if there’s one thing to know about canada, it’s that canadians are, on average, friendlier and more attractive than americans. and while the american dollar may not stretch as far as it used to, i still make the trip up north every so often to be amongst my fellow socialists. vancouver has cultivated its bartending prowess significantly in the last few years, and what better way to skip the american insanity of black friday than by heading to the motherland for a tasty craft cocktail. vancouver’s magnetic north of cocktail culture seems to reside in the harbour-front district of gastown, with the diamond serving as home base. their cocktail menu is conveniently organized into categories of “delicate”, “proper”, and “notorious”, paying homage to classics while featuring a respectable list of house-made concoctions. case in point: the parliament– cachaca, fernet, lime, and honey; so fresh, so clean, so fucking delicious. and the barware? hands down the most beautifully etched cocktail glasses my lips have ever touched. as we sat at the communal table amongst locals and visitors alike, an evening of great conversation ensued, all of us more beautiful with every sip. you are, after all, what you drink.