Often described as being cheesy and anti-craft, Flair Bartending has taken an unfair beating by Craft bartenders looking down at their Flair brothers.
Bad cocktails, wasted alcohol, cheap theatrics are common refrains sang from the Craft bartending hymn book, when referring to Flair bartenders.
Ironically, most forget the movie “Cocktail” which was the big bang moment for Flair bartending that helped pave the way for the early resurgence of the modern cocktail movement.
Flair now has its own well developed rituals developed over 25 years, yet on the Craft side of things it took the discovery and adoption of Japanese bar ritual 6 years ago to create the necessary theatre to power the Craft story as we know it today.
In anthropological terms the historic battle between Flair and Craft appears more like a schism, the result of a single bartending ancestor, with roots steeped in and around the time of Prohibition.
Can we imagine with the market moving so quickly will the rise of cocktail culture unwittingly morph the divergents back into one or maybe something new?
Could this be nature’s way of repairing the damage and aftermath created from Prohibition?
Today some visionary’s within the Flair community are tinkering with new techniques and rituals to help re-invent itself.
The new unnamed hybrid may one day be known as “Craft-Flair, " developed by people such as Clinton Weir in Australia.
If the ultimate goal is to keep delighting guests searching for new truths and experiences, then the possibilities of a re-imagined future will be really exciting!