Many people looked down the Bartending profession before may years. It was not thought to be a better profession and was just considered as a part time job for students who worked for earning some money during their leisure hours, that is it fetched some pocket money in between ' original jobs' or people who carved to have their own supply of alcohol handy.
But competition bartending is changing that. People are starting to see bartending as a skill. And like most skills, bartending requires practice, talent and training.
Competition bartending started before Tom Cruise made the movie 'Cocktail', but that movie brought world wide attention to it. The bartending moves Cruise used in the movie fall into the category of 'flair bartending'. And that's the basis of most competitions.
There are two main types of competition. Exhibition Flair and Working Flair. Working flair bartending competitions consists of moves and activities that are used in real bartending environments. Emphasis is placed on speed, accuracy and most importantly, no breakage or spillage.
Exhibition flair is all showmanship. The moves you can see in an extreme flair competition probably won't be seen at the local bar on a busy Friday night. They often involve juggling up to 6 liquor bottles at a time. Or throwing a bottle up in the air from behind and catching it on the head.
T.G.I. Fridays hosted the first competition years ago, and the sport has been growing ever since. Every year more competitions are held, more bartenders compete and more spectators watch.
The Flair Bartenders Association keeps up with competition winners. They've started a points system to determine the best flair bartenders in the world. Currently they have over 11,000 members in over 150 countries.
Competition bartending may never make it into the Olympics, but it's quickly become a world wide sporting event. Each year more countries have bartenders participating in the competitions and each year more countries are hosting their own competition events.
You can now purchase unbreakable bottles to practice with. So get your bottles, shakers and glasses and start practicing. Maybe you'll be the next grand champion!
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