A cock­tail of flair and show­man­ship

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

A pair of Auck­land bar­tenders are hop­ing they’ve got the mixes and moves to wow the crowd at the world flair bar­tend­ing com­pe­ti­tion next week.

Ever­ton “Ton” Silva and An­thony “Tee” Rima rep­re­sented SkyCity’s pop­u­lar night­club Bar Three and Smirnoff Blue Vodka at the In­ter­na­tional Flair Bar­tend­ing As­so­ci­a­tion com­pe­ti­tion in Syd­ney in June.

Flair is the style of bar­tend­ing which in­volves us­ing bot­tles and bar uten­sils to en­ter­tain pun­ters while mix­ing drinks.

The two out­shone 20 con­tes­tants from around the world in the Syd­ney heats, earn­ing their place among nine fi­nal­ists.

On Sun­day they’ll travel to the Gods of Flair grand fi­nal, be­ing held this year at the Thredbo ski fields, Aus­tralia.

SkyCity bars man­ager Andy Ruzich coaches the flair bar­tenders and says there’s a lot more to it than throw­ing bot­tles around in the air.

In com­pe­ti­tion, con­tes­tants are also marked on the mix­ture of their in­gre­di­ents, los­ing points for any drops, breaks or spills and gain­ing credit for show­man­ship and a seam­less rou­tine.

They’ll have just five min­utes to make three drinks – two work­ing flair cock­tails, rou­tines they use while on the job, and an ex­hi­bi­tion flair cock­tail which is a more elab­o­rate rou­tine just for show.

As a coach, Andy helps chore­o­graph the rou­tines for each drink.

Hav­ing been in the in­dus­try for 15 years, he says the key is to prac­tise a lot.

“The re­ally cut­ting edge stuff that they’re do­ing takes prac­tise ev­ery day.

“It takes many, many hours in the park with plas­tic bot­tles be­fore you’re ready to per­form in the bar.”

And they’ll be prac­tis­ing among the very best if they win.

The bar­tender crowned the God of Flair will win an all­ex­penses paid trip to study at the renowned Bols Academy of Bar­tend­ing in Am­s­ter­dam, which of­fers in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised bar­tend­ing qual­ifi

Ton, who won sec­ond place at the New Zealand com­pe­ti­tion last year and has been en­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tions at home in Brazil for more than seven years, says travel op­por­tu­ni­ties are one of the ad­van­tages of his oc­cu­pa­tion.

Tee has been “flair­ing” for two and a half years and has been prac­tis­ing for eight hours ev­ery day in the leadup to the com­pe­ti­tion.

He says it would be great to to rep­re­sent New Zealand in Am­s­ter­dam if he wins.

“Flair bar­tend­ing’s not re­ally big here.

“We want to get New Zealand out there.”


A touch of flair:

Flair bar­tenders at SkyCity’s Bar 3, from left: Mo­hin­der Sawroop, Andy Ruzich and Ever­ton Silva.

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