In the world of mixology, there are individuals who not only master the craft of creating tantalizing cocktails, but also leave an indelible mark on the industry. One such luminary is Tiffanie Barriere, a renowned bartender, influencer, and educator affectionately known as The Drinking Coach.

With impressive accolades, collaborations and a passion for her craft, Barriere has emerged as a prominent figure in the beverage industry. EBONY spoke with The Drinking Coach about how she is elevating the art of mixology, her experience as a guest judge on popular TV shows and her favorite summer cocktail recipe. 

EBONY: What inspired you to become a bartender, and how did you develop your skills and expertise in mixology?

Tiffanie Barriere: Coming from a drinking family, I truly enjoyed the social setting I grew up around. Watching my parents make different drinks and serve them was exciting, and I picked that up as I got older. 

As a bartender, what is your approach to creating innovative and creative cocktail menus for pop-up dinners and bar consultancy clients?

I truly enjoy tailor-making cocktails for different people. Through themes, seasons, the client, colors, and small requests, getting creative comes from my intuition and inspiration from those around me. 

Could you share some insights into the connection you make between culinary and farm culture with spirits in your work as an independent bartender?

There are so many ingredients and flavor profiles that are expressed in spirits. Some of those notes and flavors are also aligned in food, which explains why it’s so enjoyable for me when I add to a dish and expose familiar notes. Some of the flavors can be as similar as fruit, spices, or even memories. 

How do you balance the educational aspect of your work as a mentor to bartenders and mixologists while also prioritizing service and fun in every pour?

When you know better, it tastes better! Adding education as you sip brings fun and understanding to why things taste or feel the way they do. Additionally, the fact that a lot of things we eat and drink today were created years before us adds some historical context to each pour. It's rewarding to know about this rich history when talking about mixology and raising a glass to the liquid ancestors. 

As a public historian, could you tell us more about your involvement in interpreting the cocktails of African American and women pioneers in spirits? What insights have you gained from this work?

Slavery happened. Black workers were crucial and influential in the evolution of engineering, medicine, construction, and food & beverage. Making sure that I share a name or story behind their work in dining and beverage is important because of the impact they had on what we enjoy today. Their stories were not shared nor respected because of the disrespect placed upon the race. Saying their names and sharing their stories is my mission and passion. It helps me work harder, and it heals me when I am challenged.

As a guest judge on Netflix's Drink Master's and a participant in the Amazon Prime series The Three Drinkers, what was your experience working on these projects?

It was such an exciting experience and such an honor to work on both of these projects. For The Three Drinkers, I actually had the opportunity to travel to Cognac, France - which was amazing - and mix up one of my favorite cocktails, the Grand Margarita, using Grand Marnier. The show focuses on the love of food, drinks and travel - all of my favorite things - and brings in that historical context that makes your cocktail enjoyment even greater.  Not everyone realizes that Grand Marnier is a blend of Cognac and bitter orange essence, or that it provides a layer of complexity and richness when used in cocktails, and The Three Drinkers provides a fun way to showcase that.   

Can you provide share some tips on how to create the perfect cocktail?

Balance is key. It is very important to add ice to help emulsify the ingredients you are working with. The way a chef needs fire to cook, a great cocktail is at its best when incorporating ice. 

Can you share your favorite cocktails for summer celebrations? 

Without a doubt, one of my favorite Grand Marnier cocktails to create is the Grand Margarita! As I mentioned in The Three Drinkers Cognac episode, you need to work with fresh, quality ingredients and make sure you shakey, shakey, shakey to properly mix that cocktail and get it nice and cold!  Grand Marnier’s unique blend of fine cognac and orange essence enhances this classic cocktail, adding deep layers of complexity that complement the citrus found in a margarita. It’s an extremely well-balanced cocktail and definitely my go-to drink of the summer!

Below, Tiffanie Barriere shares her step-by-step process for the perfect Grand Margarita.

Grand Margarita

Image: Courtesy of Grand Marnier.

Grand Margarita

  • 0.75 parts Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
  • 1.5 parts Tequila
  • 0.75 parts Fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.25 parts Agave Nectar
  • Lime wheel to garnish
  • Salt Optional


  1. Fill a wide, shallow dish with 2-3 mm of fine salt.
  2. Cut a lime in half at the width and rub around half of the rim of a margarita glass.
  3. Cut a thin, crosswise slice from one of the lime halves for garnish.
  4. Holding the glass upside down, dip the wet half delicately into the salt.
  5. Shake Grand Marnier, tequila, and lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  6. Strain into the glass and apply lime garnish to the rim.

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Price: $39

Good & Gather Organic Agave

Price: $6

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