50 drinks & toasts…to help make you the perfect host
“Toasting” – How it began
The custom of toasting, first known as drinking “healths,” began hundreds of years BC, when ancient warriors offered drinks to pagan gods. At banquets, early Greeks drank to every god on Olympus. Romans added a pledge to Caesar, and downed a cup for each letter in his name. Norsemen offered a minne to Odin and Thor, adding other cups to love, memories, friends.
Later on, merrymakers drank to each other’s well-being. Our own word “health” is from the Norse greeting Heil, and Anglo-Saxons pledged friends with Waes Hael, or “be thou well!” Pledging health in those cut-throat days was very real. A man was particularly vulnerable to unfriendly swords while drinking.
Thus a kinsman, in “pledging health,” swore to defend him. Centuries later, the singing of robust songs and chug-a-lugging became part of drinking “healths.” This custom fell into disfavor, was even outlawed (England, 1649).
But “drinks of honor” survived. They saluted the ladies (the first drinks called toasts), wealth, love, success. Today a toast may be a casual “here’s to you” or a special tribute for a special occasion. But the greatest honor to a friend is the expertly made drink itself. This helpful guide shows you how you can mix and improve great drinks to toast any celebration.
It’s easy to be an expert TOAST- MIXER, once you learn this secret of the “pros”…
This guide has easy recipes for famous drinks made with all the popular basic liquors: Bourbon, Scotch, gin, vodka, rum, Southern Comfort. But one secret — the art of “switching” basic liquors — helps you improve the taste of many drinks. A perfect example is the use of Southern Comfort to achieve a smoother, tastier base for your Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds, Collinses, etc.
The difference, of course, is in the unique flavor of Southern Comfort itself. It adds a deliciousness no other basic liquor can. Try it. Mix one of these drinks the regular way; then mix it with Southern Comfort. Compare them. The improvement is remarkable. But to understand why it’s true, make the taste test in this guide.