The Diamond

The cut, color and clarity of diamonds vary to mark their worth; the proportion, flavor and alcohol in a cocktail vary to mark their taste and quality. The bartenders at Vancouver hotspot The Diamond are masters at bringing out the clarity in a spirit’s flavour. The service is polished and reminds us of the importance it has on the success of a venue.

The Diamond is a neighbourhood cocktail parlour that specializes in fresh, often Asian-inspired shared plates and hand-crafted cocktails. This boutique Gastown bar, at Maple Tree Square, serves up some of the best spirituous concoctions to young professionals and other imbibers. The Diamond’s bartenders shake and stir an eclectic mix of highballs, martinis and punches, among the myriad other drinks they serve.

The shared and lighter fare plates at The Diamond are the perfect pairing to the sophisticated offerings by their mixologists. Try the Sloping Hills organic pork gyoza, a modern twist on a traditional favourite, with Shitake mushrooms, cabbage, soy, Mirin and sesame oil blending beautifully inside the shells. The Duck and Soy Chicken Sub is a riff on a Vietnamese banh mi, with Asian pear and raisins providing the perfect foil to fresh cilantro and pickled carrot. And the Crab Cakes – a mix of local Dungeness crab and panko breadcrumbs accompanied by a lemon dijon yoghurt dressing – are crisp bites of near-heaven.

Mark Brand and Josh Pape’s vision for perfectly balanced drinks adheres to a respect and understanding of spirits often lost behind the bar. It’s no wonder, though, as by day the bar doubles as The Diamond Preparatory School for All Things Drinks (in layman’s terms, you learn how to mix a cocktail with the best of them.) The bird’s-eye view of Maple Tree Square inside this historic space compliments the rustic exposed brick walls and intimate atmosphere. The Diamond is hardly in the rough, but we won’t hold that against it. The Diamond, 6 Powell Street, Vancouver, 604-568-8272.