Drinking has its own ceremonial protocol in Austria, in which eye contact plays a central role. When clinking glasses, Austrians take a moment to make eye contact and say "Prost" to each person in the round. If you feel like showing off, you can also say "Zum Wohl" or "Prosit" - all three mean "to your health".
Skiing instructors, tour guides, and bartenders will be more than happy to teach you a variety of less formal, usually rowdy toasts that are popular throughout the country. Austria's excellent wine, spirits, and beer are the pride of local restaurateurs, so make sure to sample regional beverages whenever possible.
After a meal you are likely to be offered a shot of schnaps, Austria's favourite digestive. This is not a drink for the faint-hearted. The rule is to drink it in a single mouthful and, with most varieties containing around 40% alcohol, this is - literally - an eye-watering experience.
Things to Remember
- Say "Prost" when clinking glasses - and make sure to make eye contact.
- Have a shot of schnaps after dinner with your Austrian hosts.