This may be the most important lesson you learn. It’s not an exciting video to watch but it’s a hugely important concept: understanding the difference between Working Flair and Exhibition Flair.
At its simplest definition, Working Flair is any manipulation of objects behind your bar (bottles, tins, ice, etc.) that you do to entertain your guests while you are making drinks at work. Exhibition Flair, on the other hand, is any manipulation of objects (flairing) that you do as part of a performance, show, or competition and is usually longer and more choreographed.
Seems simple enough: Working Flair is done at work, exhibition flair is done at competitions, right? Continue Reading » Flair Bartending Lesson 57: Understanding Working Flair vs Exhibition Flair
Our first combo! When you are a first starting out as a flair bartender you learn a bunch of short simple moves to entertain your friends and guests. Nothing feels better than combining them into a mini-routine. This is a very short combo: we’re putting together the Same Hand Flat Behind the Back with the Flat From Behind the Back. If you’ve got those moves down, this combo should be a piece of cake. Tips to getting the transition between them:
1) Use the momentum of the catch behind your back to bring the bottle around in a big circular motion in front of your face.
2) While the bottle is passing in front of your face, grab the neck of the bottle with your right hand and release your left hand, continuing with the momentum of the bottle to lead you right into the Flat From Behind the Back. When you grab the bottle, it may help to point your index finger toward the bottom of the bottle as part of your preparation for the Flat From Behind the Back.
3) Practice this move at home with a “live” bottle. Get used to how the bottle feels with a little weight (water) inside it and be sure you can transition smooth enough to not spill anything, even when the bottle is upside down.
This is a great basic working flair move that I really dig because when you land it, it just feels good. If you haven’t already gotten comfortable with the Flat Behind the Back, go back and make sure you can do that move. This one is only slightly more difficult but the catch is the same – so if you’ve got that catch down already, then you’re halfway there. Key points to land the Same Hand Flat Behind the Back:
1) Grab the bottle by the body (not the neck or the shoulders.)
2) Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle up and away from you (away to the side, not pointing forward.) The biggest tip to getting this move down is to keep the bottle at this angle the whole time it’s in the air. You want a perfectly static bottle toss – no change in the x, y, or z axis. This way the bottle will be at the same position or angle for the catch.
3) The throw is really a matter of hinging your elbow. Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #14: Same Hand Flat Behind Back
It’s time to take off the training wheels and get into your first difficult, working flair move. The Flat Behind the Back is still considered a basic move, but from my experience it’s the first bottle move we’re going to try that will take a bit of practice to get comfortable with. Here are the key points to successfully learning the Flat Behind the Back:
1) There are two parts to this move: the throw and the catch. Let’s break down and focus on each part.
2) Hold the bottle by the body. When you are first starting, gripping the bottle by the body (not the neck or shoulders) will be the easiest for tossing the bottle without rotating it. Ultimately, you will want to be able to pull the bottle out of the rail Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #12: Flat Behind Back