What is Flair Bartending?
Flair bartending, also called flairtending, is the art of adding showmanship to the drink-making process to entertain guests and customers. Flair bartenders demonstrate their skill by masterfully manipulating bar tools with added spectacle, usually through juggling and flipping bottles with incredible speed and efficiency.
Not all bartenders do flairtending but it’s a useful skill to have if you want to make more tips.
The history of flair bartending
Pioneering mixologist and bartender Jeremiah “The Professor” Thomas was best known to have laid the groundwork for flair bartending in the 19th century.
Thomas was renowned for his showmanship, showing off a flashy performance as he mixed his cocktails. He complemented his theatrics with especially-embellished bar tools complete with snazzy jewelry.
The pinnacle of The Professor’s career was his invention of the Blue Blazer, a two-ingredient cocktail which he made by lighting the whisky on fire and tossing it alternatingly between two mixing glasses, producing a visible flaming liquid that lent the drink its name.
Thomas’ reputation as a spectacular performer behind the bar earned him celebrity status and a President’s weekly wage.
Since then, more people have attempted to follow The Professor’s footsteps and have tried their luck in flair bartending.
Thanks to this colorful history, flair bartending has become popular worldwide as a sport on its own with competitions held in major cities and local venues. Many business owners also seek the services for flair bartenders to promote new products or new businesses.
Are there benefits in learning flair bartending?
Not all bartenders do flair but there certainly are advantages to learning a few moves here and there.
- It increases your chances of getting hired quickly. Bar owners love bartenders who can put on a show and add a wow factor to otherwise regular nights. Knowing flair techniques also demonstrates your self-confidence, one of the most important qualifications for someone who has to work with people all the time.
- It boosts your tips. Patrons love to be entertained. Showing off your finesse behind the bar is definitely a way to captivate an audience, charm them with your skills, and advertise your bartending artistry.
How to learn flair bartending
Efficiency is a skill that flairtenders have to master if they want to be good at what they do. For many, this comes naturally especially after years of fixing the same drinks, handling the same tools, and doing the same routines.
Your knowledge in mixing drinks and familiarity with the tools of the trade will help you build the confidence necessary for a promising career in flair bartending.
However, if you want to improve your chances of getting hired fast and learn flair bartending on the get-go, there are hundreds of free resources online to help you learn stylish flair moves in no time.
A flair bartender’s skill repertoire is not only limited to flipping bottles and doing ice throws. A flair bartending course will help you adequately multitask and enhance your customer service skills — all while upgrading your mixology techniques.
All these are valuable skills that when applied, can add a dimension to an already exciting job and help you earn more.
While we do not teach flair bartending here at Serving Alcohol, we do teach you how to become a Master Bartender, advance your skills in mixology, drink prep, glassware handling, service, and knowledge of different beers, wines, and liquors. This valuable knowledge can help greatly in increasing your tips!