Wednesday
May272009

Coming Soon

I'm having fun using Squarespace to completely reinvent ChrisTheBartender. It'll likely be another week before I'm up and running.

In the meantime, check out my new bar supply store. Pretty happy about that. Get your flair practice bottles and tins there so you can stop breaking glass and start annoying your downstairs neighbors.

Wednesday
May202009

Hooray Hooray, Whaddya Know It's May!

I said I'd be back in May. And I am a man of my word. Even if those words occasionally come out slurred by an Old Fashioned.

I'm still about a week away from totally pulling back the curtain, but I'm really excited with how things are looking. Total site redesign. Chris The Bartender will be a lot more user friendly and have all kinds of new crazy content coming. You can learn about wine, beer, new drinks, more flair moves, and even shop around a store to buy flair gear and bartending goodies. And dare I say a DVD in the works? Am I writing checks my butt can't cash? A bartender would never lie to you, would he?

So, like any good bartender, I'm whetting your appetite. Before I get you sauced. On information. Here's two new videos to keep you busy until next week. Enjoy, and as always, practice practice!

Wednesday
Feb252009

Everybody Needs A Vacation This Time Of Year

Hello, dear reader. You may have noticed I've missed the last couple Filthy Fridays and Monday's Flair moves. I noticed, too. Truth is, I'm taking a break. Just a hiatus. I really want to make the site better, add some new features, overhaul the design, and get back to talking a little more about bartending, drinks, customers, etc. So, I'm taking a vacation. For about 2 months. I hope not to lose your readership - I've been surprised lately how much readership has actually grown. But, like I said, I want to make ChrisTheBartender.com even better.

If you want an email "heads up" for when ChrisTheBartender returns in full force, shoot me an email to barspecials at gmail dot com and write "Chris The Bartender" in the subject line.

And if you're a fan of the flair videos, you can still see them (and new ones) on YouTube. Just search for "Flair Bartending Basics" or "Flair Bartending Lessons." You'll find me.

Love you, readers! Thank you for your patronage. See you again in May!
Sincerely,
Chris The Bartender

Tuesday
Jan272009

Cooler than Parkour

So this has nothing to do with bartending. However, as a flair bartender, I've got mad respect for other entertainers who absolutely nail their craft, however bizarre that craft might be. I stumbled across this unicyclist on YouTube. I can watch her over and over again. Around 1:25, she just takes off. Ridiculous. Time for me to take my unicycle out of storage - got something to work for now.

And then there's the pizza tossers.

Wednesday
Jan212009

If This Keeps Up, I Might Be Out Of A Job

Thanks to Kevin for sending me an article about Bar2D2, a robotic bartender. It looks pretty schnazzy. So now on top of competing for jobs with 19 year-old girls with fake boobs, I've got robots to worry about. Here's to hoping personality goes a long way...


Mobile Bar - BaR2D2 - Watch more Free Videos

Wednesday
Jan142009

The Buffalo Theory, by Cliff Claven

"Well you see, Norm, it’s like this … a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the lowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

Monday
Jan122009

Flair 101 - Corona Lime Trick

This week's move is another "prop flair." The first time I saw this, I pooped my pants. If you do this really well, it can get a great response.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Monday
Jan052009

Flair 101 - Red Bull Suction Pour

This week's move is another addition to our "prop flair" arsenal.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Monday
Dec292008

Flair 101 - Two Beer Bottle Open

This week's move is another addition to our "prop flair" arsenal.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Thursday
Dec182008

Flair 101 - Two Beer Bottle Open

In the next few weeks, we'll be focusing on prop flair - flair focusing on items in your bar other than a bottle/tin. Have fun with this one.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Friday
Dec122008

Real Quick

I've got an article featured on Brazen Careerist today that I'm pretty excited about. Check it out and leave a comment!

Thursday
Dec112008

This is Why I'm Hot

So, for shits and giggles, I've been posting a "Learn to Flair Bartend" video on YouTube about once a week since July. I never had any intention of really reaching a lot of people, I just needed a video-hosting platform so I could post training clips on ChrisTheBartender.

I'm kind of excited to be able to say that last week my 20 videos hit 50,000 views. As of today, I've got 56,000+ views and almost 150 subscribers. I'm nowhere near Numa Numa kid, Chocolate Rain, or even the sneezing panda, but it's cool to see nonetheless. And getting messages from people in Argentina, Thailand, and Denmark, knowing that I'm helping people learn how to add some pizzazz to their bartending, that just about warms my heart like a fine 18 year-old scotch on a cold Madison night.

Thanks for watching. Keep practicing and I'll keep posting. It's been pretty basic, but we're about to get crazy real soon.

