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Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids |

Star-Tenders: Julia Diakow

Star-Tenders: Julia Diakow


Joe Leary and Photographer Charles Zuckerman present ‘Startenders’; a exclusive. ‘Startenders’ features Vancouver's next generation of talented star bartenders; each one provided with a spirit from the Corby portfolio as selected by Absolut Brand Ambassador Jacob Sweetapple to challenge and inspire the bartenders to create an amazing original cocktail. Cheers!

She is as stunning as she is talented behind the bar at Tacofino and at 24 years of age, Julia Diakow is quickly leading the charge in the next breed of Star Bartenders around the 604 – Startenders.

“I started hostessing at the Blue Canoe in Steveston; did that for a couple of summers to get my chops on and try and figure out how the whole restaurant scene works. I was 17 then and partying with a bunch of 30 year olds. It was kind of my foray into the industry. I knew this was what I wanted.”

Fascinated with the whole cocktail scene, it wasn’t long before she began to ply her trade and began to jump into the cocktail scene and go all in.

“The same time I was there, I ended up bartending at Earl’s in Richmond too and ended up getting really, really super nerdy into it; buying all the books and nerding out on cocktail recipes.”

Armed with a bottle of Absolut Elyx and drawing inspiration from an ABBA song, the talented Ms. Diakow presents her unique cocktail creation called ‘Honey Honey’.

RAPID FIRE with Julia Diakow

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Favourite place to hang: I like to go to Espana in the West End but honestly if I’m just having a night off, I’ll go to Comox Street Long Bar and Grill and play pull-tabs and drink like, shitty Long Island Iced Teas. That’s a perfect night out for me.

 What’s your go-to drink?

Gin and Tonic

Just a cocktail gal or can you polish off some beers and wine as well?

Actually I hardly ever order cocktails when I go out, I hardly ever make cocktails at home. I’m really into beer and really into wine as well. I was really lucky – I got home from Europe in July and it was just full-on Austrian/German tour and went to all of these amazing 600 year old beer halls where all the monks are inn there creating and using their same old recipes. I’m also obsessed with Riesling and I got to spend three weeks backpacking around the Rhine Valley –that was really incredible to go and see. I think Riesling is really underrated and people give it a bad rap for being sickly sweet but there are so many variations of it.

What are a couple of must-have ingredients behind the bar?

Definitely your go-tos; your Gin, your Vodka – they pay the bills.

And must-have garnishes?

I love lemon peels and I love elaborate garnishes – anything that’s going to bring the cocktail up a step. Everything you make has to be beautiful – just sticking a lime wedge on it bothers me when I see it – you gotta put a little bit of effort into it!

honeyhoneyChill a coupe glass,

In a shaker tin combine 60 ml Absolut Elyx, 10 ml Yellow Chartreuse, 30 ml Lemon juice, 20 ml Golden Beet Honey syrup, 3 dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion & Burdock Bitters, 1 Egg white

Shake all ingredients

Shake once again, but this time over ice

Fine strain into chilled coupe glass

Garnish with bee pollen 

All Photos by Charles Zuckermann

Joe Leary

Joe Leary is a longtime broadcaster, having plied his trade for a number of Vancouver radio stations over the years as well as a thirteen year run as an on air host & weather anchor on City-TV, through its various incarnations: UTV, Global and CKVU. In addition, Joe is a widely-published freelance writer with numerous periodicals, publications and websites to his credit. Over the years, Joe’s vast range of subjects and topics includes everything from music, travel, food, wine, beer and spirits to showbiz, sports, business and the local entertainment scene.