Flair bartending is a series of backhanded throws, catches, bottle balances and in some cases a general show of juggling. If you use this type of flair behind the bar, then this is called 'working flair'.
In the exciting world of modern bartending, there’s so much more to making cocktails than pouring and serving. You need to stand out and what better way to do so than a bit of working flair bartending!
You have to think of working flair bartending as choreography. Bartenders are required to make a drink whilst also entertaining awaiting customers. Learn flair skills and your limitations to be the best flair bartender you can be…
Benefits of working flair bartending
Being able to flair when you're bartending makes getting a job much easier and can win you a better salary. Bar owners in busy resorts or big cities want top-notch bartenders who put that extra effort into their profession. Imagine arriving for an interview for a bartending position at a fantastic bar in Ibiza or Mayfair. You are not going to be the only one applying for the job. At the trial, serve the cocktail with some serious flair techniques and you'll have the advantage over any applicant who is not skilled in working flair bartending.
Behind the bar, impressing customers with your working flair skills is a guaranteed way of increasing tips and as all bartenders know, the more tips you can get, the better. Surprise your clients with some super smooth flair bartending moves, and you'll be hearing those magic words – "keep the change" – a lot more often than you ever expected!
How to learn flair bartending
Can anyone learn how to flair? If that's a question you're asking yourself, then the answer is yes! Anyone can learn the bartender basics of flair bartending, if they're prepared to learn and practise. While you may pick up some bar tricks by watching YouTube videos and practising at home in front of a mirror, the best way to learn these flair techniques is by attending a course presented by professional flair bartenders.
Professional flair bartenders are the ones who really understand the way of the flair. During a course, they'll let you in on some of the top tips and tricks to get you fair bartending quicker. Yes, achieving the fluidity of movement takes time and dedicated practice. Don't expect to reach Tom Dyer level overnight. Start with the basics, practise them to perfection and you'll find your efforts not only personally rewarding but pay off on a professional level.
Advanced flair bartending
Once you get started learning the ins and outs of flair bartending, you'll soon realise it has a terminology all of its own. Whether you execute a roll or a grind (but hopefully not a dead toss) you'll find your vocabulary grows along with your flair skills. Once you're competent at the basics, you may want to go a step further and take your flair bartending level from basic to advanced.
European Bartender School's flair bartending courses have been created by some of the best flair bartenders in the world. They are all only too happy to pass on their wealth of knowledge and expertise so aspiring flairers can reach the orange-level standards required for the World Flair Association certification. On the course, not only will you learn creative moves but also moves which will take your flairing abilities to competition level. It's not easy. In fact, it can be downright challenging, but as the saying goes, nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Tom Dyer, one of the world's most renowned flair bartenders, is on the education board of European Bartender School, so when you take one of our courses, rest assured you're learning from the very best in the trade.
What are flair bartending competitions?
Flair bartending competitions are the place to show off all the advanced flair moves you've practised to perfection while competing on the podium against other great flair bartenders. There are preliminary heats held all over the world which, eventually, culminates in the World Flair Grand Final.
Don't be disappointed if you enter and don't make it through the early rounds. The top flair bartenders like Tom Dyer, Alexander Shtifanov and Tim Morris are exceptional at what they do and fantastic examples to watch, learn from and emulate until you develop your own winning style.
How to start learning flair bartending
Our advice - if you want to add flair bartender to your curriculum, start with the EBS Working Flair Course and develop your flair bartending skills. Then, when you're ready, move on to the EBS Flair Bartending Course. Your bartending experience will never be the same again!