Ask drinkplanner toasting without booze

Ask DrinkPlanner is a reoccurring feature here where readers submit their questions, and the crack team at DrinkPlanner does our best to answer. Got a question about booze? Ask us!


Hey gang, a quickie but a goodie.  Keep sending in questions!

“Dear Drinkplanner,

Can you toast with non-alcoholic drinks, or does the etiquette only allow toasting with booze?


Teetotaling Toaster”

Uhm, I think the better question is why don’t you have any booze?  Did you run out?  Were you not prepared?  WERE YOU ROBBED!?!  I’m not sure I get this concept of “non-alcoholic” drinks or why you’d toast with them, but I’ll take a swing at it.

Tradition does indeed dictate that toasts typically be performed with alcoholic drinks.  It’s a tradition that goes back in just about every culture as far back as we have Wikipedia pages for.  It’s a festive thing to do, a celebration, and even some non-drinkers are known to take a small sip of champagne at weddings.  HOWEVER, there is no requirement that you have to toast with alcohol.  So yes, you can indeed toast with drinks other than alcohol.  There are sure to be events where underage children or those who can’t drink for health reasons will be part of the group, and it would be more rude to not include them in the joyous event than to insist that they drink with you.

So feel free to hoist a mug full of apple juice or bacon grease or Caffeine-free Diet Cherry Shasta and join in the revelry the next time a toast is proposed.

Thanks for writing in, and KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING, PEOPLE! You can ask by electronic mails, in the comments, through Twitter, WHEREVER.  Just ask!

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3 Responses to “Ask DrinkPlanner: Toasting Without Booze”

  1. Jos Vos says:

    Thank you for the answer! I sent in the question because, a while ago, after training, one of my team mates and I were sitting at the bar drinking a sports drink, and out of habit we toasted. It felt quite unnatural and out-of-place, and afterwards I feared that I had done something horribly wrong. But luckily it turned out otherwise.

  2. ditriech says:

    Of note though, it is supposedly bad luck to toast with water. So keep that in mind.

  3. DrinkPlanner says:

    Good point, it’s also considered bad luck in some cultures to toast with an empty glass.

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