Breaking the Toughest Barriers in Drinks with Tiffanie Barriere

Breaking the Toughest Barriers in Drinks with Tiffanie Barriere

Tiffanie Barriere

Tiffanie Barriere is on a hot streak. After building her name as a mixologist and the driving force behind one of the world’s most beloved airport bars — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta’s One Flew South — she spread her wings to the media realm, which included a guest judge appearance on Netflix’s Drink Masters.

In 2023, she was named Visionary of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail, an industry recognition that surprised even Barriere herself. She also wrapped filming on Love Is In The Details, a film series sponsored by Filthy Mixers & Garnishes that paired her with longtime collaborator and friend Chris Cabrera.

Now, as Barriere prepares to finish at least one book, she’s working to mentor others on navigating building their careers in the beverage space. That includes tough conversations on inclusion, pay transparency, and more. Drinkhacker sat down with Barriere to talk about how she’s tackling some of the toughest conversations in booze.

Note: This interview has been edited for readability. 

Drinkhacker: Visionary of the year at Tales of the Cocktail: How did that feel, and how did you react when you initially found that out?

Tiffanie Barriere: I’m still in awe. We don’t do it for awards. So to be recognized and seen amongst my peers was pretty exciting. When I first found out, the first thing I thought was, “What am I gonna wear?” laughs

Drinkhacker: What would you most like to be recognized for in your career in spirits and hospitality?

Tiffanie Barriere: Great question, David. Connecting culture to cocktails. These drinks are amazing. We’ve got names now, we’ve got ingredients, we’ve got regional areas, but let’s get into the culture of it. Who is that person and where did it come from and what was the true background? That’s my passion, and I’d love to be known for that.

Drinkhacker: Let’s talk a little bit about Love Is In The Details. Talk to me about the process for filming that. I would love to hear about how you approached bringing your authentic self to that, because I know that’s something you’re very good at doing through drinks and experiences. But doing it on camera, was that challenging?

Tiffanie Barriere: Doing it on camera was not challenging because I was next to my friend Chris. We fell in love with each other through conversations about love and passion and presence, and so it was a no-brainer for us when we first got the email. And to be paired up was even more flattering because we have had those conversations privately for a long time. I’ve been told it’s a sign of weakness for most of my life. It was nice to be seen in that light with someone that I absolutely care for about what we care about.

Drinkhacker: What are some of your goals moving forward in beverage, cocktails, hospitality, however we want to group that?

Tiffanie Barriere: It’s a tough question. I actually was texting with a good friend of mine this morning about it, and there is a bit of pressure, but the goals are the goals when it comes from a job. One of my goals is to continue to open doors and lanes in levels of this industry. Whether you want to go heavy education or book writing or creating booze, I want to be able to keep having these conversations about being authentic and being comfortable and being yourself. I’m writing a book. There’s that part. Gotta write it down!

Another goal is to uplift, push forward, and hold brands or companies accountable for doing some heavy lifting and bringing more women into leadership. That conversation is just not had as much. Because I get to have great relationships with folks, it’s having that conversation and introducing them to more people, more people that are on the ground.

Drinkhacker: What are some of the barriers in the beverage space that you think are often overlooked or just not known?

Tiffanie Barriere: Getting paid! There’s not enough conversation about getting paid. People get embarrassed. People don’t really want to talk about budget, or their finances, and what they have personally or their business or how to ask. It’s just such a whisper about what we’re getting paid or even what’s offered. It’s overlooked, how much it costs to be creative, how much it costs to be comfortable while creating, how much a recipe costs, you know?

There has to be some more context and understanding to keep asking these folks, these beautiful, beautiful creative people to put their name on the line of said recipe, or said photo, or said idea and not pay them for their worth.

Drinkhacker: You’re quite well known for One Flew South in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Why do you think, from your perspective, that bar had and continues to have such an impact on people?

Tiffanie Barriere: Biggest and best airport in the world! We can get anywhere. So our space is quite popular. We can’t bring things back to the ’50s where when you traveled, it was the finest and the best. Travel is not giving luxury these days unless you’re in some kind of club. You just kind of given the “whatever” when you travel. And we did not do that. We gave you what we wanted to give you. We were extremely hospitable. We were very, very present. We did our research. We knew what we were, what we were focused on. And expediting quality was the goal. And people don’t think that can happen in the airport. And we killed it!

David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

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