Flair Bartending Lesson 97: Tin Lift Off

This week’s lesson is my favorite kind: good bottle/tin working flair. These kinds of moves are practical for while you are at work behind the bar – you can do them with nearly any bottle filled to any level.

It can take some practice to get the double tin flip to land on the bottle but don’t give up. I still miss from time to time at work and when I do, it’s sometimes play it off like I meant to do that. I’ll grab another tin and “try” again, and this time I’ll completely miss it – like throw it over my shoulder or behind my back. I’ll tell my guests that “Third time’s a charm” – and then make sure I actually land it on the third time. Remember, flair bartending is about performance. Of course, the technical maneuvers are the basis for what we do – but don’t forget to have fun and let your personality shine through. Make it a show, regardless of your skill level. If you’ve ever seen really good street performers (or buskers as they’re known outside the US), oftentimes they don’t perform juggling moves that are too incredibly difficult – but they “sell it.” They hype it up. They put on a show. They involve their crowd. They let their personality shine through and you can tell they’re having fun, which is infectious. They only perform at 60-70% of their technical skill level – they need to make sure they land the moves 100% of the times, otherwise they have a hard time “selling it.”

Also remember, with that Flat Behind the Back part of the move, it’s really more of a lift and drop than it is a throw or toss.

Stay tuned to this site and my Facebook page for some big news coming next week. In the meantime, practice, practice!


Flair Lesson #8: Change Grip Arm Roll Down with Tin

Hey, whaddya know: another add-on to the Change Grip Around the Head? Crazy, I know. This move isn’t really more difficult than the previous sequence of moves, but I wanted to make a separate video for this move for two reasons:

1) It is our first flair move involving two objects!

2) This lesson is meant to illustrate the fact that even if the drink you are making doesn’t need to be shaken in a mixing tin, you can still use one while you are flairing. A ton of the flair bartending moves we’re going to be learning use 1 bottle and 1 mixing tin. I’d like to think I’m a pretty smart guy, but it wasn’t until I sat at my first flair bar – two years after starting to learn flair moves – that I watched the bartenders flip a bottle and tin, pour the liquor into the tin, and then pour the tin into the glass they served me. This was actually revelatory for me. I thought you only grabbed a tin if you needed to shake a martini. Maybe you’re smarter than me, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to point it out. (See the video 2:21 and 2:35 for what I’m talking about.)