the toast is to honour a special person, engrave their name on the glass.

A toast can turn any occasion into a special one, especially if the toast is made with engraved drinking glasses. Engraved drinkware also makes an excellent personalised Christmas gift, whether it is used for a toast or not.

Share this post

Back to Blog