This evening I’m practicing with the Bols liquor bottles that I’ll be using at the Masters of Flair this weekend.

Boss bottles take a little extra practice as the bottles are smaller, lighter and have a unique shape that makes them move through the air very differently from other bottles. I’ve also discovered this evening that the printed label on the neck of the bottle is especially slippery – I don’t remember finding this before, so it may be that the label material on Bols bottles have changed.

Practicing with exactly the style of bottles you will use in a flair competition is important to find issues like this, though I think bartenders who can only do their routine with a specific bottle are perhaps limiting themselves too much.

For me, bartenders should be able to pick up any bottle in the bar and entertain their guests, though it is important to have used the bottles in advance of a competition to identify potential problems like the slippy labels. I will now make sure that the labels are over wrapped with insulating tape which grips nicely (and matches the colour that I’m covering) to eliminate that problem.

So, enjoy watching me drop and spill a bit – its what practice is for! Practice is exactly the right place to find your limits so that you’re not spilling or dropping when you’re performing behind the bar either on shift or in competition!

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