Bartenders are more than just mixologists; they are entertainers. For decades now, bartenders have mastered tricks that get them noticed, increase their tips, and are just plain fun to do.
The practice of honing tricks for entertaining bar guests is called working flair bartending, and it’s a combination of juggling skills and showmanship. More than just entertainment, highly skilled flair bartenders compete in bartending games known as Exhibition Flair. The main difference between the two styles is that working flair focuses on delivering drinks with an artistic serving twist, while Exhibition Flair focuses more on the style and entertainment factor of the serve.
Beginning bartenders should master some basic moves behind the bar before trying something more complicated. Here are five basic bartending tricks for beginners that are at the foundation of all flair bartending.
The summary: Pour the drink into a glass or tin, bounce the bottle, bring the bottle in front of you and pour the rest backhanded into the glass.
Chris Cardone, Howcast flair bartending pro, show us how:
The summary: Flip the bottle and catch it in the same hand; finish off with a flourished pour.
Back to Chris Cardone to learn this basic move:
The summary: Flip an ice cube behind your back and catch it in the tin or glass.
Chris Cardone shares this basic move, along with other fun ice cube bartending tricks:
The summary: Basic spins done in the palm of your hand.
Moe Harris of the Pour Boys shows us the spins you can do with a tin shaker or a glass to add a little flair to a basic pour.
The summary: Flip the bottle behind your back, catch it with the same hand in front of you, and pour.
Chris Cardone shows the secret to this bartender trick:
Mastering these bartending tricks for beginners takes practice, and lots of it. One way bartenders hone their skills is the Ten out of Ten. Choose one trick, and do it ten times consecutively. If you make a mistake, go back to square one and start the count over again.
Practice makes perfect, but broken glass makes a mess. A practice flair bottle, made of plastic or rubber, is useful for mastering tricks. Most hold fluid and feature a pour spout to give you a feel of working with a real bottle.