Flair Lesson #9: Arm Roll Down into Pour

I promise this is the last of the Change Grip Around the Head variations before we move on to some other flair moves.

Keys to getting this move down:

1) Use your thumb and middle finger to grab the opposite sides at the very top of the tin. You should be able to swing or “hinge” back and forth comfortably.

2) Learn to “hinge” the tin with one hand while you grip change the bottle around your head with the other hand simultaneously. Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #9: Arm Roll Down into Pour

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.)


Flair Lesson #6: Change Grip into Flat Behind Back

When we’re just getting started as a flair bartender, I like to treat moves like building blocks: we start with small moves that we can combine together into making slightly cooler moves or even “mini-routines.” This Around the Head Grip Change is a great starting building block.

For this particular move, the Change Grip into Flat Behind the Back, make sure you’re comfortable with Lesson #5: Change Grip with Fencer’s Flourish. We’re just adding a new ending to that move, which is the catch behind the back. My tips for how to get comfortable with the behind the back catch: Continue Reading » Flair Lesson #6: Change Grip into Flat Behind Back

Flair Lesson #5: Change Grip with Fencer’s Flourish

In this video, we are simply adding a different finish to the Change Grip Around the Head maneuver that we should already be comfortable with. As with nearly all moves, practice this first at home with an empty bottle or a FlairCo practice bottle. Once you are comfortable with this move – BEFORE you try this at work – be sure to practice it at home with a “live” bottle.

My practice area at home always has FlairCo practice bottles, empty glass bottles, 1/4 full glass bottles, and 1/2 full glass bottels. When I learn new moves, I try them with my FlairCo practice bottles until I can get the move down 90% of the time. Then I switch to a real “live” empty glass bottle. It’s good to get used to the slight difference in feel. Then I upgrade to a bottle that has a little bit of water in it, just to see how the move will feel when I do it at work and to make sure I’m not spilling. Finally, if it’s a working flair move, I finish by practicing with a 1/2 full bottle to make sure that I can perform the move without spilling a drop.

Flair Lesson #4: Change Grip Around the Head

A bit of a twist on the previous change grip move, lesson four here can be a bit tricky at first but will become a piece of cake after a little practice. It’s also a great starting point for a ton of moves that we’ll be learning in the next few videos.

You can “cheat” a little when you practice the throw by placing your left hand just to the left of your head and using that to catch your throw. After you’ve gotten comfortable with the throw, try catching it with the same hand you used to throw the bottle. Be sure to move your hand above or around your head – don’t blind yourself with your arm and make this difficult to catch.

Get comfortable with this move – both hands! – because we are going to build upon it a lot in the upcoming videos.