Flair Lesson #17: Flip Stall

The Flip Stall is our first venture into what is called Exhibition Flair. I’m working on filming a video that explains the difference between Working Flair and Exhibition Flair, but if you’re reading this, then I haven’t finished or uploaded the video yet. Or, possibly, I forgot to link to that video. Email me and remind me. For now, what you need to know is that this move should only be done with a nearly empty bottle – anything more than 1/4 full bottle and you will end up spraying everywhere.¬†Practice at home with a water-filled bottle and learn to recognize the sweet spot where you can do this without spilling.

I wish someone would have told me this when I was starting, Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #17: Flip Stall

Flair Lesson #16: The Stall

Whether you are brand new to flair bartending or you have been doing it for years, the Stall is a move that you’re going to be using more often than nearly any other move. When people watch a really good flair bartender, often they get engrossed with all of the bottle movement but they aren’t really aware of everything that is going on – just that a bunch of stuff is flying through the air. Flair bartenders use the Stall as a perfect way to pause or punctuate their routine, like a dancer hitting their mark, to give the crowd a moment to stop and cheer. Bonus points if they can do it in time with the music.

The Stall is essentially nothing more than Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #16: The Stall

Flair Lesson #15: First Combo

Our first combo! When you are a first starting out as a flair bartender you learn a bunch of short simple moves to entertain your friends and guests. Nothing feels better than combining them into a mini-routine. This is a very short combo: we’re putting together the Same Hand Flat Behind the Back with the Flat From Behind the Back. If you’ve got those moves down, this combo should be a piece of cake. Tips to getting the transition between them:

1) Use the momentum of the catch behind your back to bring the bottle around in a big circular motion in front of your face.

2) While the bottle is passing in front of your face, grab the neck of the bottle with your right hand and release your left hand, continuing with the momentum of the bottle to lead you right into the Flat From Behind the Back. When you grab the bottle, it may help to point your index finger toward the bottom of the bottle as part of your preparation for the Flat From Behind the Back.

3) Practice this move at home with a “live” bottle. Get used to how the bottle feels with a little weight (water) inside it and be sure you can transition smooth enough to not spill anything, even when the bottle is upside down.


Flair Lesson #14: Same Hand Flat Behind Back

This is a great basic working flair move that I really dig because when you land it, it just feels good. If you haven’t already gotten comfortable with the Flat Behind the Back, go back and make sure you can do that move. This one is only slightly more difficult but the catch is the same – so if you’ve got that catch down already, then you’re halfway there. Key points to land the Same Hand Flat Behind the Back:

1) Grab the bottle by the body (not the neck or the shoulders.)

2) Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle up and away from you (away to the side, not pointing forward.) The biggest tip to getting this move down¬†is to keep the bottle at this angle the whole time it’s in the air. You want a perfectly static bottle toss – no change in the x, y, or z axis. This way the bottle will be at the same position or angle for the catch.

3) The throw is really a matter of hinging your elbow. Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #14: Same Hand Flat Behind Back

Flair Lesson #13: Flat From Behind Back

This is a great beginning, working flair bartending move that can be absolutely frustrating when you are first starting out. This is an important move to get comfortable with and will be useful in a number of future routines. My advice for learning the Flat From Behind the Back:

1) Let’s start with your grip on the bottle. Start by placing the pour spout directly in the middle of your palm and wrapping your fingers around the neck of the bottle – specifically with your index/pointer finger pointing all the way toward the bottom of the bottle. This move really depends on your finger movement, and that really depends on your proper grip of the bottle. As the bottle passes the center of your body, focus on pushing the neck of the bottle forward, against the natural motion of the bottle, to keep it from spinning. Use your pointer finger to push the neck of the bottle, counter-acting the natural spin on the bottle.

2) Ideally we want to to be able to do this move Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #13: Flat From Behind Back