On this week’s podcast we’re going deep on old school vs new school flair competition and where the personality has gone.

Back in my day…

When I first started flair bartending the competitions to win were Legends of Bartending and Quest, both in the US and both incorporating showmanship and technical skills as well as the exhibition flair which is still ubiquitous today.

Bartenders were forced to actually know the skills needed behind the bar and not just the working and exhibition flair moves in isolation from the real world of working bartenders.

Vanilla Flair?

Today the flair competitions in general have becomes so specialised that competitors don’t really need to have ever stepped behind a bar to be a winner at these competitions – the skills needed can be practiced in isolation from the actual discipline of bartending, and even those who do still work behind the mahogany have to focus so hard on the incredibly technical moves that many of them will never have tried bar bets, magic tricks and the like with their guests.

If you don’t do it behind the bar…

…is it still flair bartending, or does it just become bottle flipping. Surely the bartending part of it is derived from tending to the guests at a bar, not just a default name because your particular juggling act is performed with bottles and shaker tins.

Basically, for me, if you don’t do it for your paying guests at the bar, you’re wasting your time learning this and calling it bartending.

Maybe I’m completely wrong, and if I am, you need to tell me about it! Let me know in the comments.

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