We sat down with our dear friend and cocktail educator, Tiffanie Barriere and we asked her to tell us about some badass women that are crushing it in the beverage industry. Keep reading to learn more about these five women and their incredible stories.
Birdie Brown, first the name is amazing. It sounds like some Western woman with guns and *bang bang*, which she sort of was. She was a beautiful, independent black woman who had this shack where she lived, cooked, did laundry, and moon shined all by herself. Birdie was known to have some of the best shine ever. Lots of people were migrating from the South to the East, but they stopped to see Birdie and try her shine. Birdie died doing what she loved and I think dying while doing what you love is pretty noble, so she’s a baddie that I respect and love and I want her name to ring on forever.
Learn more about Birdie’s story and try her plain hooch at https://sipbirdie.com/.
This woman makes me so happy. I’ve never seen so much energy around whiskey ever. She’s the epitome of women in whiskey: meet Tracie Franklin. Not only is she passionate about whiskey, Tracie is a trained actress and singer. She knew her passion was for whiskey and her palate is powerful. She jumped in this game early in her 20s. She worked in the scotch world and not many black women were in the scotch world. She was having a better lay of the land than her colleagues. We were seeing a lot of men in khakis but then Tracie with her big smile and beautiful curls joined the scene. She’s teaching about whiskey and she’s making it herself. Tracie is a dear friend of mine and I want to tear up thinking about where she is about to take us. It’s about to go down with Tracie.
Learn more about Tracie’s passion for whiskey at her website here: https://www.spiritedtracie.com/.
The name says a lot. A major in business. Eboni Major. She is a food scientist and has a love for whiskey. She has her own series out now and she has this really awesome idea to create great whiskey across the world with different distilleries like crossing the education, and her palate, and her presence. It’s heartwarming to know this young spunky black woman from the South in Birmingham, Alabama is sharing her love for whiskey and carrying her name and her family’s name all the way to the top. There’s a lot to love with her. Her palate is powerful. We met at a tasting and we connected right away.I got to try her whiskey a little while ago and I was honored that she asked me to make cocktails with it. I’m so happy to see her succeed and can’t wait to see what else she does.
Learn more about Eboni’s story here: https://www.majorinwhiskey.com/.
Johnny and Taneka, the Cocktail Bandits
This duo, Johnny and Taneka are from Charleston, which is the gateway of black history to America. The two of them are called the Cocktail Bandits. These girls know their stuff and they have nothing but charisma. They blog, they write, and they saw a window for girls with curly hair to talk booze, drink booze, and teach booze. I first came in the game years ago and I was one of the few black women at this food festival. Here come these girls and we instantly became best friends. We represent something that I don’t think a lot of people understand about black women from the South. It’s one thing to be black and great, but the South has something to say because we’re carrying an extra load. The Emancipation, slavery, the way we were taken care of in the South, or not taken care of. We’ve struggled a bit more to represent more and the Cocktail Bandits showed how to break any stereotypes. They have one of the very first cocktail books that I fell in love with that represents cocktails and girls with curly hair and people from the South. Tankea and Johnny are baddies that I love so much.
Join the Cocktail Bandits on their journey and learn more about their work here: https://cocktailbandits.com/.
Maturity and using your voice is something that a lot of women deal with. We often get in our feelings because we don’t want to express, nor do we ever feel heard. Ashtin Berry is not that woman. She is vocal at every point. We have this ongoing joke that she is the Malcolm and I am the Martin. You know what that means. We’re getting things done, and we’re getting it done differently. Ashtin Berry is an activist in the hospitality industry, which we don’t have enough of. Not only an activist for hospitality, but an activist for black history and culture. She has a heavy background in wine, she is a Sommelier, but also understands spirits. She has such a great presence. She’s in New Orleans and a Chicago native. If you’re not following this girl on social, I don’t know what you’re reading. This girl is making moves and she really lets me feel heard and safe. Without her voice, I don’t think I would feel as strong as I do. Ashtin for President!
Follow Ashtin Berry’s experience-based agency that promotes intersectionality, Radical XChange, here: https://www.radxc.com/home.
Follow Tiffanie Barriere on social and her website for all things cocktail education and content: