Women in Spirits

Women in Spirits

In the world of mixology, women are stepping up to the challenge and behind the bar with skill and style, shaking up traditions and pouring out their passion for craft cocktails.

In the celebration of International Women's Day, SoMixxy features the vibrant personalities and masterful artisans who are redefining the art of mixology - each with a unique story to tell through the spirits they're behind.
Fawn Weaver

Fawn Weaver

Founder, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

How Fawn Weaver Created Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey From Hidden History


Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest CEO, has been a serial entrepreneur for 25 years.

While she was abroad in Singapore with her husband, Weaver saw a photo of Jack Daniel and George Green, the son of a previously unknown master whiskey distiller, Uncle Nearest. And through that, she learned of Uncle Nearest, the man who taught Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee whiskey.

After learning about Uncle Nearest and Jack Daniel's interconnected history, Weaver followed the story down to Tennessee, which led her to purchase the 300-acre farm in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Nearest taught Jack how to distill.

Despite having zero experience in distilling, Weaver opened the Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee in 2016 which steadily became the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history, the best-selling African American-founded spirit brand of all time, and the most award-winning American whiskey (including bourbon) of 2019, 2020, and 2021.


Victoria Eady Butler

Master Blender, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey



Victoria Eady Butler is the great-great-granddaughter of the whiskey brand's namesake, Nearest Green. She initially joined the Uncle Nearest team in March 2019 as the VP of Administration. But, later that year, she was appointed as the distillery's Master Blender.

Eady Butler's undeniable talent for selecting and blending whiskeys elevated her to the role of master blender after her first batch of 1884 Small Batch Whiskey earned numerous awards. including Best American Whiskey at the China Wine & Spirits Awards, a distinction earned again stateside in 2021 at the prestigious Ascot Awards.

The appointment also made her the first African American master blender for a major spirit brand. Eady Butler has since earned multiple recognitions for her achievements, including being honored as Master Blender of the Year by The Spirits Business and VinePair.

In 2022, she made history as the first person to win back-to-back Master Blender of the Year titles at Whisky Magazine’s American Icons of Whisky Awards.



Tiffanie Barriere

“The Drinking Coach”

About — Tiffanie Barriere

Tiffanie Barriere is the bartender’s bartender.

She's an influencer and educator who has been awarded with some of the beverage industry’s highest honors.

The Bar Smart graduate is a Tastemakers of the South award-winner who spent seven years as the beverage director of One Flew South the “Best Airport Bar in the World.”

As an independent bartender, she's known for creative and innovative cocktail menus for pop dinners and consultancy clients. She also hosts mixology classes around the nation and connects culinary and farm culture with spirits.

As a leader, she is a member of the Tales of the Cocktail Grants Committee, the James Beard Beverage Advisory Board, and a member of the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier.

The Louisiana-Texas native is the trustworthy mentor of some of the best bartenders and mixologists in the world and remains a goal of education, service and fun with every pour.


Dia Simms

CEO, Lobos 1707


Dia Simms is an American business executive, entrepreneur, philanthropist and speaker.

She has a proven track record with a proficiency in driving sales while optimizing operational efficiencies to maximize revenue. Dia possesses a mastery in skillful negotiation, problem-solving, and an ability to lead high-performing creative and business teams.

Currently, Simms is the CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal, a new independent spirits brand that launched in November 2020.

Simms leads Lobos 1707 alongside Founder and Chief Creative Officer Diego Osorio with early backing by sports and cultural icon, LeBron James.

Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal is named after the Spanish word lobos, meaning "wolves", and dedicated to celebrating the strength of the pack. Simms brings an impressive track record of building successful brands, combined with her entrepreneurial spirit and deep expertise in the spirits industry to Lobos 1707.


Samara Rivers

Founder, Black Bourbon Society

About Samara Rivers, Chief Bourbon Enthusiast — Black Bourbon Society

Samara Rivers, Chief Bourbon Enthusiast, Founder - is a seasoned event planner and experiential marketing producer.

As an influencer within the African American Community, Samara consults and advocates for diversity and inclusion in direct consumer marketing standards and the importance of having ‘a seat at the table’ within the spirits industry.  She is a certified Executive Bourbon Steward, co-hosts a weekly podcast with her life partner, Armond Davis, Bonded In Bourbon, and writes a monthly column for The Bourbon Zeppelin. Samara also speaks and moderates panel discussions at festivals across the country and hosts private educational whiskey tasting seminars and events.



Elise Som

Co-Founder & Director, Mijenta Tequila
Female Disruptors: Elise Som of Mijenta Tequila

Elise Som is the Co-Founder and Director of Sustainability for Mijenta Tequila, the additive-free, sustainable tequila brand and the only one to earn B Corp certification.

Elise pursued her master’s in sustainability from Harvard University and Parsons, the New School of Design.

Born and raised in Paris by immigrant parents, Elise moved to the US to attend school, while also getting exposure in the hospitality and nightlife industry by working at top clubs like 1 Oak and Marquee. She then ran the interior department for Sir David Adjaye’s before starting her own design company, Elise Som Design Studio, in 2012.

Making the decision to move back to London to pursue broader sustainable designs, Elise connected with Bacardi and began making furniture from used bottles. It was there she met Mike Dolan and the two of them, along with Juan Coronado, founded Mijenta, where she leads the brand’s design and branding practices and is dedicated to the brand’s transparency and sustainability.

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