As the simulated digital world becomes all the more persuasive, there's an understandable impulse to get real. Is it a coincidence that dudes are walking around dressed like lumberjacks at the same time they can't see the forest for the texts? The new authenticity has brought us hipster knitting, nose to tail, Daptone and the cocktail revival.
In centres like New York, London, San Francisco and even Vancouver, a loose movement of sleeve-gartered neo-traditionalists and technology-driven innovators is promoting time-honoured drink-mixing techniques, high-quality alcohol and fresh ingredients.
Antique cocktail recipe books have moved from attics to eBay. Ice cubes have come under intense scrutiny, and the extraction of citrus oils has turned into performance art. Flips and sours have gone molecular.
Now the gospel of the cocktail as a free-standing, self-respecting gastronomic entity has reached Toronto, a city that didn't even issue its first cocktail licence until the middle of the last century.
What does all this mean for thirsty, discerning Torontonians? It means there's a decent number of places where skilled people behind the bar can make you a really good drink full of quality ingredients that will cost you, justifiably, more than the average vodka soda. It also means that some people will get too caught up in the nerdology of it all - and then it could get pretentious.
But cocktails may be resistant to that, because, after all, we're talking about Strangers In The Night, tinkling ice and a stiff belt. Dean Martin never took notes. So pay down the Visa, put on your drinking shoes and go see what's shaking.
We've already scoured the town for the tastiest mixes. Here, in alphabetical order, are the best of the bunch, concocted by T.O.'s top bartenders.