What Is a Flair Bartender: Explained

What Is A Flair Bartender

If you’ve ever been to a bar, you’ve probably seen a bartender with a little something extra going on behind the scenes. This is called flair bartending, and it’s all about adding an element of showmanship to your drinks-making skills. So, now you are asking yourself what a flair bartender is.

A flair bartender is a professional bartender who has mastered mixing drinks and pouring them with style. This involves using various tools and techniques to create an impressive visual display while making a drink. They can pour bottles of liquor into shakers in a single smooth motion or even juggle shakers while they work.

While it might look like all fun and games, there’s a lot of skill involved in flair bartending. It takes years of practice to perfect the moves, and even then, things can still go wrong.

Within this article, we shall dissect what led to the rise of flair bartending, flair bartending techniques, and some simple bar tricks you can try yourself.

What Led to the Rise of Flair Bartending?

What Led To The Rise Of Flair Bartending?

The term “flair bartending” was first used in print in 1992, but the roots of this bartending go back much further. Flair bartending can be traced back to the early days of cocktails when bartenders would try to one-up each other with increasingly complex and flashy drinks.

One of the earliest examples of this is the “Blue Blazer,” a drink created by Jerry Thomas, one of the most famous bartenders of the 19th century. To make the Blue Blazer, Thomas would pour whiskey back and forth between two glasses, igniting it with a match as he went. The result was a drink that was as visually stunning as it was delicious.

As cocktails became more popular in the 20th century, bartenders began experimenting with new ways to make them. This led to the development of many techniques associated with flair bartending, such as bottle juggling and fire breathing.

Flair bartending as a performance art took off in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to the popularity of movies; Cocktail and Bartender. These films showed bartenders doing amazing feats with bottles and shakers, inspiring a new generation of bartenders to try their hand at similar tricks.

Flair bartending quickly became a staple of the bar scene, showing no signs of slowing down. These days, bartenders perform all sorts of impressive tricks in bars worldwide.

Flair Bartending Techniques

So, now that we know the answer to what is a flair bartender, I think it’s time we looked at some of the most incredible techniques they use to make the drinks and entertain the customers.

Bottle Juggling

Bottle Juggling

One of the most popular flair bartending techniques is bottle juggling. This involves tossing bottles around in a way that looks both dangerous and impressive. While it might seem like bottle juggling is all about showmanship, there’s a lot of skill involved. A good bottle juggler has to have perfect timing and coordination, and they need to know exactly where the bottles will land.

Bottle flipping is a variation of this technique that has become popular recently. To flip a bottle, the bartender spins the bottle in their hand and then catches it upside down on the neck. This looks extremely impressive, but it’s pretty tricky to do.

Flair Pouring

Flair Bottle Pouring

Another common flair bartending technique is flair bottle pouring. This involves pouring liquor from one bottle into another in a way that looks both graceful and dangerous. For example, bartenders will often pour liquor back and forth between two bottles or pour it from a great height to create an impressive cascade of alcohol.

Flair bartenders will often use this technique to make multiple drinks at once. For example, they might pour vodka into one glass, whiskey into another, and then rum into a third. This allows them to make three drinks in the time it would typically take to make one.

Fire Breathing

Fire Breathing

One of the most dangerous flair bartending techniques is fire breathing. This involves igniting a stream of alcohol and then breathing it out in a way that looks both impressive and dangerous.

This technique is often used to make flaming drinks. The bartender will ignite the liquor and then pour it into the glass. The result is a drink that is both hot and strong.

Fire eating is another variation of this technique that bartenders sometimes use. This involves igniting a piece of fruit or candy and then eating it. This looks extremely impressive, but it’s essential to be careful. After all, you’re eating fire.

Simple Bar Tricks You Can Try

Simple Bar Tricks You Can Try

Flair bartending is a lot of fun to watch, but it’s not the only type of bartending out there. There are also many simple bar tricks that anyone can learn. These tricks might not be as flashy as flair bartending, but they’re still a lot of fun.

If you’re looking for some simple bar tricks to try at home, here are a few that you might want to check out:

The Salt Trick

This is a classic bar trick that anyone can learn. All you need is a salt shaker and a glass.

Fill the glass with beer, then sprinkle salt on the top to do the trick. Unfortunately, the salt will cause the beer to foam up and overflow.

The Bottle Trick

This is another classic bar trick that’s easy to learn. All you need is a bottle and a drinking glass.

Place the drinking glass upside down on the bottle to do the trick. Then, turn the bottle upside down and wait for the glass to fill with beer.

The Floating Bottle Trick

This variation on the bottle trick is a little bit more challenging to do. All you need is a bottle of beer and a straw.

To do the trick, place the straw in the beer bottle and then slowly turn the bottle upside down. The straw will cause the beer to float in the air.


Flair bartending is a bartending that involves performing impressive tricks with bottles and shakers. These tricks can be anything from simple bottle juggling to dangerous fire breathing. Flair bartenders use these techniques to make their drinks more visually appealing and often use them to make multiple drinks at once.

If you’re looking for some simple bar tricks to try at home, there are many that you can learn. These tricks might not be as flashy as flair bartending, but they’re still a lot of fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is flair bartending hard?

Flair bartending can be challenging to learn. It often takes bartenders months or even years to perfect the techniques. However, it’s also a lot of fun to watch.

How do I learn flair bartending?

There are many ways to learn flair bartending. You can take classes, watch instructional videos, or simply practice at home.