Flair Bartending Lesson 89: Garnish #4 Behind Back to Glass

 

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.

The Tin Garnish #4 works with almost any garnish: limes, lemons, oranges, cherries, etc.

Hopefully, by this stage in the tutorials, you are comfortable with the basic behind the back throw. This is really simple adaptation of that move, just using a garnish – like a lime or cherry – and the drink you’re about to serve to the guest. Nothing too ridiculously difficult or challenging here – however, guests often get a big kick out of it. On that note, as a flair bartender, it’s important to vary up your flair. I tend to rely a lot on bottle/tin flair, but sometimes just doing a simple garnish flair move like this will make my guests smile even more than the most wicked bottle/tin routine.

The most important thing here is to be sure you are NOT SPILLING the drink at all. Two tips to avoid spilling:

1) Practice the throw until you  are ridiculously consistent. Be able to hit your target (the glass) every time without moving it at all.

2) There’s no reason you can’t garnish the drink before it’s done. Ice the glass, pour the alcohol into it, then do the garnish flair before you top off the drink with juice or tonic or whatever.

Flair Lesson 88: Tin Garnish #3 – Two Limes

 

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.

 

Flair Bartending Lesson 87: Tin Garnish #2

 

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!

Flair Bartending TV Lesson 86: Tin Garnish #1

 

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.