As the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, fast approaches, it is the perfect time to learn or brush up on the Chinese art of toasting.
Like in many cultures, there is an etiquette to drinking that shows a person’s cultural intelligence. Whether you are drinking to meet a Chinese-Filipino friend’s family or having a drink with your Chinese-Filipino boss and colleagues, it is good to always put your best foot forward. To soothe any worries you may have about drinking in any of these social events, here are some guidelines to give you a solid idea of the Chinese drinking culture.
Firstly, it is a primary consideration whether one is a host or a guest. Secondly, it is important to understand that office hierarchy matters. The host or a senior executive always begins the toast.
When clinking glasses, younger members of the family should hold their glasses lower than the elders. This is especially true for a son-in-law who wants to please his father-in-law. It also applies in business situations when juniors in the company should always hold their glasses lower than those of the seniors.
When toasting, play it by ear or observe until the host says — “干杯”（Gānbēi)! The word is the drinking toast equivalent of “cheers” in English. It literally translates to “dry glass”, because of this everyone is expected to finish their drink after the toast.
As a precaution, it is considered extremely rude to refuse a drink after someone toasts you, because it is understood that the amount you drink after someone toasts you is tied to the amount of respect you are showing them. Drinking up until the glass is empty is tantamount to giving the utmost respect at the dinner table.
Remember never toast or clink glasses with water as it is considered bad luck. Lastly, do not stress yourself over these rules, for as long as you participate in the toast and mingle with the family or the group it will still be a good start to make new friends and build new relationships.
No matter how you decide to welcome the New Year, whether you want to create an impression, build new relations, or usher in the Year of the Tiger for a quiet night at home, here are some delish holiday cocktails you can try making on your own.
1.5 oz Tanduay Asian Rum Silver
3 oz Pineapple Juice
2 oz Cranberry Juice
Lime peel and cherry for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, pour in all ingredients together with ice. Shake to your heart’s content and transfer into a rock glass. Garnish with lime and cherry.
1 oz Tanduay Asian Rum Silver
1 oz Tanduay Asian Rum Gold
1 oz Lime Juice
0. 75 oz Brown Sugar Syrup
Pour in the ice, rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lime peel.