Today’s flair lesson is more garnish flair. Bottle and tin flair is great fun, but garnish flair can be really effective 1) when you don’t have lots of extra time to flair bottles but still want to give your guests a little something extra, 2) as a perfect way to end a longer sequence or flair routine, either for your guests or at a competition, or 3) when you’re new to flair bartending and need some easier-to-learn moves.
I’m using a 28 oz. weighted cocktail shaker in this video, like I use for nearly all of my flair lessons. The weight on the bottom helps smooth out the rotation of the shaker.
Before anyone barks at me and tells me this move is unsanitary because you are putting the garnish on the back of your hand: I know, sort of. If you wash your hands frequently at work like you should be doing, I don’t see how this is any less sanitary than touching the fruit with your fingertips – I’d imagine the back of your hand is actually more sanitary as you touch less things with it than you do your fingertips. Either way, it’s a moot point. If your guest likes it, do it. If they don’t, save it for competitions or exhibition flair.
The Tin Garnish #3 works best with limes though lemons and oranges should work just fine, too. They are generally a little bigger which can make them a little more difficult to accurately snatch them out of the air without sending them flying across the room. But, you know, practice, practice, and you’ll get get it down.
One lime is placed on the knuckles of your outstretched fingers; the other lime is placed squarely on the back of your hand. As you flick your wrist to propel the limes in the air, this should allow the lime on your knuckles to travel higher, while the lime on the back of your hand will fly shorter (this is the first lime you catch.)
The key to getting this flair lesson – other than practice, practice – is to practice each lime separately. Like all “2 item” moves, you should remove one of the items and then mimic the motion of it still being there. In this instance, start with just the first lime at the back of your hand. Practice tossing it up, catching it, and mimicking through the motion of snatching the second lime. Got that down? Good. Now move the lime to the front of your hand – this will be the 2nd lime that you throw higher and catch last. Practice tossing it up, go through the motion of catching the first lime – even though it’s not there – then snatch the actual second lime. Once you’re comfortable with the movement and can catch the lime in either position, add the 2nd lime and do the whole maneuver.
Be sure to focus on the lime that you are catching. Looking ahead to the next lime in anticipation will make it harder to catch each one. One lime at a time.
Bottle and tin flair is great fun, but garnish flair can be really effective 1) when you don’t have lots of extra time to flair bottles but still want to give your guests a little something extra, 2) as a perfect way to end a longer sequence or flair routine, either for your guests or at a competition, or 3) when you’re new to flair bartending and need some easier-to-learn moves.
I’m using a 28 oz. weighted cocktail shaker in this video, like I use for nearly all of my videos. The weight on the bottom helps smooth out the rotation of the shaker.
The key to getting this particular move down is making sure you are comfortable with the Double Over the Shoulder and the Double Over Shoulder to Stall. The videos in those lessons use a bottle, but as I explain at the end of the first video, the technique is the same for doing this with a tin. Once you are comfortable doing the Double Over the Shoulder to Stall with a tin, today’s lesson is simply doing that – but starting by tossing a lime in the air and swiping down to catch it in the tin.
The Tin Garnish #2 works with just about any fruit garnish: cherry, lime, lemon, orange . You can even do this with an ice cube – which is actually a cheaper/easier thing to practice at home with.
Practice, practice – more garnish flair to come tomorrow!
We’ve got a new flair video coming to us every day this week, focusing on fun ways to garnish a cocktail. Bottle and tin flair is great fun, but garnish flair can be really effective 1) when you’re new and need some easier-to-learn moves, 2) when you don’t have lots of extra time to flair bottles but still want to give your guests a little something extra, and 3) as a perfect way to end a longer sequence or flair routine, either for your guests or at a competition.
The Tin Garnish #1 here is a relatively simple move. It’s essentially just a behind the back throw with a garnish with one hand, then a behind the back throw with the other hand. These kinds of moves are why I talked during the first few videos about the importance of practicing ambidextrously – with both hands.
The Tin Garnish #1 works with just about any fruit garnish: cherry, lime, lemon, orange . You can even do this with an ice cube – which is actually a cheaper/easier thing to practice at home with.
This week’s flair bartender lesson is getting a cocktail tin to go all the way “Around the World” – down one arm, across your chest and down the other arm. Start by making sure you are already comfortable with the Tin Roll Down the Arm. From there, the move is just an extension or a continuation across your chest and other arm.
Quick note about cocktail tins: for a detailed explanation, you should watch my product review of the 28 oz. Weighted Tin, but here’s the basics. Also known as cocktail shakers, tins, Boston shakers, or Mako shakers, the standard cocktail shaker that bartenders use to make drinks (and flair bartenders use to flip) are 28 ounces. You can also find 16 oz.and 18 oz. tins that are used in place of a pint glass to top or cap off a 28 oz. tin when shaking a drink. Those come in handy down the road, but for now make sure you are using a 28 oz. tin. As for whether you should get Weighted or Unweighted – watch the review. The tin I am using in the video is a Neon Shaker – they act and feel just like regular tins but are a little flashier. If you’re not into neon, you can get Candy Coated or Powder Coated tins in a variety of other colors.
Tips for getting the Tin Around the World:
1) Start with the proper grip on the tin. With your arm extended out to the side, hold the tin so the open part is facing behind you. Place your middle finger just above the mid-point of the tin and wrap your hand around it.
2) Practice flicking or spinning your wrist and releasing the tin. What you’re aiming for is to get a nice spin on the tin without it wobbling. Don’t try the “roll down” part yet – practice getting this spin down a few dozen times.
3) Once you can get an easy, stable spin on the tin, try placing your hand underneath it once you release it. Your arm should be extended pretty much straight out – maybe just the very slightest angle up. Let the momentum of the tin do the work as it rolls.
4) Baby steps. Try just getting it to roll to your forearm. Then your elbow. Then your bicep. Work on these baby steps, making sure it falls forward where you can catch it rather than behind you, and eventually you’ll be able to roll this all the way to your neck or chest.
5) Once you can consistently roll the tin to your chest, focus on trying to get it to touch your left bicep. It helps to drop your arm down a little bit – gravity will take effect and your left arm will not be out nearly as straight as your right arm was. By the time I finish the Around the World, my left hand (and the tin) are usually between my chest and my belly button.
We’re finally starting to get into some more impressive moves on our journey into flairtending. The Double Over the Shoulder into a Stall is a clean, impressive, exhibition flair move that is the perfect addition to our previous moves.
First of all, make sure you are already comfortable with the Double Over the Shoulder as well as the Stall and Flip Stall – this move is really just a combination of those flair moves. Probably doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re good with the previous move, the Double Over Shoulder into Tin, either, since this is just a slight variation of that move.
I’ll say it again: practice those previous moves until you can get them 90% of the time. If you do that, Continue Reading » Flairtending Lesson #66: Double Over Shoulder Into Stall