Do it with Flair

Flair’ is an interesting bit of action perhaps best described as performing art specific to the alcohol sub-culture.  In case you didn’t know, its a term used to describe the juggling, balancing, artful pouring, spinning and flamboyance in and around bartending.

Flair was probably most notably brought into the public eye in the 80’s film Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown and Elizabeth Shue.  For those of you who might not recall, Cruise plays a young man trying to find his way in the world.   In looking for work, he befriends Brown (who is a mentor of sorts), gets a job tending bar and gains tremendous popularity in the nightclub scene with his flair, style and panache.  He and Brown spin and balance vodka bottles, juggle martini shakers and otherwise pour whiskey with tremendous skill.

Nowadays, flair has been elevated to its own art form, appearing on street corners, inside college and university pubs, and on television shows such as America’s Got Talent.  Somehow, it transcends booze and becomes something else.

What is flair about then, really?  Is it simply juggling, transferred into a bar setting?  Is it some variant on street magic or slight-of-hand?   Or something else entirely?  How is flair somehow able to transfix us, enthrall us, and/or get us to spend our money, any more than any other notable thing you might see inside a licensed establishment?

If you have an opinion on this, or if you simply have your own ‘Cocktails and Dreams’, we would love to hear from you.

Author: Doug Ironside RN

Doug is a Registered Nurse (PHN) with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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