Wednesday
Dec102008

Flair 101 - Building a Routine

This week we finally focus on learning how to put moves together to build a routine. There's no wrong way. Just practice, and find what works best for you.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Thursday
Dec042008

Prohibition Party

It's that time of year again. In case you're not up to date on your knowledge of the United States Constitution, this Friday marks the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment. Why does that matter? Because it was the repeal of Prohibition, you ungrateful jackass.

Honor your grandparents and the fight they fought for you. Find a speakeasy (any bar without a DJ and 10 plasma TVs will do) and order the drinks your grandparents drank. No flavored vodkas tonight, no lite beer, and god forbid anything made with peach schnapps. The bartender has the legal right to throw you out on the street if you order a martini that is anything other than 3 parts gin, 1 part vermouth. Pay respect to those who broke the law before you and order a Rusty Nail, Rob Roy, Stinger, Godfather, or a Manhattan. Or try 2 fingers of scotch. No ice. And if you can find a bartender that can make a Sazerac, be sure to tip him in something shinier than a wooden nickel.

Whiskey. Bourbon. Scotch. And Gin. Those are your food groups, you crazy kids. Enjoy.

Be a patriot this weekend. Exercise your constitutional right.

Wednesday
Dec032008

Flame Retard(ant.)

This is why I don't use fire in my flair anymore. The bartender sounds like quite the rocket scientist.

I understand the appeal. I really do. I performed flair shows at Kahunaville for two years, and even though I spent weeks and months learning some ridiculously difficult flair moves, our simple fire blast always got the biggest crowd reaction. Yeah, it's kind of cool to see four people blow a big collective fireball. And it's even cooler to see someone juggling three bottles while someone blows a fireball off the flaming one balanced on the juggler's head. I love watching that, too. But spitting fire requires little skill. And definitely less brains.

I'm conflicted, because a truly fantastic bartender I work with performs a brief two-bottle routine most Fri/Sat nights, while both of the bottles are lit on fire. And he showcases some great skill in his two bottle routine. But people aren't reacting to that. They're reacting to the fire. I think even he would admit that if the bottles weren't lit, the crowd wouldn't take as much interest. Which sucks! I'd like to think the caveman in us isn't still mesmerized by the glow of fire, but I acknowledge that's just not the case. Until people can spot and appreciate real skill and talent like he (and Jeremy and I) love to showcase, bartenders like this will continue to burn people. And we'll continue to give the crowd what they want.

Tuesday
Dec022008

Flair 101 - Inverse Across the Body

This week's move is a relatively easy one, a step down in difficulty from the moves we've been doing the last couple weeks. Get these basics down pat, however, because we will be putting them together to build routines very soon, and we'll be moving on to more difficult moves that assume you can do these basics with your eyes closed, in the dark, with one hand tied behind your back, on the surface of the moon.

Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Wednesday
Nov262008

Drunk Driving

It's 2008, for the record. Almost 2009. And drunk driving is still an issue, especially in states like Wisconsin that averages twice as many DUI/OWI as the national average. This blogger had an interesting post about our law makers in WI and drunk driving.

If you like to get drunk, sweet. I'm your legal drug dealer. But if you drive, you're a douche. It's simple. It really is. Know your limit. It's also interesting to see what else is going on with your body when you're drunk. Impaired sexual pleasure at .06-.10? That completely changes my dating strategy...

I hear it all the time in my bar, co-workers, friends. Another story about how plastered they got, the women they didn't go home with, how many shots they did, and then the ubiquitous "Man, I can't believe I drove home. That was stupid." Believe it. You are. Let's start with a clean slate. All past dipshit moves are forgiven. But from now on, the rules are changed. The next time I hear that same story I'm making a pledge to berate, belittle, and otherwise insult them. And I consider it doing them a favor. I hope you'll do the same.

Tuesday
Nov252008

Flair 101 - Double Flat Back to Front

This week's move is a fun one I use pretty regularly behind the bar. Practice with both hands separately before trying them together.
Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Monday
Nov172008

Flair 101 - Tin Catch on Bottle w/Lift-Off

This week's move will take some practice. If you're having a hard time getting the tin catch, simply place the tin as though you already caught it on the bottle, and move on to practicing the lift-off.
Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!


Tuesday
Nov112008

Flair 101 - Tomahawk Swipe Thru

This week's move is an add-on to last week's. Don't forget the all-important rules of flair.
Rules of Flair:
1. Practice, practice, practice.
2. Practice at home, perform at work. Never try anything at work that you can't land at least 90% of the time at home.
3. Always flair safely. Never flair without mats on the ground. Never flair around co-workers who aren't comfortable with it or who don't know how to move around you. Never flair drunk.
4. Practice with empty Malibu bottles (the plastic wrap holds it together in case it breaks) or get a practice bottle from my bar store.
5. Practice with both your left and right hands.
6. Have fun.
7. The FBA motto: Service first, flair second, competition always!