Flair Bartending Lesson #76: Shadow Pass into Tin


The Shadow Pass into Tin is one of my absolute favorite flair bartending moves. Like a lot of Shadow Pass variations, this one just feels good when you get it down. Also, with the catch into the tin, it provides a nice pause in your movement, giving you a chance to smile at guests or give high-fives before flowing into the rest of your flair routine.

You should already be comfortable with the Shadow Pass.

Tips to getting the Shadow Pass into the Tin:

1) Use the right tools. This move requires a 750 ml bottle and a 28 oz. tin. A 1 liter bottle might technically fit into the standard cocktail shaker, but you will drive yourself absolutely nuts trying to learn this move with that miniscule of a margin of error.

2) Just like when we learned the original Shadow Pass, start small with your throws. In fact, don’t even throw it. For the first 20 times, simply move the bottle behind your head and place it into the tin. Rinse, repeat. This will help establish your hands’ muscle memory for what angles to hold the both the bottle and tin.

3) Use a good “lead-in” that will help flow into the Shadow Pass. I like to use the Circle Swipe Thru with a slight variation on the bottle-grab: as you change your grip on the bottle, grab the bottle by the neck instead of the body. Using this to build momentum for your Shadow Pass into Tin is not only helpful but also adds more of a mini-routine that is fun to watch.

4) “Cheat” a little if you need to by using your shoulder/neck to cradle the bottle a little bit. Eventually you’ll want to move past this but when you’re learning, this can be an effective crutch.

5) Practice this move a lot, trying to get further and further apart with your throwing hand and your catching (tin) hand.

6) The first time you land this move, celebrate like a boss. Then get back to work and do it again.

Bar Products Used in this Lesson

Flair Bartending Lesson #71: Cocktail Shaker Split to a Stall

First things first, make sure you are already comfortable with last week’s move, the Cocktail Shaker Split Behind the Back. Make sure you can land that 90% of the time before you move on to this week’s move.

As for the hardware: make sure you are using two 28 oz. cocktail shakers. Whether you prefer weighted cocktail shakers or unweighted cocktail shakers is up to you (check out this video to see why I prefer the weighted ones.)  In the lesson I’m using two 28 oz. powder coated neon cocktail tins –  you can get fancy colored ones like this if you want or you can save a few bucks and just get the normal ones. Whichever you choose, just make sure: 1) you get 28 ounce tins (not 16, 18, or other), and 2) you get two of the same tins.

So, all we are doing differently in this week’s move is stalling the right-hand cocktail shaker (the bottom one of the stack, which travels the furthest.) We’re still catching the other tin with the left hand, to keep things easier, so we only have to focus on the stalling one tin.

Make sure you are also already comfortable with the Stall and the Flip Stall. In these videos, we learned it with a bottle, but you should be practicing this with a tin as well.

Once you’re good to go on those previous moves, this should just take a little bit of practice to synthesize them all together. Remember, you are not “dead-handing” the stall; rather, be sure to cradle the catch and give a little movement in order to land the tin.

If you’re having a difficult time with this, try doing it in front of you (not from behind your back.) Also, it never hurts to go back to the basics and practice just the basic stall and the flip stall over and over.

Product Review: 28 oz. Weighted or Unweighted Tin

The standard mixing tin for bartenders and flair bartenders alike, the 28 oz. weighted or unweighted tin is the perfect tool not just for mixing a cocktail, but for entertaining your guest with some smooth flair bartending moves. When you shop around online, you may see 16 oz, 18 oz, 28 oz, and larger sizes – the key is to get the 28 oz tin for the standard cocktail/flair tin. The smaller oz. tins are meant for capping off the 28 oz. tin while you shake the drink, and the larger ones are usually meant as novelties to pour ridiculously large amounts of booze at one time. Continue Reading » Product Review: 28 oz. Weighted or Unweighted Tin