The F word

In the world of bartending, nothing is more exciting than flair bartending. Yet in the same breath, nothing has more of a negative image attached to it as well.

The first record of flair bartending is accredited to “The Professor” Jerry Thomas from San Francisco, who in the mid 1800’s included some flair in his Blue Blazer cocktail by rolling flaming Scotch from one mug to another.Jerry-Thomas-

The late 1980’s saw a big boost in the number of flair bartenders after Tom Cruise’s character Brian Flanagan wowed his guests from behind the bar in the movie Cocktail.

So with all the excitement, why all the negativity?

Many bar patrons have seen bartenders attempting to try a move be

hind the bar unsuccessfully. Therefore the “just make my drink” mentality takes over. I couldn’t agree more.

No one wants to see an amateur flair bartender drop bottles or tins and make a mess of the cocktail they are trying to make.

The problem is that those bartenders don’t put in the time and effort that is required to become a professional flair bartender.

Another popular argument against flair bartending is that even if the bartender is very skilled, they take too long to make the cocktail.

Any self respecting flair bartender knows that there is a time and place to put on a show. If the bar is busy, small subtle moves are fine because they don’t take any more time than traditional bartenders do. If the bar is slow then entertain your guests any way you can.

I have been flair bartending for almost 10 years now, and have been competing on a professional level for over five. During that time I have never had anyone complain that I’m taking too long, or been dissatisfied with my service. And I incorporate flair into just about every cocktail I create.
Flair studios canadaIn Toronto, there are more flair bartenders than ever before. In the last five years, the amount of flair bartenders has gone from around 5, to over 30.

Because of bartender training facilities such as BartenderOne, and Flair Studios Canada, the talent is pouring out of Toronto faster than ever before. Toronto is now considered to be one of the top 5 flair bartending hot beds in the world.

BartenderOne has been offering flair bartending classes since 2005, and they also hold a “Bartend on the Beach” course throughout the summer where anyone at any level can learn the art of flair bartending free of charge.

Flair Studios Canada was opened in 2010 and has been training bartenders on a daily basis ever since.

Because of the amount of flair bartenders in Toronto, the Toronto Flair League holds monthly competitions to sold out crowds throughout this city.

If you want would like more information on how to become a flair bartender in Toronto, and would like to be trained by professionals, contact BartenderOne or Flair Studios Canada.

Until next time, keep flipping.

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