Extreme Bartending the Flair Bartenders Guide to Jokes, Quotes and Mixed Drink Recipes

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Bartender! Gimme a 'flair'

Author: Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff Writer
Source: dailycamera.com

Bartender! Gimme a 'flair'

Event planners expect cocktail trend to catch

By Vanessa Miller, Camera Staff Writer
July 22, 2005

Rule No. 1 is "spillage of alcohol is unacceptable."

But that can be difficult when you're twirling bottles of vodka and stacking shots of fruit-flavored liquor. Although few people attempt such stunts, they are just part of the routine for bartenders with "flair."








"Flair bartending is an appeal to the customers, and it is something that not everyone does," said Brad Kaplan, a bartender for Splitz Bowling Center in Westminster. "It gets a 'Wow' from the guy who comes in and orders a Long Island Ice Tea, and the bartender flips four bottles to pour his drink."


Splitz is hosting three days of training for area bar employees interested in becoming flair bartenders. Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., servers at establishments throughout the Denver-Boulder area are invited to attend flair training at the bowling center off U.S. 36. The cost to attend is $225.

Kaplan said he hopes the event will start a local trend toward flair bartending, with area establishments hosting future competitions and shows.  "I have greater plans for this area," he said.


Flair competitions are popular in larger cities around the world. Some require participants to use full bottles and produce a well-poured drink, while others focus on fancier stunts.

Kaplan's inspiration to localize flair bartending came from Scott Young, 35. Young taught himself to perform bartending stunts at age 19 and has become an innovator in the trade. He has sold videos in more than 80 countries and offered training around the world.


"We are arguably the busiest bartending site on the Internet," Young said of his page at www.extremebartending.com.

Young, who many say started the flair bartending phenomenon, got his inspiration to learn serving tricks in 1988 after watching the Tom Cruise blockbuster, "Cocktail."

"I said, 'Wow,' and started to really do it two years later," Young said, adding that he is enthused about the upcoming training. He said he thinks flair could catch on in Colorado.

"I love the fact that they want to do this properly," Young said. "They want to do contests and do this for the long run."

But some people doubt the desire of Boulder establishments to integrate the flashy serving style.

Bridget Fisher, general manager of Conor O'Neill's, 1922 13th St., said she rarely sees flair bartending in town.

"It is nothing that I've seen around here," Fisher said. "And I don't think we are missing out because of it."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Vanessa Miller at (303) 473-1329 or millerv@dailycamera.com.

Date: August 5th, 2005

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