A shot without a toast is like sex without foreplay.

And by a toast I don’t mean “Cheers” or “Here’s to you” — offering those is akin to christening a battleship with a Dixie cup. No, you want something melodic, meaningful and memorable, something capable of inspiring the troops before they happily careen into battle.

What follows is a carefully assembled selection of the grand stalwarts of the past and fresh shouts from the offices of Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Friends Forever

May our friendship never fail
May we always be kind
I’ll post your bail
If you post mine.

Our enemies never drink
Our friends always do
So let’s drink this drink
And tell between the two.

Here’s to a guy who is never blue
Here’s to a buddy who is ever true
Here’s to a pal, no matter what the load
Never declines one for the road.

Here’s champagne to our real friends
And real pain to our sham friends.
—Francis Bacon

 When I dream of Heaven
I dream of the past
Surrounded by good friends
And raising a glass.

 A round to the best
May we never get less
A round to the worst
May they die of thirst.

‘Tis better to buy a small bouquet
And give to your friend this very day
Than a bushel of roses white and red
To lay on his coffin after he’s dead.

Here’s to the man who takes the pledge
Who keeps his word and does not hedge
Who won’t give up and won’t give in
Till the last man’s out and there’s no more gin.

If I die before you
Raise a glass in my name
If you go before me
I’ll do the same.

Here’s hoping you live forever
And mine is the last voice you hear.
—Willard Scott

May the devil take our enemies’ tongues
So we may know them by their silence.

Drink Up and Be Somebody

Fill the glass
Pour me some
Drinking makes happy
What sobriety makes glum.

Better a well known drunkard
Than an anonymous alcoholic.

I used to know a clever toast
But now I cannot think it
So fill your glass to anything
And damn your souls, I’ll drink it!
—Wallace Irwin

Work like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ve never been hurt
Dance like no-one is watching
Screw like it’s being filmed
And drink like a true Irishman.

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Drink, for you know not when you came nor why
Drink, for you know not why you go nor whence.
—Omar Khayyam

He who makes a beast of himself
Gets rid of the pain of being a man.
—Samuel Johnson

I love to sing and I love to drink
But most people like to hear me drink.
—George Burns

Here’s to doing and drinking,
Not sitting and thinking.

Heaven and Hell

Raise ‘em high and bold, boys
The Devil is close behind
Hold tight to your souls, boys
Because we’ve already lost our minds.

Don’t know if I’ve lied to the angels
Don’t know if I’ve lived in sin
But when the devil comes a knockin’
I just gotta let him in.

 Here’s to steak when you’re hungry
Whiskey when you’re dry
A lover when you need one
And Heaven when you die.

May you never go to hell
But always be on your way.

May the Devil make a ladder of your backbone
While he is picking apples in the garden of Hell.

May you be in Heaven an hour before
The Devil knows you’re dead.

Tomorrow Is the Enemy

 Sing a song of sick gents
Pockets full of rye
Four and twenty highballs
We wish that we might die.

Let us have wine and women
Mirth and laughter
Sermons and soda-water
The day after.
—Lord Byron

 Here’s to the bullets
That’ll take our lives
Here’s to the bastards
That’ll marry our wives
Here’s the whores
Who’ll bury our sons
Here’s to tomorrow
Hope it never comes.

 Drink like a lion
Sleep like a lamb
If you see me lying
Don’t step on my hand.

 Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death.
—Patrick Dennis

 Damn the Torpedoes

Steady your glasses
Here comes the gale
Batten down the hatches
And lean well over the rail.

It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow
Tthan to spend tonight like there’s no money.
—P.J. O’Rourke

When you’re bleeding in the sand
Don’t let your courage fade
When life deals you a bad hand
Throw hand grenades.
—Pre D-Day Toast

In my own country
I am in a faraway land
I am strong
Yet have no force or power
I win all
Yet remain a loser
At break of day
I say good night
When I lie down
I have a great fear of falling.
—Francois Villon

Here’s to the Ladies

Here’s to whiskey, scotch and rye
Amber, smooth, and clear
Not as sweet as a woman’s lips
But a damn sight more sincere.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold drink—and another one.

No matter how beautiful
Smart and full of class
To somebody, somewhere
S she’s a major pain in the ass.

Short and Sweet

No one frolics
Like we alcoholics.

People talk about our drinking
But never about our thirst.

With this glass, rich and deep
We cradle all our sorrows to sleep.

Here’s to those who wish us well
As for the rest, they can go to Hell.

Let us drink with impunity
Or anyone else who’s buying.
—W.C. Fields

 What shall we drink to?
To four in the morning!

While we live
Let’s live.

 When the going gets weird
The weird turn pro.
—Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Drinks are on the house
So someone get a ladder.

Drinking to Drink

 Lift ‘em high and drain ‘em dry
To the guy who says, “My turn to buy!”

Here’s to this one
It’s old news
Here’s to the next one
It’s on youse.

Success to the lover
Honor to the brave
Health to the sick
And freedom to the slave.

Wise, kind, gentle, generous, sexy
But enough about me, here’s to you.

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
—George Bernard Shaw

Drink today and drown all sorrow
You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow
Best while you have it, use your breath
There is no drinking after death.
—Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher