How do you say “cheers” in French?

Toasting with friends in French

Giving a formal toast is a different, but what do you say when you are just clinking glasses with friends? If you are saying cheers in French with your friends, it is best to keep it simple. Here are a couple of the most common ways to say cheers in French - preferably with a delightful French inspired wine.

À ta santé / À votre santé – this is the most common way to say cheers in French. This directly translates to mean “to your health.” If we have nothing else, we have our health. If you are one on one with a great friend celebrating something, then use this one. It is friendly, but sincere.

Santé – If you are in a group and having a couple of rounds, it is best to shorten phrase in the same way the French do. Santé is simply a shortened version of à ta santé. Do not overthink, you are celebrating after all, if you do not know whether to use a formal or informal way to say cheers, this is a safe bet.

A common response to santé is À la tienne / À la votre. This is another spin on à ta santé. It translates to “to yours” and the “santé” piece is assumed.

Now that you know the lingo, it is time to raise your glass!

Here are a few extra pro tips on toasting etiquette:

Eye Contact

In France and most of Europe, eye contact is key. Honestly, this should be true in the US as well. If you are saying cheers during a toast, look into the eyes of the person you are clinking your glass with. Be sincere, it only takes a moment, but this is how memories are made people.

Raise it Up and Keep it There

Get your glass in the air and keep your glass lifted for the entire speech. Do not lower it until everyone has finished clinking their glasses. If you have a bigger group this may take a moment, but it ensures that everyone in the group is recognized and a part of the celebration. Keep that glass up until everyone has had their first sip!

Bottoms Up

A little bonus, if you are making a toast in French with hard liquor, and someone in your group says “cul sec” (dry bottom), it is time to finish off that glass. Drink until bottom of the glass is dry and do not disappoint us, you should not need multiple sips here. Be thoughtful with this one though. If someone is making a toast and calls for a cul sec on a third long island, it might be time to slow down.

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