Stamping your own style on cocktail-making takes time and commitment. Whilst it can be incredibly frustrating, it doesn’t have to be messy as well! Part of the beauty of cocktails is the performance and personality of the bartenders who make them. If you want your bar to be known for flair and fun, but don’t want spilt drinks and broken bottles, it’s time to get some flair bottles in!
Flair bartending is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first injection of fun into the world of bartending was from Jerry Thomas, known as “The Professor”, in the 1800s. When pouring his customers a Blue Blazer, a drink that combines Whiskey and boiling water, he would ignite the whiskey and pour it from one container into another, forming a flaming arc. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that flair bartending really took off, and it’s all thanks to TGI Fridays. They began to make flair bartending a job requirement and started the “Bar Olympics”. One of their bartenders, John Bandy, even trained Tom Cruise for the film ‘Cocktail’.
Being a flair bartender is about finesse and fun. Whilst there is a basic repertoire of tricks and movements, there’s huge room for a bartender’s individuality to shine through. Tricks can be done with bottles, cans, glasses, spoons, jiggers, ice tongs, and virtually any piece of barware. But it’s probably best to get started with a bottle that can teach you the most essential principles.
If you’re flair bartending with a bottle, the trick will likely lead to a free pour. The Pro-Pour Training Aid facilitates accurately measured free pours so that bartenders can really get a feel for an accurate free pour when unaided.