Tuesday
Nov042008

Flair 101 - Around the Head Grip Change

This week's move is a pretty simple one, but it's a great transitional move, useful for combining moves as you work on building a routine.
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
Oct272008

Flair Bartending 101: Figure 8 Pour

This week's move is a fun one that takes little skill or hand/eye coordination once you understand and practice the maneuver. And, as promised, last week's move is a perfect add-on to the end of this week's move.
As usual, we start with our practice guidelines.
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
Oct202008

Flair Bartending 101: Tin Double Same Arm Behind Head

Here we go with a slightly difficult tin move. It's not incredibly flashy, but it's a great add-on to a move we will learn next week.
As usual, we start with our practice guidelines.
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
Oct152008

Leinie's Fireside Nut Brown


Turns out the Leinenkugel Brewing Co. was kind enough to supply beer for the wedding I attended last weekend. Special thanks to Grant Holtackers, fellow groomsmen and experienced beer connoisseur, not to mention rep for Miller. He was kind enough to bring 20 cases of Leinie's to get the party started. Me, I just brought the stupid look on my face. He wins.

I was fortunate enough to try Leinenkugel's new seasonal, Fireside Nut Brown, before it even hits the shelves. I'm not great at describing the flavor profiles of beer, but I know I liked it. I'm not a huge Nut Brown kind of guy - I like the Newcastle logo, don't care for the beer. However, Leinie's Fireside Nut Brown was a much better balance of flavors. Not too heavy on the nutty, with notes of maple, caramel, and chocolate. Should be available later this month. Look for it. Get some. Enjoy it.

Monday
Oct132008

Flair Bartending 101: Push Down Pop Up

As usual, we start with our practice guidelines.
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
Oct092008

Drunk Pumpkin


Thanks to my friend Drew for this timely warning about leaving alcohol around your house this time of year. You never know what your pumpkins are up to while you're gone...

Trick or Treat, bitches!!

Tuesday
Sep092008

Flair Bartending 101: Swipe Thru Behind the Back Exchange

Week 11 and again we're focusing on another add-on to the Swipe Thru Circle we learned a few weeks back. As usual, we start with our practice guidelines.
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
Sep022008

Flair Bartending 101: Swipe Thru Add-On

Week 10 and we're focusing on a fun add-on to the Swipe Thru Circle we learned a few weeks back. As usual, we start with our practice guidelines.
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
Aug272008

Best Beer Commercial Ever.

Chalk another one up for my boss Tommy who sent me this. I will follow this guy to the ends of the earth.

I think this one even trumps my previous favorite, the Heineken commercial. They just don't have ads like this in the U.S.:>

Monday
Aug252008

Flair Bartending 101: Back of the Hand Cradle

It's week nine and today we're gonna learn a very simple beginner's move. Before we begin, let's go over the all-important practice guidelines.
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
Aug142008

Flair 101 - Shadow Pass

I'm a little later than I wanted to be with this cuz I've been moving out of one apartment and into another all week. Notice the change of scenery in the video...
Week Eight and it's time for one of my favorite moves - it just feels good when you land it. Before we begin, let's go over the all-important practice guidelines.
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!


Saturday
Aug092008

This Post is just for Moscow Jane, up from Chicago.

Pardon me, faithful reader-patrons, but this is the only way I have of getting in touch with a certain someone I needed to reach. Ignore this post and I'll see you Monday with some new video shot in a new location.

Jane,
Sorry we couldn't catch a drink on Thursday. I'd still love to hear about everything and how it turned out - for the best I hope. Email me. (barspecials at gmail dot com)
Oh, and I know I told you to follow your heart, but I take it back. What I meant to say was follow your head. Some things are forgivable if the person is worth it, some aren't. See you next time you're in Madison.

Wednesday
Aug062008

This Has Nothing To Do With Bartending...

... except that I'm glad I don't work in an office. Give it a minute, it gets good.

Monday
Aug042008

Flair Bartending 101 - Tin Work

Week Seven and we're getting into some fun tin work that we'll use a lot and build on later. The all-important practice guidelines.
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
Jul302008

I'd Drink That.

You don't need to speak, I don't know, Polish maybe, to understand this commercial. You do need to understand, however, that Europeans have a whole different approach to advertising.

Tuesday
Jul292008

Don't. Ever. Whistle. Loudly. In. A. Bar.

Ever.

