A table manners friend asks,
“Dear Adelaide, I have been having a discussion with a friend about the reason one clinks their glass after a toast and before drinking.”
In less civilized times it was customary to clink glasses before imbibing in order to eschew any evil spirits dancing about in your libation; hence the reason one didn’t drink alone. It was believed that evil spirits entered the body through the ingestion of alcoholic spirits, possessing the body and poisoning the mind of the occupant. By clinking glasses, it was believed that the loud sound would disperse the evil spirits, leaving you free and clear to swill the night away.
It is for the same reason that cathedrals would, and may I add still do, sound off church bells before services, to ward off any evil spirits lurking in the pews and dark confessionals.