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

Author: Scott Young
Source: Publican Magazine


Scott Young is a longtime bartender at the Roxy night club in Vancouver and travels extensively with his company www.extremebartending.com  teaching seminars and giving demonstrations, He also has a book and a video training series on the way with 240 Extreme Bartending™ moves. He can be reached at (604)879-1036

There are many words used to describe this kind of bartending…flair, performance, cocktail, ultimate, Olympic, etc. They pretty much all come down to the same thing ... performing. Extreme Bartending means to perform, and entertain your customers. Don't just serve a drink, SERVE IT WITH STYLE! Before we get to that, let's start with some important questions.


Your customers want to be treated with excellent service. Competition in the hospitality industry is fierce these days. No longer is the customer limited to the local tavern with one brand of scotch. Today, the market is virtually flooded with different options. The possibilities seem to be endless. Since there aren't enough customers to fill all of these places, the hospitality industry had become a highly competitive place.


Customers are the lifeblood of the hospitality industry. Extreme Bartenders do more than just flip bottles and do tricks. In order to be successful, you must combine style, entertainment value, a sense of humor and a willingness to provide Extreme Service. By implementing performance skills and Extreme Service into your daily bartending routine, your tips and regular customers will increase substantially. Why? Because you'll be more fun to be around and you'll be a better bartender. But add just a few moves and tricks and you will stand out from the crowd because many bartenders just don't care enough to make that extra effort.


That's a valid question. This is considered a "new" style of bartending and any good bar manager should consider it carefully before implementing it. So, convince your bar manager that you'll do three things:

  1. Be professional in attitude
  2. Create high sales revenue
  3. Decrease costs

By having a professional attitude and being a better all-around bartender, you'll attract more customers as well as impress your regulars and increase your sales revenue. By not spilling or breaking anything and by staying within your limits, you will decrease costs. We've come a long way since the movie "Cocktail" with Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown.

RULE # 1

Spillage of Alcohol is Unacceptable!

RULE # 2

You Don't have to Slow Down to Make a Drink With Style.

RULE # 3

Never Practice at Work.

Here are just a few of the Easy, No Risk Moves to entertain your customers with.


Great things about garnishes are:

  • Every bar has them
  • They're used in almost every drink
  • They are used at the end of a drink
  • You can't break them or anything else you hit with them
  • They're inexpensive to drop compared to Tequila
  • You have an opportunity to involve the customer in the show

example: "Would you like a lime with that sir?" If he says "Yes", you've got his attention. If he says "No", try throwing it away (over your shoulder) and say, "I don't blame you, I hate limes myself!" Either way, you'll get a reaction, usually a smile. Behind the Back Toss (with right hand, catch in drink in left hand) Throw it straight up, letting go at about shoulder blade height, and it will come straight down. Create a cushion (not an impact) on landing or you'll get wet. Don't forget to squeeze the lime and rim the glass.


Straws are great for the same reasons garnishes are. The key to straws is to always be smooth and to be there waiting for it when it lands. Straws are also a great way to involve your customer in the show. When you include people in your fun, they will appreciate it. For example, when you have two or more drinks, here's a tip, tell your customer, "I need your help, watch this, you do the trick!, Then, you hold his hand in approximately the right position and say, "OK, now you catch it." Try one or two throws, which he'll probably miss, then say, "OK, one more try", and launch a hand full. it's guaranteed for a laugh and a good experience for the customer.


Hold between your thumb and index and middle fingers, approximately 1/4 of the way from the top. Try one big arc with only one rotation.


This is so simple and people just go nuts when you do this. Even a 2 glass stack raises eyebrows and gives you the opportunity to say, "Come back and next time we'll do 3 drinks!" The glasses are everything (except a flat, sturdy bar). Libbey products work the best. You'll have to experiment a bit and obviously, the higher you go, the more risk you take. If you stick to 2 or 3 oz Glass Stacks, you should never drop them. Just make sure that nobody takes the middle one or just takes one drink. Be careful when you're dismantling them too.

Extreme Bartending™ can become your competitive advantage, so practice a few moves, impress your customers and have fun!

Date: July 7th, 1999

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Scott Young, President and Head Instructor Bar Smart Inc.