Flair Bartending has got to a point where getting started can be really intimidating. Watch any flair competition and you’ll see at least a few competitors busting out moves with 5-8 items at a time, maybe 2 bottles & 5 tins. Old school flair bartending was a little different.

While these are technically impressive moves, they are super hard to break down to learn and incredibly difficult to achieve. So in this article, we’re selecting some old school routines that can give you some great ideas on how to be creative, as well as being reasonably simple to learn moves from.

Old School Flair Bartending

Of course, when you’re putting together your own flair routine, originality is really important. Don’t try to copy routines or sequences wholesale, but take inspiration and learn elements you can combine into your own style with your own music.

Nicholas St Jean – King of the Ring Flair Routine

Nicholas has one of the most understated and cool styles in all of flair bartending and incorporates elements of breakdance into some of his routines. He also uses super sharp knives to cut fruit in mid air and takes off his jacket while flairing. We don’t recommend trying the knife thing at home. Broken glass can be dangerous enough!

Tim “Flippy” Morris, Kahunaville 2010 Flair Routine

Flippy has long been one of my favourite flair bartenders, and I think there is almost nothing he puts into a competition that he isn’t comfortable doing on shift behind the bar. The speed he uses, especially with the tins tricks the eye into thinking the moves are more complex than they are, so try to isolate the elements if you’re looking to learn from this.

Dave “Ginge” Reynolds, Kings of Flair 2011 Bartending Routine

Ginge’s style is pure old school, but the amount of taps and misdirections included in this routine mean it wouldn’t be out of place on the stages today.

Christian Delpech, Madrid Flair Open 2012

Christian Delpech has a level of showmanship that is rarely seen behind the bar, like many of these bartenders making relatively simple moves look incredibly stylish. Every move is precise, there are almost zero fumbles let alone drops, and a level of confidence that puts the audience at ease. Quite probably the most awarded flair bartender in history.

Tom Dyer – Bottle & Tin is King, Roadhouse Work Flair #BTIK

We couldn’t do an old school flair bartending video collection without this. This is essentially the peak of what has been done to date with limited items. Super hard, super smooth, but still should be able to be broken down for inspiration. The man is now a legend.

So what did you think of our collection, and what routine is missing? Tweet us a link @BartenderHQ!

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