My First Flip - Flair bartender Ami Shroff looks back
My first ever bottle flip goes back to sometime in 1999. Four little tricks I learnt from Tom Cruise. The first and the coolest bartender I saw was in the movie, ‘Cocktail’ and, perhaps, the cutest one yet. As he spun it, tossed it and flipped that bottle… I saw my future.
Those four simple moves started it all and I learnt how to juggle bottles before I ever mixed up a cocktail.
And my first practice bottles were 500-600 ml plastic bottles filled with water, and most of the time, they wouldn’t burst or crack open when I would drop them. But a mess is a part of the madness and just needs to get cleaned up after.
Flair taught me that’s it’s alright to drop and also that one must clean his/her own mess up. And it taught me a lot more. Bottle, pen, remote, stick, eraser - anything my hands thought they could flip, I would flip. All it took was a bottle of water to start my spark for flair.
And what is Flair?
After over a decade of flairing, if I can perhaps attempt to describe it:
Flair, to me, is a whole other genre of it own. It has been inspired from various juggling arts and now it has formed a category of its own. It is a medium to express something that may be interpreted artistically, while yet being a medium that is open to interpretation of all kinds of art forms. Being any art form, that can be incorporated into any task, which needs to be skillfully performed.
In other words, flair is the display of art through another skilled medium.
Flair has been associated always with bartending, but I don’t think it’s restricted to bartending alone. And one can express a flair for their respective skilled labour. Eg- to spin the rumali roti or pizza dough is flair for me; or the long pour performed to make your coffee frothy - that’s flair; Or how in Japan the traffic cops dance while managing the traffic - that’s all flair to me.
The world needs more flair today and will so tomorrow. And flair should be incorporated into all semi-mundane skilled laborious activity. Flair encourages and increases one’s creativity in their job, improves productivity and make a person happier.
So, in this new year, lets add some flair everywhere or at least somewhere, anywhere we may be. Performing something differently. Perhaps the way you squeeze out your tooth paste. Or the way you climb up the stairs, the way you handle your coffee mug or your pen. Anything!
Just do what you do, just a little differently.
Article written by Ami Shroff