Welcome to The Toast Club! Toast was started as a Boston area classic cocktail society dedicated to drinking for a cause! We preserve drinks from a bygone era as we educate ourselves about the important and nearly forgotten forebroads who sipped them.
Originally founded in February 2007 as LUPEC Boston (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) by Misty Kalkofen and nine fellow cocktail enthusiasts, the organization was the city’s first and only female-oriented cocktail society.
In 2017, in an effort to expand our membership and evolve beyond the charter of the founding chapter of LUPEC, we became The Toast Club. In addition to preserving our own personal Joie de Vivre by guaranteeing members and guests good cocktail parties, The Toast Club strives to enhance and improve the lives of women through fundraising events for women’s charities. We partner with local bars and liquor purveyors to offer co-ed classic cocktail parties and special events.
About The Toast Club circa 1895
The original Toast Club was a women’s networking group founded in Boston in the late 19th century. We first heard about these forebroads from David Wondrich:
Washington Times, 10/02/1895
SOME NEW AND CLEVER FORMS OF ORGANIZATION.
THE TOAST CLUB.
There is something both frivolous and instructive already shadowed forth in the first meetings of the Toast Club, that acknowledges Boston as the city of its nativity, and is composed of a strong body of those women who can achieve anything when once braced by a handsome luncheon.
It is when the tide of the menu has ebbed to coffee and the butler sets before every woman a glass of that innocently wicked potation, green swizzle, that the hostess and toast mistress rises for her remarks. She leads off with a few choice sentences and calls upon some guest, who has only received warning as she entered the dining-room, to respond to the toast given at the bottom of her menu.
Now the rule of the club is that no woman can refuse to respond, that her speech must not consume over four minutes and it must lie on the inspiration if the moment Not less than five leasts are proposed and answered at every luncheon, one of them must always be to the hostess ard the other four are fixed by the committee. “The New Woman.” “The Future of the Husband.” “Suggestions for the Encouragement of Masculine Emigration to Summer Resorts,” “The Housekeeper’s Responsibility in Street Cleaning,” is a fair sample
of the questions ventilated in the requisite four minutes allowed for each of them.
At least one of the subjects must be serious in its nature and seriously treated, and when all the green swizzle has disappeared the women ballot on the toast by writing upon slips of paper, dropping them in a big silver loving cup, and when the votes are counted she who is conceded to have made the cleverest toast is entitled to wear till the next meeting a charming club pin. This is a wreath of gold laurel leaves set with pearls. [Transcribed by DW, 06/2012]
The Toast Club Rules of Engagement
- The Toast Club is a social networking group with twin goals of raising awareness about women’s issues and raising money for women’s charities.
- We are an all-inclusive women’s organization
- Being a women’s organization is a nod to the spirit of our forebroads, who sought to shape inclusive spaces for themselves when they were shut out of male spaces
- We eschew binaries and value diverse expressions of gender identity: Trans, gender nonconforming, and gender questioning are always welcome at the Toast Club
How to Start a Toast Club Chapter
Like building community with like-minded women and sipping great cocktails while you learn and fundraise? Why not start a Toast Club of your very own! Here’s how to get started and get involved:
Step #1: Gather your people!
When we think of how far we’ve come, it’s hard to believe our little group got started just by getting a bunch of broads together in one room, with cocktails and ideas flowing! To start your own, we suggest getting a bunch of like-minded ladies together, either in someone’s home or in a comfortable public space meeting space. Batch up some cocktails, either your favorite classics, some from these pages, or make up your own!
At your first meeting, you want to first and foremost, have a great time, but also accomplish the following:
Select your cocktail monikers
This is your Toast Club code name! And this is one of the most fun activities, but should be conducted with care. Angel’s Dream, for example, would be a dope cocktail moniker - but do you want to be drinking a drink made with cream, Creme Yvette, and maraschino liqueur if you’re lactose intolerant? There’s really no presh to be drinking your namesake all the time, but you’d want it to be a name you enjoy both phonetically and on the palate.
As for sourcing, the internet is rife with resources, but it’s also a real blast (for us nerds, anyway) to comb through the pages of vintage cocktail books...or any cocktail books, really! Bartenders have a reputation for changing one ingredient in a drink that works and christening that drink with an entirely different name (you can also do this) meaning there is no shortage of cocktails with intriguing names that are yours for the choosing!
This part of your meeting can take a little or as much time as you see fit, but you may be surprised by what the women in your group want to accomplish! Goals can be as small as “meet every other month, sample cocktails, toast a cool broad and gossip” or as complex as “raise money and volunteer for a charity that helps relocate refugees.”
Prior to your meeting, check out the Toast Club website for a list of Toast-approved charities. Don’t see a dope charity that you want to fundraise for represented? No problem! Fill out the Charity Suggestion form and let us know who you want to support.
Step #2: Post-Inaugural Meeting
How you follow up and organize is your business, but after meeting #1, visit the Toast Club website and fill us in! Once the group is confirmed as #officiallytoast, we will help support you in any way that we can! This will mostly be remotely, via social media and email newsletter shout outs, but you can always reach out to tell us how WE can help YOU.
Step #3: Meeting Two, and Three, and Beyond!
Ladies, the sky's the limit! If you’d told us that our first meeting would result in a $15K donation check to a local women’s charity just 10 months later, we’d never have believed you. Once you have your goals set, determine how often you’d like to meet and some basic parameters. Your group could be something akin to a book group who meets monthly except cocktails are the focus and everyone throws a little money into a charity jar, or you can be a charity cocktail party club that does large scale events in your city's best bars! We can help along the way.
As you make your way in the world, ladies we applaud you! To be a Toast Club identified event, we require the following:
All The Toast Club events must:
- Have a charitable element, however big or small it may be (everyone tosses $5 into the kitty and you give it to the local fave charity OR charge a ticket price for a large-scale, curated event, and write a check in the weeks following)
- Support a Toast Club approved charity (visit our website for an up-to-date list, or to suggest us a charity you love)
- Raise awareness about an issue important to your community
- Serve delicious cocktails and improve your own personal joie de vivre - usually well made drinks are enough for this, but feel free to educate your guests to whatever degree suits your fancy!