To read our other profiles in the 2022 Women’s History month series, read about A-K Hada and Alisa Beyer.
We’re wrapping up our Women’s History Month profile series with leading spirits/cocktail influencer Tiffanie Barriere. Tiffanie is a bartender’s bartender and is known for creative and innovative cocktail menus. Tiffanie has been awarded with some of the beverage industry’s highest honors and is best known as “The Drinking Coach.” She is now one of the leading figures in the spirits and cocktail education scene, known for combining history, specifically Black history, and the cocktail world.
We spoke with Tiffanie about cocktail trends, her journey in the industry, and the importance of Black culture in the cocktail world.
Bar Business Media (BBM): Tell our readers more about yourself and your career in the hospitality industry.
Tiffanie Barriere (TB): I have been in the bar industry for 20 years and became an influencer and educator awarded with some of the beverage industry’s highest honors as I spent seven years as the beverage director of One Flew South, the “Best Airport Bar in the World.” I am currently an independent bartender known for cocktails and culture; research on African-American bartenders and service; my creative and innovative cocktail menus for pop-up dinners and bar consultancy clients; hosting mixology classes around the nation; and connecting culinary and farm culture with spirits.
I have the honor to be a member of the Tales of the Cocktail Grants Committee, the James Beard Beverage Advisory Board, and the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and stand on the Board of Education with the Brooklyn Bar Convent team. My cocktails have been featured in multiple publications, and in 2020, I was featured on Food Network’s The Kitchen and received the Tales of the Cocktail‘s Dame of the Year award.
In 2021, I appeared on the cover photo of Imbibe Magazine for the Top 75 for Imbibe, became a judge for the L.A. Spirits Awards and Ascot Awards Judge with Fred Minnick, spoke at Berlin for Bar Convent, and shared birthday cocktails with Hoda and Jenna on the Today Show. Mixing cocktails and history is my passion, and I make it a point to make it fun every chance I can.
BBM: What do you love most about the bar industry?
TB: The creativity is endless! A bartender has space to story-tell, show techniques, and honor themselves and the guest daily. I find that fascinating.
BBM: What has been your biggest challenge?
TB: In the beginning of my career, it was to stand out and not blend in as a black female bartender. Currently the challenge is keeping business aware of culture and gender appropriation when creating products, hiring, and education.
BBM: Have you observed any recent trends in cocktails/hospitality?
TB: Coffee and tea are such a fun space for beverage programs to thrive. RTD‘s keep giving it a consistent go, and low- and no-proof bottles are making a stand on menus across the world.
BBM: How do you work to combine Black history and the cocktail world?
TB: There are a lot of ingredients that come from the motherland of Africa, so it is easy to incorporate and connect flavors to the cocktails we love today. When we look at history and the history of American food and beverage, it was either served by the Black community, labored in the fields of the Black community, or improved by the Black community.
BBM: Do you have any advice for other women in the hospitality industry?
TB: Own it! Remember that there is space for you to take up, and when you do, be sure to not blend in, stand out and respect yourself as well as those around you.
BBM: Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share?
TB: I am a sucker for a Martinez.
1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
1.5 oz. sweet vermouth
bar spoon luxardo maraschino liqueur
2 dashes angostura
Stirred cold. Served in a chilled Nick and Nora.