A friend (and avid reader of this blog, of course!) asked me if I wanted to go and see the World Bar Flair competition with him. My reply went something like: “Yes, sure, sounds cool, I’ll be there.”
Then there was a pause.
Followed by “Ummm … what is Bar Flair, anyway?”
It seems to be very much a guy-thing, but you can’t have too many cute-girl pictures on a website, so I went with this picture, instead of the guy-pictures.
I didn’t stay too long at the event, although I think I was there long enough to get a rough idea of what is involved.
Flair is defined as “Distinctive and stylish elegance” and a Bar is where one goes to drink. Bar Flair is thus the art of serving drinks at a bar with “Distinctive and stylish elegance”. This skill has now become a competitive artform.
Strangely, Bar Flair doesn’t seem to have much mainstream awareness. I hadn’t heard of it before and I like to think that I keep my ear reasonably close to the ground when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not. In fact the only popular Bar Flair reference point I could think of was the Tom Cruise film, “Cocktail”, with its punningly awful tag-line, “When he pours, he reigns.”
You may be wondering exactly how much entertainment a performer can squeeze out of serving a couple of drinks? I mean, mixing a couple of cocktails couldn’t be all that tricky, could it?
The contestants perform on a purpose built stage with a bar on it. And the emphasis is on perform. They juggle metal cocktail shakers; throw and spin several bottles at once (four Malibu bottles!); roll bottles over their shoulders; balance bottles on their hands; dance to the music AND, last but not least, finish their five minute set with a cocktail served neatly into a glass. All done with “distinctive and stylish elegance.”
I was thoroughly impressed by the skills of the performers. Bottles are not easy objects to juggle. I also appreciated the mix of different skills that are needed to perform - mostly juggling, but also balancing and contact juggling skills, along with having to have the aforementioned “d and s e”
There seemed to be a good supportive atmosphere at the contest and also fun interludes like the “bottle-off” contest where members of the public compete to see who can open twelve bottles of beer the fastest. Well worth the visit.