Monday
Jul282008

Flair 101 - Swipe Thru Circle

It's week six, and time to review the all-important practice guidelines.
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
Jul232008

It's time to flip!

Thanks to some prodding from a few folks who aim to be part of the next generation of competitive bartenders, CLASSES ARE IN SESSION.

If you live in the Madison area and are interested in learning to be flair bartender, now's the time. If you're a bartender, and you want to learn how to make more money and have more fun doing what you do, then sign up.

CLASSES START ON MONDAY, JULY 28TH.
Where: Madison's Downtown
When: Every Monday at 7pm.
Why: Cuz it's 2008, and it's time to flair.
How: In Mad Style.
What: Beginning to Intermediate Working Flair Bartending.

Classes will last at least an hour each Monday night and will be limited to 10 people so we can maximize one-on-one attention. The cost is $15/night, and are well worth it - if you feel you didn't learn anything new after any class, I will give you your money back. I will provide all the materials necessary during class and direct you to the right place if you want to buy practice bottles and tins of your own. We will be starting strictly with working flair - flair you can use immediately behind your bar. I like to think that any $$ you spend on classes, if followed properly, will be recouped very quickly behind your bar. In short, the classes should pay for themselves with the increased amount of tips you'll be making.

If you're interested in learning basic-to-intermediate flair bartending, post a comment on this message and leave me your phone # or email. Or email me at chris at barspecials dot com. I will make sure to contact you and get you ready to start flipping bottles and making $$$.

Monday
Jul212008

Flair Bartending 101: Same Arm Flat Behind the Back

Here we go with week 5. And as we do every week, let's review the all-important practice guidelines.
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
Jul162008

First Time in Las Vegas: Part Two

Anyone who talks about Las Vegas will sooner or later mention Fremont Street. The Fremont Street Experience is fun – though in Vegas, fun may not be enough. It's The Old Part of the Strip, The Original, where Bugsy and the rest of them originated everything that Vegas has to offer. There's been a movement to revitalize Freemont Street in the last few years and, while their light show is truly impressive and the nightlife has indeed improved, most people our age will find it slightly tired and would be better spent hanging out at MGM, the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, the Bellagio Water Fountains, Harrah's, the Palms, the Playboy Club, or Treasure Island. There's just too much to do to spend time at the old strip unless you're really concerned with history or you're in Vegas for more than 5 days. Oooh, speaking of Treasure Island, there's a Kahunaville in Treasure Island which you can't pass up if you're in the neighborhood. I believe they have Dueling Pianos most nights which are pretty entertaining (though Harrah's dueling pianos are better – and right next to Carnaval Court!) Even still, their bartenders are definitely worth stopping by for a drink – Rodrigo Cao and the rest of the crew will entertain the hell out of you and give you phenomenal service.

If you're a foodie, take a half hour before you depart to research a few restaurants and book reservations at some celebrity restaurant. Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril, and-then-some – they all have restaurants in Las Vegas. If you didn't book reservations for dinner, try lunch – you may be able to get in just by showing up and see what all the hype is(n't) about.

As for free entertainment, the Bellagio Water Fountains are worth seeing. I'm pretty sure they run every ½ hour or hour, and it's a great way to spend a few free minutes – they truly are fun to watch. Don't plan a night around it, but make sure you catch them on your way to somewhere.

Also, SEE A SHOW while in Vegas. There are a million great shows, from David Copperfield and Criss Angel to the Blue Men Group and a half dozen Cirque du Soleil shows all worth seeing. Zumanity was just as good – and sensually erotic – the second time I saw it. And don't forget the simple music/comedy revues and the topless classic shows that have been around since the 50s. They're generally cheaper and still entertaining, even without the nostalgia factored in.

And though you will probably take a few cabs while you're there (which just makes sense – the walking gets to be too much) don't ever fully trust the cabby's advice on anything. Most of them get paid for “referrals” - the # of people they drop off at some place, be it a strip club, nightclub, what-have-you. You're better off striking up conversation with someone walking the strip and asking them their opinion, or better yet talk to a gaming dealer. They live there, they know. Or, best of all, talk to your bartender. Bartenders always know everything.

Oh, and don't gamble. You'll only lose. There's a reason Nevada has no income tax for its citizens and there are big shiny hotel casinos in the middle of the desert.

That's about it. Johnny and Deb, I expect a drunken phone call while you're there.