Flair! The word in itself is astounding. Fair, with the potential to add an alluring charisma to anything it escorts. Beauty, when accompanied with flair results in grace and elegance. Only a fortunate few have the privilege and liberty to work alongside flair. Bartending, fortunately being one of the selected few. Flair when blended with bartending blossoms into a prodigious spectacle. It transforms BARTENDING to “FLAIR BARTENDING”. Welcome to the “New age of Indian Flair Bartending”.
I was fortunate enough to witness the rise and what you can characterize as the disappearance of flair bartending in India. But what I witnessed at the platform of Craft Drink India, can be definitely termed as the resurgence of Flair Bartending in India. Was shockingly surprised to see flair bartenders perform some eerie of moves with bottles and shakers. And what a pleasant sight it was.
Craft Drink India
Craft Drink India a brand which made its debut in July 2018. A trade show for production technology with regards to Beer, Spirits and Wine. A two days event for all the alco-bev economist to shake hands with each other and witnessing the best technology from across the globe. And it was a wonderful gesture of them to hold IFBA FLAIR BARTENDING COMPETITION at their venue. Providing a great platform for flair bartenders to exhibit their skills and boy they didn’t disappoint.
Indian Flair Bartenders Association
IFBA which stand for (Indian Flair Bartenders Association) a non-profitable body formed by Veteran Bartenders of India. The president being Rohan Carvalho, India’s first national flair bartending champion. This was IFBA third flair bartending competitions of the year and probably the best, at least from what I have witnessed. And it definitely showcased a great deal of improvement in flair, from the previous flair bartending competition held.
Stoli, premium Russian vodka was the title sponsors along with Monin beverage sponsors for the flair bartending competition. Russian know for producing some great quality vodka and Stoli being no different. Monin Syrups a brand which needs no introduction. French syrup company well known for making some of the best flavours globally.
The flair bartenders were all well briefed with the rules and regulation. Just to bring to the notice, flair bartending competition comes with minus marks as well. In contrast to every other competition which is all about a plus point, flair bartending competition comes with a reduction in marks as well.
The reduction is based on the number of times you drop. Strange but that’s the rule of flair bartending, making it even more challenging. it’s not about plus here, minus also has a major role to play. And it did play its part here as well.
Indian Flair Bartending Competition
With the bartenders taking centre stage, all eager to display their flair bartending skills. Flair was now going to remain the centre attraction. In other words, time for bottles and shakers to fly and most importantly land like an aircraft.
The landing has to be perfect, nothing short of perfect was accepted. A wrong landing would result in a drop and minus point as well. But the bartender seemed quite determined and in a different realm once they got behind the bar. And they demonstrated some breathtaking performance of flair bartending leaving everyone in the crowd dumbfounded.
The flair bartending competition lasted for more than a couple hours. Each bartender displaying an array of skills in flair and cocktails as well. The venue was now adrift in the midst of some great flair bartending and equally enthusiast crowd. The bartenders doing well in managing to keep the enthusiasm right till the very end.
The euphoria was equally matched by the crowd, which appreciated every great flair move by the bartenders with some colossal cheer. Didn’t look like a single person in the audience was ready to leave the venue, anxiously waiting until the very end of the competition. A rare feature, something which I witnessed after a very long time when it comes to flair bartending.
With the flair bartending competition coming to end, it was time for the winners. All the flair bartending were top notch but as per the rules and regulation of any competition, there can be just one winner. Along with the top 3 champion flair bartenders, there also stood a special price for the best cocktail award.
IFBA shaping Indian flair bartending Champions
For Flair bartending, Piyush Bora from Dehradun rightfully stood first, followed by Kiran Panchal from Bombay and Hemraj Shettigar from Mangalore. Govind Thapa bagging the best cocktail award. Finally, at the end of the day, it was “Flair Bartending ” which turned out to be the ultimate winner.
A great initiative by IFBA to organise a flair bartending competition of this magnitude. It definitely deserves a big thumbs up. Well supported by Craft Drinks Indian, Stoli Vodka and Monin Syrups. It seems like flair bartending in India found itself an all-new and perfect launch pad in IFBA.
Living up to the expectations is now the next challenge for IFBA and the Flair Bartenders. it’s not easy, but I believe they have just cleared the first hurdle 🙂 . Also, would like to wish Indian Flair Bartending Association all the very best for the long road ahead with many more flair bartending competition to follow.