Flair Bartending Lesson 89: Garnish #4 Behind Back to Glass


Today’s flair lesson is more garnish flair. Bottle and tin flair is great fun, but garnish flair can be really effective 1) when you don’t have lots of extra time to flair bottles but still want to give your guests a little something extra, 2) as a perfect way to end a longer sequence or flair routine, either for your guests or at a competition, or 3) when you’re new to flair bartending and need some easier-to-learn moves.

The Tin Garnish #4 works with almost any garnish: limes, lemons, oranges, cherries, etc.

Hopefully, by this stage in the tutorials, you are comfortable with the basic behind the back throw. This is really simple adaptation of that move, just using a garnish – like a lime or cherry – and the drink you’re about to serve to the guest. Nothing too ridiculously difficult or challenging here – however, guests often get a big kick out of it. On that note, as a flair bartender, it’s important to vary up your flair. I tend to rely a lot on bottle/tin flair, but sometimes just doing a simple garnish flair move like this will make my guests smile even more than the most wicked bottle/tin routine.

The most important thing here is to be sure you are NOT SPILLING the drink at all. Two tips to avoid spilling:

1) Practice the throw until you  are ridiculously consistent. Be able to hit your target (the glass) every time without moving it at all.

2) There’s no reason you can’t garnish the drink before it’s done. Ice the glass, pour the alcohol into it, then do the garnish flair before you top off the drink with juice or tonic or whatever.

Flair Bartending Lesson #59: Double From Behind Back

Our second exhibition flair move is another relatively easy one. Again, exhibition flair means that you’re using less than a 1/4 full bottle. If you try this with a bottle more than 1/4 full you WILL be spraying everywhere.

For starters, it helps if you can do a Flat From Behind Back – this is essentially just an exhibition version of that move. Focus on getting a double rotation rather than a single. Not only does the double look flashier but it will also buy you more time and even help to keep from spilling.

For a little variety, practice catching with either hand. Also, toy around with where you’re catching the bottle – out to the side or more in front of you.


Flair Bartending Lesson #58: Double Behind the Back

We start our adventure into exhibition flair with a pretty simple move here. If you’ve been following along with the previous lessons, this one should be pretty simple. It’s real similar to our Flat Behind the Back except we’re adding a spin to the bottle. Most importantly, focus on getting a double spin. I promise you: a single rotation looks a little weird and is a bit too slow, a triple spin can be a little too difficult to control and a bit unnecessary.

Focus on getting a consistent throw. Remember Continue Reading » Flair Bartending Lesson #58: Double Behind the Back

Flair Lesson #35: Repeating Circle Swipe Thru with Behind Back Catch

Make sure you are already able to rock the Repeating Circle Swipe Thru – this move is a variation on the ending. If you’ve got the Repeating Circle Swipe Thru down, this move should be pretty simple. The only difference is that instead of catching the tin in front of your body, you catch it behind your back.

Go through the steps of the Repeating Circle Swipe Thru. On the last step, throw the tin from your left hand up in the air like you normally would but a bit more straight up in the air – you don’t want it to cross your body. Instead of reaching out to catch it, step forward with your right foot and turn your right shoulder down and in for a left-hand catch behind the back. The catch should be Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #35: Repeating Circle Swipe Thru with Behind Back Catch

Flair Lesson #12: Flat Behind Back

It’s time to take off the training wheels and get into your first difficult, working flair move. The Flat Behind the Back is still considered a basic move, but from my experience it’s the first bottle move we’re going to try that will take a bit of practice to get comfortable with. Here are the key points to successfully learning the Flat Behind the Back:

1) There are two parts to this move: the throw and the catch. Let’s break down and focus on each part.

2) Hold the bottle by the body. When you are first starting, gripping the bottle by the body (not the neck or shoulders) will be the easiest for tossing the bottle without rotating it. Ultimately, you will want to be able to pull the bottle out of the rail Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #12: Flat Behind Back