Flair bartending is a series of backhanded throws, catches, bottle balances and in some cases a general show of juggling. ‘Working flair’ is the use of flair for practicality behind the bar.
In the exciting world of modern bartending, there is so much more to serving a drink than simply pouring alcohol into a glass. To stand out from all of the other bartenders out there, you need to give your customers something more than just a delicious drink. What better way to impress than with some amazing working flair moves?
When you’ve got your working flair skills down to a fine art, every move you make while mixing a cocktail is like a choreographed dance. You own the space you work in, control the equipment you use and have a certain panache which sets you apart from other bartenders.
While flair does require a touch of showmanship, it doesn't mean you need to turn the bar into a one-man circus. You need to understand the limits of how often you can execute the tricks of your trade particularly if you're working in a team.
The Benefits of Working Flair
Being able to flair when you're bartending makes getting a job easier and can win you a much more lucrative 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 nightclub in Ibiza or a cocktail bar in Mayfair. You are not going to be the only one applying for the job, but serve the cocktail they ask you to make with some serious flair techniques, and you'll have the advantage over any applicant who has no idea how to flair.
In a working situation, impressing customers with your 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 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 flair if they're prepared to learn. While you may pick up some flair skills by watching YouTube videos and practising at home in front of a mirror, the best way to learn flair techniques is by attending a course presented by flair professionals.
Professional flair bartenders are the ones who really understand the way flair works. During a course, they'll let you in on some of the top tips and tricks to get you flairing 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 the backhand grips and bumps you pull-off will pay you dividends on a professional level too.
Taking Flair to Advanced Flair
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 and hopefully not a dead toss, you'll find your flair vocabulary grows along with your skills. Once you're competent at the basics, you may want to go a step further and take your bartending flair from a basic to advanced level.
European Bartender School's Working Flair and Advanced Flair 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 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 Bartenders School, so when you take the Advanced Flair Course, rest assured you're learning from the very best in the trade.
What Are Flair Competitions?
Flair 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 flairers. There are preliminary heats held at locations all over the world which eventually, after many eliminations, culminate 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 talents 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.
Getting Started With Flair Bartending
Our advice - if you want to add flair bartender to your curriculum, start with the EBS Working Flair Course and start developing your skills. Then, when you're ready, move on to the Advanced Flair Course. Your bartending experience will never be the same again!
Learn flair skills and take your bartending to the next level with an EBS course.