Easy to Learn Bartending Flair
By Stan Schubridge
No, it’s not necessary to know bartending flair. You might work in a dive where people only care about getting their beer. But if you want the top notch clubs in the top notch places, flair is what it takes. There are even flair competitions that can put you and your bar in the spotlight.
Even if you only bartend in your home bar, have fun with bartending flair! Give your home bar a special name and join the competitions. You just might end up with some outstanding awards, and offers.
The Figure Eight
Some flair doesn’t even have to have flipping of the bottle or letting the bottle go at any point. A simple figure eight can be done with the bottle in one hand and the tin in the other. Grab the neck of the bottle so that your thumb is facing down on the bottle.
Grab the tin with the thumb and the middle finger so that it’s loose to flip. Hinge it over the back of your hand and get ready for the move. Bring the tin around in a circle so that your wrist flips away from you. At the same time, bring the bottle around so that you interlock wrists where the bottle is facing down into the tin. Make it grandiose. Make the motions in huge sweeping circles so that it looks grander than it actually is.
Next is a simple motion, but you have to complete it to make it look nice. Bring the bottle under the elbow of the hand holding the tin. Allow your hand on the tin to twist as you bring it around. Remember, you are pouring in this motion. So, keep the bottle and the tin connected. The tin always remains down or in motion so that gravity has a chance to do its job.
You are not finished. Finish the motion with one last twist bringing the tin now toward your chest and then dropping down so that it looks like you have made one complete figure eight motion from the point your wrists were interlocked. It looks like magic, but neither the tin nor the bottle ever left your hand at any given time.
Many times if you look at the bartender doing flair, you’ll see that the tin is what is being flipped. Not the bottle. Of course, bottles get flipped and it looks great when the bartender knows what she or he is doing. But, here’s a simple trick that really makes you look good.
Holding the bottle in one hand, bring it around in a circle. Holding the tin in the other hand, simply throw it in the air in front of you as the bottle crosses your other hand. Catch the tin on the way down. Add more flair by flipping the tin. That’s it! That’s as easy as flair gets and it looks great doing it.
A Step Further
With the tin move mentioned earlier, add some flair to make it look like something even more special. Make it look like you’re juggling, but it’s not hard at all. The bottle leaves your hand for a second as they pass each other and catch it on the other side.
Flip the tin on the pass. Catch the bottle. Pass three times, and then pour an ounce to an ounce and a half holding the bottle upside down above the tin with your arms in a figure-four headlock type configuration. It’s the sweetest move and you don’t need juggling practice to figure out how to make it work.
There are some really complex bartending flair moves. But if you learn the basics, you can begin to get the feel for what flair really is. Then, take it a step further as far as your imagination and ability can go.
Stan Schubridge is a beer enthusiast who loves tasting new beers and attending beer events. Staying up to date on new innovations in beer and beer products keeps Stan on top of the beer world. You can read a great deal about beer from beer brewing to new inventions at Beertaps Learning Center. Stay up to date with invaluable beer and home bar information by subscribing to our newsletter. While you’re there, take a look at our Beertaps Store and get anything you need for your own home bar.