Toasting in Mexico can be quite the ritual!
While in other Spanish-speaking countries a joyful ‘salud’ will normally suffice, Mexicans sometimes say elaborate phrases and occasionally even burst into song!
Curious yet? Then let’s explore this amazing list of 8 fun ways to say ‘cheers’ in Mexico and (hopefully!) become the life of the party!
Let’s get right to it!
These are the most common ways to say ‘cheers’ in Mexico –
- salud = cheers
- arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro = bottoms up
- fondo, fondo, fondo = neck it / chug it
1 Salud – Cheers
This is your definite go-to word when toasting all over the Spanish-speaking world.
‘Salud’ means ‘health’ and saying it before clinking glasses of liquor or wine is a tradition that dates back to ancient Rome, where people would toast to the health of everyone gathered at the table.
That’s why the word used when toasting is very similar in most Romance languages: ‘saúde’ in Portuguese, ‘santé’ in French and ‘salud’ in Spanish.
Brindando en Año Nuevo
Brita – ¡Salud a todos!
Ernesto – ¡Salud! ¡Por un año espectacular!
Toasting on New Year’s Eve
Brita – Cheers, everyone!
Ernesto – Cheers! Here’s to a spectacular year!
2 Salucita – Cheers
Diminutives are EXTREMELY popular in Mexico, and this one’s no exception!
‘Salucita‘ is the diminutive form of ‘salud’ and it’s the ideal word to impress your Mexican friends; it’s sure to make you sound like a true native speaker!
En un bar con amigos
Mesero – Aquí están sus cervezas, chicos.
Pablo – Muchas gracias. ¡Salucita!
Faby – ¡Salucita!
At a bar with friends
Waiter – Here are your beers, guys.
Paul – Thank you very much. Cheers!
Faby – Cheers!
3 Arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro – Bottoms up
If you’re about to have a shot of tequila with your Mexican pals, they might well show you how to do this fun choreographed toast.
If not, well, just grab your drink and follow these instructions: ‘arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro’, meaning ‘up’ (lift your drink up to your forehead), ‘down’ (lower it to about chest height), ‘to the center’ (reach across the table to clink glasses with your friends) ‘and inside’ (which is your cue to drink!).
En la fiesta de cumpleaños de tu amigo mexicano
Ana – ¿Hacemos un brindis o qué?
Fabio – ¡Venga! ¿Todos ya tienen tequila?
Katia – ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y pa’ dentro!
At your Mexican friend’s birthday party
Ana – Shall we toast?
Fabio – Let’s do it! Does everyone have tequila?
Katia – Bottoms up!
Erika’s note – in Mexico it’s very common to use the colloquial contraction ‘pa’’ instead of the preposition ‘para’ (‘for’ or ‘to’ in English). The phrase ‘arriba, abajo, al centro y
pa’ adentro’ is popular in Spain.
4 Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también – Bottoms up
Sure, everybody’s heard of tequila … but have you heard of mezcal?
Well, if you’re planning a trip to Mexico, it’s a MUST!
Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage distilled from the fermented juice of agave, and unlike tequila, which was invented after the Spanish conquest, mezcal was already a popular drink with the indigenous peoples.
This expression means ‘for all evil, mezcal, and for all good, too’, and it’s said right before toasting with a shot of, yep, you guessed it, mezcal!
Tatiana – ¡Corté con mi novio!
Romina – Brinda conmigo. Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.
Romina – What’s up, girl?
Tatiana – I broke up with my boyfriend!
Romina – Let’s have a drink. Bottoms up!
5 Échate un Hidalgo, y chin-chin al que deje algo – Bottoms up
‘Hidalgo’ is a Mexican state just north of Mexico City AND one of the nation’s most important heroes. HOWEVER, it’s also another word for ‘a shot (of liquor)’.
And although ‘chin-chin’ is a common synonym of ‘cheers’ in other countries, in this context it’s actually a euphemism for a more vulgar word in Mexican slang.
Unos primos en una fiesta
Lidia – ¿Entonces qué primo? ¿Nos echamos un Hidalgo?
Pedro – ¡Y chin-chin el que deje algo!
Some cousins at a party
Lydia – So what do you say, cuz? Shall we have a shot?
Pedro – And screw whoever leaves a drop!
6 Chupando que es gerundio – Down the hatch
This extremely popular Mexican expression is a bit tricky to translate so let’s quickly break it down:
- ‘Chupar’ means ‘to suck’ in English, but it’s also Mexican slang for ‘to drink’ (alcoholic drinks only!), and in this phrase it’s conjugated in the present continuous.
- ‘Gerundio’ (or ‘gerund’) is a verb form (“verb + -ing” in English) that actually works like a noun.
So, we could loosely translate this phrase as ‘drinking, ‘cause it’s a gerund’ and it’s normally said after several rounds of drinks to encourage everyone to keep going!
En una boda
Federico – Mesero, otra ronda de ron para la mesa, por favor.
Alexis – ¡Chupando que es gerundio!
At a wedding
Federico – Waiter, another round of rum, please.
Alexis – Down the hatch!
7 Dulce licor, suave tormento, ¿qué haces afuera? ¡Vamos pa’ dentro! – Cheers
This old saying isn’t as popular as it used to be, but you may still hear it if you’re lucky enough to go to a big, traditional party in the countryside.
It translates as ‘sweet liquor, soft torment, what are you doing outside? Let’s get you inside!’ (keep in mind that it rhymes in Spanish, so it sounds a lot better!).
8 Fondo, fondo, fondo – Neck it / Chug it
Finally, if you go to a party in the city, like a wedding or any other big ‘pachanga’ (Mexican slang for ‘party’), you’ll definitely hear this catchy chant (and probably end up joining in too!).
‘Fondo’ means the ‘bottom of something’ in English, so as you may have already guessed, this one’s used to encourage people to neck their drink!
En la boda de tus amigos mexicanos
Novio – ¡Ahí vienen los shots!
Novia – ¡Todos tomen su trago!
Todos – ¡Fondo, fondo, fondo!
At your Mexican pal’s wedding
Boyfriend – Here come the shots!
Bride – Everybody grab a drink!
Everyone – Bottoms up!
Hopefully you’re now ready to be the life of the party on your next trip to Mexico (and boy do they know how to party!).
Oh, and since we’re on the subject of partying, I suggest you head on over to our article on all the different ways to say ‘beer’ in Spanish!
¡Hasta la próxima!