How to Raise a Proper Toast at a 2020 Christmas Party
It's been a tough year, so lift some spirits with a lighthearted but meaningful speech.
Ah, the holiday season—a wonderful time of year indeed, when we get together with loved ones to celebrate. This year, though, we'll likely have fewer, smaller gatherings, and some may even have to take place virtually.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate at all. In fact, because 2020 has kept us apart from our loved ones for so long, it's even more important that we find ways to celebrate safely. It’s been a wild year, so now we get to take stock of it, and look forward to making 2021 better.
One way to do that meaningfully, when you're at a gathering, is to raise a toast. Clink your glass, call everyone’s attention, and speak your mind. Naturally, you don’t want to flub it when you do, so here are some pointers:
Keep it short and lighthearted.
No one wants to listen to you babble for half an hour, so try to limit your speech to two minutes. Focus on the little wins you scored as a family or a group, despite the challenges. It’s a party, so you want your toast to be encouraging. Give people something to look forward to, and reasons to feel optimistic.
Have a zinger in your back pocket.
All it takes to make a memorable speech is one perfectly timed joke. But humor can be a make-or-break factor—use it sparingly, and be mindful of sharper jokes that toe the line between funny and offensive. Remember, you’re raising a toast at a Christmas party, not a roast at a comedy bar.
Keep a clear head.
If you've decided ahead that you're going to raise a toast on the occasion, make it a point to stick to light, refreshing drinks, so you don't get too much of a buzz going. It can be tricky enough to deliver a pitch-perfect toast when you're sober, so if you're over your limits, it'll be like walking a tightrope. Don't risk it. (On the other hand, if you only decide to raise a toast spontaneously, at least think twice before you do it, and err on the side of caution if you've been drinking.)
Raise a glass filled with a classic drink.
One last bit of sage advice: Don't overthink it. The fact that you're reading this suggests you've put enough thought into what you want to say and how you want to say it. Remember, it's a time to celebrate! Loosen up and have fun. Go over your toast a couple more times in your head, then just get on with it. Pour a good drink into your glass and raise it high.
One such drink is the highball: a simple cocktail made with liquor and soda water in a tall glass of ice. Make it right and you get a drink that's great for laidback holiday get-togethers.
To make a good highball, one must use good liquor. Jim Beam Bourbon can help. It's a classic American bourbon from storied Kentucky distilleries, and you can use it to make highballs the good old-fashioned way, or with a twist.
The classic Jim Beam Highball is simple: Get a tall highball glass—preferably chilled—and squeeze a lemon wedge into it. Drop the lemon wedge in, fill the glass with ice, and pour in 30mL Jim Beam. Then, top it up with 120mL soda water. Give it just one gentle stir, serve and enjoy.
For different takes on the Jim Beam Highball, try adding other fruits and flavors. One variation is the Apple Cinnamon Jim Beam Highball—just add muddled red apples and cinnamon syrup, which give the drink a festive twist. If you're looking for some Filipino flavor, mix a Calamansi Pandan Jim Beam Highball by adding calamansi juice and pandan syrup instead of lemon juice. If you’re feeling extra creative, mix a Frozen Fruit Jim Beam Highball by replacing the ice cubes with pieces of frozen fruits of your choice. With the Jim Beam Highball, you'll find that there are so many possibilities.
To help you get started on your highballs, you can purchase a Jim Beam Tin Pack—it's great as a gift for your loved ones or for yourself. Included in that pack are two one-liter bottles of Jim Beam, packaged in a tin. Not only is the tin a nice collectible—it can also be a convenient tool for making highballs. The tin itself can be used as an ice bucket, while its lid can be used as a garnish tray.
The Jim Beam Tin Pack is available at all S&R branches nationwide for P1,438. You can also get your Jim Beam and other Beam Suntory products from Jim Beam's official Lazada shop.
For more information, follow Jim Beam Philippines on Facebook and on Instagram.