Award-Winning Mixologist & Educator Tiffanie Barriere Shares Her Recipes for the Perfect Wintertime Cocktail
Celebrating time off during this time of the year looks different due to the pandemic. Many of us have become the best bakers, crafters, mixologists, and the list of skills goes on. Though imbibing with loved ones in this special season may be done at a distance, we have you covered. Mixologist, educator, and influencer Tiffanie Barriere is known for her palate, cocktail recipes, and advocacy for representation within the spirits industry.
We enlisted the aid of Barriere to create two wintry libations listed below. The inspiration behind both drinks is simplicity. “You want to make something that's easy but savory at the same time when you're doing holidays. So if it's just five people or a houseful, these cocktails are just quick ingredients that you don't have to source out and they're not expensive. You can make them small or big, and I'm all about easy because you don't want to stay in the kitchen that whole time,” Barriere says.
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Before we got into the recipes, we had an opportunity to chat with Barriere about her 20 years in the industry, her favorite minority-owned spirit brands, and the forthcoming launch of her cocktail kit.
Reflecting on your 20-year tenure in spirits, what would you say have been some highlights?
The people. There’s never a dull day. The people you meet across the bar become your best friends. They become your therapist; you become theirs. You see things grow, jobs change. That's the excitement for me on that side. Then, on the other side, there are the competitions, and then victories and the losses, and the spaces to travel and learn the trade itself and visit distilleries and other countries and see where things are made and really grab ahold to what really is in the bottle and why.
Awesome. From experience, there aren’t too many women of color in the industry that can lend their voice or actually have a platform. So, how would you say you're using yours for good?
Just being honest and transparent is what makes people really comfortable and vulnerable. Vulnerability was looked at as something very intimidating and not safe years ago. Now when you open up and talk about your trials and your challenges and your victories, you say them out loud, and other people can relate. The Black community doesn't relate too often because we're sometimes cheated, embarrassed, or just not thinking that we're qualified. So, when you start to talk out loud about what you're doing, people are like, “You know what? Me too.” So, being able to speak on any podium, I can talk on interviews, great interviews, I'm always going to speak towards what's actually going on in my life. Even if it's good or bad, I'm still going to raise a glass to it. I find that that really opens up the conversation for Black women and Black men to understand and go, “Me too.” Also, bartending is not always looked at as a real job. It’s usually looked at as “the help” or that we're drunks and things like that. So, being a Black woman in this industry, I’m showcasing some elegance, definitely education, and a turn-up.
Love it. What are some of your favorite cocktail equipment or spirits and wine that are by creators of color?
Fantastic question. So, I love every spirit, but the rum category is thriving right now. Equiano Rum, Black-owned. Ten to One Rum, Black-owned. We know Uncle Nearest has a space for all of us in our hearts for whiskey. I'm sipping on some Vulcan Gin out of Birmingham. That's Charles Barkley. It’s not too often that you want to jump directly behind a celebrity in what they're doing, but he did a phenomenal job showcasing great flavor profiles. The gin is stunning.
Any bar equipment?
I’m actually gearing up myself to work on some really cool bar equipment. It's totally what I'm manifesting. I can't reinvent the wheel, but I've been working on creating the perfect cocktail kit. You can go to the department store and find those pretty things, but when you get home, they're not always functional. So, I'm working on curating the perfect cocktail toolbox that involves a cutting board and a knife specifically for your fruit for cocktails, the perfect shaker, the perfect juicer, things that are just for your bar kit, and not these mismatched things. I've been working on it for a little over six months, and packaging and what it'll look like. I applied for a grant to get some help on it. So, I'm in the very beginning stages of it.
That’s exciting! So, tell me about the two cocktails you're creating for us.
I love the holidays. That brings about a lot of good baking spices and familiar smells from the kitchen - and we’re going to do that in a glass. The apple jam Old Fashioned incorporates a spoon or two of apple jelly or jam, a little bit of Angostura bitters, and your favorite brown spirit. You can use another spirit if you want. I don't like to be particular about the Old Fashioned. It doesn't have to be brown spirit. You could use your favorite. When you incorporate that jam with a little bit of bitters, you can add a little more sweetener like honey or molasses, and throw your favorite spirit in there, stir it cold. You will sip it, and it just feels like Santa, so warm and fun. Apples always make people really happy.
Then, there's a spritz that I like to do. It’s like a holiday punchy kind of spritz. It’s just pomegranate juice, some apple cider, some honey, and a little nutmeg on top. You can choose to put the spirit in there, or it could be nonalcoholic. Then, you can top out with a little bit of bubbles, be it ginger beer, club soda, champagne, or however you want to roll.
Spiced Apple Old Fashioned
- 2 oz. favorite brown spirit (whiskey, cognac, dark rum, aged tequila) I prefer dark rum.
- 1/2 oz. maple syrup
- 1 spoon apple jam or apple butter
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
Add apple jelly/butter with bitters in a rocks glass and stir with a spoon until loose. Add your favorite brown spirit. Stir. Add a large ice cube and stir cold for 15 seconds. Garnish with orange slices.
- 2 oz. favorite spirit (optional)
- 1 oz. pomegranate juice
- 1 oz. apple cider
- 1/2 oz. honey syrup (3:1 honey to warm water)
- Ginger beer or champagne or sparkling wine
Combine pomegranate juice, honey syrup, and apple cider in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake cold for 10 seconds. Strain into a large wine glass or highball glass with fresh ice. Top with bubbles. Stir and garnish with rosemary, orange or nutmeg, or all!