The Booze Issue


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.

Starting off, let’s confront St. Patrick’s Day head-on with a Dubliner’s Rant by Séamus Conaty. “Patty! Really? Patty? That is either an old WASPy woman’s name or a delightful Jamaican pastry, not Ireland’s main man.”

There’s so much more to Greek alcohol than ouzo. Kat Armstrong gives us a handy primer and a breakdown on drinking etiquette (metaxa is so fancy, like).

“It felt weird to me to be the only sober person in a room full of people who were inebriated.” Bharavi Thanki talks to a young, ambitious Muslim woman about whether her choice not to drink affects her career path.

Kids and Wine Is Just Fine: Kelli Korducki was a child drinker (sort of) and people let her get away with it cause her parents were foreign (maybe).

Navneet Alang and Anshuman Idamsetty would like to know – just What Is a Multicultural Bar? Is it about the crowd, the food, the decor, the music? Must it serve Kingfisher?

Hennessy and Enemies: the Toronto Star had some pretty stupid things to say about the link between hip hop, cognac and last summer’s shooting on Danzig Ave. So Denise Balkissoon has some stupid questions of her own.

Are Asian club nights different than “regular” club nights? Karen K. Ho talks to David Ins, a promoter with Asian-focused party company Epic Nights.

In Irish Pride, Lucas Costello shares an intense, dark memoir of life with an alcoholic Irish dad and a teetotalling Filipino mom.

and Chantal Braganza teaches us all about pulque, the Mexican liquor with the consistency of saliva and the taste of runny sourdough starter. Cheers!


One thought on “The Booze Issue

  1. Pingback: The Booze Issue – Denise Balkissoon

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