How do you toast?

If you’re at Oktoberfest, you better be bypassing the standard “cheers” and toasting in German!

Not quite sure how to say cheers in German? We’ve got you covered.

Here are five fun German toasts you can use, and a few helpful etiquette tips to help you keep your Oktoberfest as authentic as possible.

How to Say Cheers in German: Toasting Etiquette

Generally speaking, toasting in German is the same as doing it stateside. You raise your drink, exchange greetings, and clank your glassware together.

That said, there are a few slight differences you should keep in mind if you’re looking for an authentic German drinking experience.

Toast First

This rule is probably the most obvious out of the bunch. While your beer may look tasty and refreshing, do not even taste it before the toast.

In Germany, it is rude to drink before the toast. So, wait until you raise your glass before drinking. And, after the toast, don’t set your glass down before taking a few sips!

Bottoms Up!

This one is the most compelling difference between American and German toasting: clinking with the bottom of your glass.

Many traditional German beer glasses are much thicker and sturdier at the bottoms than they are around the rim.

So, In Germany, it’s custom to clink the bottoms of your glasses, rather than risk ending up with glass shards in your Weißbier.

Eye-Contact Is Key

Are you interested in picking up seven years of bad luck? Then go ahead and close your eyes or look at the floor during the toast.

In Germany, not maintaining eye contact during a toast is pretty much the same as breaking a mirror. So, remember to lock eyes with your buddies before you drink.

Water You Doing?!

Finally, if you’re drinking water, congratulations on making a slightly smarter choice. But, don’t even think about raising your glass. In Germany, as with many other cultures around the world, toasting with water is bad luck.

You’re better off keeping your glass down and your mouth shut than jinxing your entire table.

Now that you know proper toasting etiquette, onto the toasts.

1. “Prost!

Translation: “Cheers!

Prost, it rhymes with toast!

Prost us a quick and easy way to toast your drinks, while still adding a bit of German flair to the occasion. You can also say, “ein Prost!” which means, “a toast!”

2. “Zum Wohl!

Translation: “To Your Health!

Zum Wohl is the most common way to toast in Germany. Use it if you’re looking for an easy toast that earns you bonus authenticity points.

3. “Ich möchte einen Toast auf (NAME) ausbringen!

Translation: “I’d like to propose a toast to (NAME)!

This toast is an excellent way to honor a special someone or to thank whoever is buying the round.

4. “Lasst euch nicht lumpen, hoch mit dem Humpen!

Translation: “Don’t be a slouch, raise your glass!

Who doesn’t love a good rhyming toast?

If you’re drinking with a lot of people or a particularly rowdy crowd, this toast is perfect because it’s super fun to yell. And, even if no one understands what you’re saying, they’ll appreciate how amusing it sounds.

5. “Euch ist bekannt was wir bedürfen, wir wollen starke Getränke schlürfen!

Translation: “You know what we need is to gulp down a strong drink!

If you’re looking for a fun way to show off your mastery of German language, or your appreciation for the classics, this toast is the perfect one for you.

Wunderbar! You’re Ready for Oktoberfest!

Now that you know a few different ways to say cheers in German, it’s time to raise your glass and practice your pronunciation. That way, you’ll be ready to go when Oktoberfest rolls back around.

Looking for more advice, tips, and tricks on how to get the most out of Nashville Oktoberfest?

Check out our blog for more info, Oktoberfest 2020 will be here before you know it!