Now, we know what you’re thinking: isn't it a bit crazy for a blog dedicated to challenging stereotypes about Toronto’s many communities to time a booze issue right near St. Patrick’s Day? It’s a fair question, and one to which the answer is “uh, probably?”.

But what better time to poke at the rituals, assumptions, and differing views that circle around drinking? Like few other things, alcohol shows us what we share and what we don’t. Those of us who indulge often do it and think of it in different ways. Some of us never touch the stuff. How different communities look at alcohol forms a kaleidoscope of opinion.

This week on the Ethnic Aisle, we’re all about booze. From how culture and religion affect our views on drinking, to what a multicultural bar might look like, to the dreaded “Asian Glow”, we’re diving in to the world of liquor.

Sitting down for drinks amongst a mixed group of friends can be an ideal symbol of Toronto’s diversity. Whatever disagreements we have tend to dissolve in the pleasant haze of a good buzz. So in that spirit, we invite you to kick back, pour yourself a drink and savour the many notes of our Booze Issue.

Photograph by Frans Persoon