THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Behind the Bar: Tracie Franklin, Glenfiddich Ambassador

by The Drink Nation on Jun 6, 2017 in Culture

As the Southeastern US representative for Glenfiddich, Tracie Franklin leads an incredibly busy life filled with educational events, client care, and, of course, lots of whisky tastings. For this installment of Behind the Bar, we talked to Franklin about her day-to-day, her performance background, and why she thinks anybody will like scotch if they give it a chance.

Drink Philly (DP): What specifically do you do?
Tracie Franklin (TF): I have the honor of representing Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch in the East from Pennsylvania down to Florida. I host educational opportunities and tasting events which allow guests to experience Glenfiddich in a fun way. I share the history of our family owned distillery, details about our many expressions, and knowledge of the entire whisky category.
 
DP: How did you get your start?
TF: I started out as a professional performer — working on and off Broadway as a dancer, singer and actress. In between tours I worked as a bartender and once I tasted and understood single malt whisky, I was hooked, and wanted to learn more. The more I learned about whisky the more I wanted to share my growing passion with others. A few years ago, there wasn’t a lot of diversity at whisky events or in whisky marketing, and we wanted to change that. So, Jennifer Wren and I started a company which provided entertaining and inclusive whisky education. Our mission was to show that whisky isn’t for a specific “type of person,” but is something anyone can truly enjoy.
 
Sadly, I had to step away from the business after a move to Tampa where I worked as a representative for a couple whisky companies while working at a local whisky bar. Having access to almost 400 whiskies at the bar was a great opportunity to further educate my palate and improve my brand knowledge. I heard Glenfiddich was looking for an ambassador and applied. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the first time I applied I didn’t get it. I kept building more experience in the industry and a year later was offered the role on my honeymoon. I couldn't have imagined a better wedding gift!
 
DP: Describe a typical day.
TF: In this role, there are two very different “typical” days. There are admin days, when I get up early, get on my computer, and spend 8-9 hours catching up on important emails, reports, recaps, etc. That's the part that very few people see. The glamorous days are market visit days — when I meet with managers, discuss new products and answer questions about the brand, teach staff trainings, host dinners for guests and whiskey lovers — and then, to cap off those days, I’ll visit my favorite bars at night to check in and talk about scotch. My days can be long and difficult, but because it's whisky, they're also wonderful.
 
DP: What’s your favorite part of the job?
Helping open up people’s minds to a new category and flavor they didn’t expect to enjoy. A lot of people tell me they “don’t drink scotch” for any variety of reasons, but being able to see their eyes light up after as they realize they do enjoy whisky is so gratifying. Everything in my life so far has been about creating experiences for people, and I love it.
 
DP: Why do you think drinkers gravitate towards whisky?
TF: I think as your palate gets more refined, you look for more complexity. Whisky has a wide variety of distillation and aging techniques which create diverse flavors and aromas. Exploring the variations is so much fun. It’s a spirit that always challenges you because there is always more to learn and taste.
 
DP: What trends do you see happening in whisky?
TF: There’s a lot of exploration happening in whiskey, including Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series. Through experimentation and collaboration we’re creating unique whiskies that will appeal to diverse audiences, like our IPA Cask Finish or the upcoming release Project XX, that focuses on bold flavors. We want people to rethink the way they approach whiskey, and I think that’s starting to happen more.
 
DP: What’s your favorite whisk(e)y cocktail?
TF: It changes so much! Right now I'm obsessed with sherry, especially Manzanilla and Fino, so I like a twist on a Rob Roy with Glenfiddich 12, dry sherry, sweet vermouth, and bitters. I enjoy cocktails that are refreshing and fairly dry on the palate.
 
DP: If you could have a drink with any person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you drink?
TF: I would have a drink with my paternal grandfather, Leo Franklin, who passed when I was young. I remember very little about him but am told he had a soft spot for his first granddaughter. As the son of a sharecropper, he didn't have many resources, and yet persevered and created a comfortable life for is family. I would pour us each a glass of the Glenfiddich 40 year old and listen to long lost stories of turmoil and triumph and as we drink history in a bottle.
 
DP: What advice would you have for someone who wants to do your job?
TF: First, be the best at the job that you currently have. Your hard work will make you stand out and the community will notice. Second, work on your organizational skills. People within the hospitality industry are often very creative and passionate but not always the most disciplined. Being a brand ambassador is a huge amount of responsibility and being organized and efficient is indispensable. Third, figure out what makes your spirit happy and pursue it with a fervor.
 
Photo via Tracie Franklin

Tags: Behind the Bar
Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

For this exciting installment of Behind the Bar, we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liana Oster, the head bartender at Dante in New Yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 7, 2020
Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

PBR has launched their own whiskey. Let's keep an open mind and see what is inside this bottle....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Sep 24, 2019
The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

There's a new investigative series about one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the wine world....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 13, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close