The UKBG competitor Tom Dyer came 6th out of 48 competitors in the flair final.

1st Uruguay Juan Pablo Santiago

2nd Venezuela Nike Trivino

3rd Taiwan Hsu Po Sheng

“I had heard a lot about singapore and have a lot of friends there and wasn’t disappointed at all. A great city with very cool people we had a great time visiting some of the local hot spots and enjoying the benefits of representing the UK in the IBA world finals.

When you attend the IBA world finals they certainly put on a jam packed full event. There is lots going on to keep every bartender happy. You are put up in a great hotel, and have the hospitality suites available to you in the evenings for relaxing, fun or whatever you might get up to in there. We started a mini flair tour around the suites putting on random flair shows for the unsuspecting guests. Everyone enjoyed them and it really created an electric atmosphere in each room. Thanks to everyone involved in that.

So the comp. I was representing the UK in the flair bartending category. I made it to the finals and had a lot to live up to as Gianluigi Bosco won it for the UK last year. I know it was going to be tough though as the flair comp at the IBA is a lot different to what I am used to. I have seen in the past the costumes and “themes” that the bartenders have used on stage, but I didn’t want to go down that route. I don’t think that I need a theme for this style of bartending. We are all bartenders with different styles and methods to making cocktails and mine is flair. I don’t have a theme on a saturday night when working on a bar so I thought why do I need it in a competition. I can put on a great show with a bottle and tin and a smile.

I had prepared my cocktail much earlier on in the year and even had a great compliment from Peter Dorelli in the UK qualification round, so thought, I had to use this one. I had made it in previous comps and was voted the best every time, so I new I was onto a winner.

When it came to the finals, I’ll admit I was nervous. But I always get nervous. Nerves are good and make you more alert. Maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself to try and win it. I had my tailored attire on and looked the part (nicely dressed smart bartender), and was ready to go. My routine went well, but I had some deductions that let me down and ran over time a little, but I was proud of what I did. I made the drink I wanted to make and performed the way I wanted to perform, so my placement of 6th was not a let down for me at all. I had 4 other flair competitions after this one to prepare for at the same time, so it can be tough to try and create 5 different routines in such a short space of time. Still like I said, I’m happy with what I did and I represented well.

One thing I love about this competitions is the fact you get to catch up with old friends that I don’t get to see so much. Friends from australia, romania, greece, uruguay, singapore and many more. It’s a great way to network with friends and colleagues and share new ideas, stories over a shot or three. I attended the IBA finals back in Puerto Rico and noticed the different countries staying together, and I thought, they are missing such a great opportunity to meet new people from other parts of the world. Find out about their bar culture, techniques, styles, drinks etc. So, that’s what I did, chatted to lots of different people and found out about what they love about bartending.

Overall it was a great event and we had a fantastic time. I would recommend that the flair competition needs an update, but we live and learn and I’ve seen it improve over the years. I would also suggest to put the flair competition in a local bar/nightclub. Flair is a lot about the show and to have a good venue will make all the difference and really see the bartenders pull out some fantastic routines.

Thanks very much UKBG. I will return next year and try and bring the title back to the UK.

happy days

Tom Dyer

UK
Tom Dyer
It’s not Terry’s It’s mine
1.5 cl Absolut Vodka
4cl Mozart Black Chocolate Pure
0.75 cl Malibu
0.75 cl Bacardi Carta Oro
1.5 cl Finest Call Sugar Syrup
3 Orange Wedges
Garnish: Rim of mix sugar chocolate and dry cocoa.

Uruguay
Juan Pablo Santiago
Modern Times
4.5 cl Absolut Vanilia
1.5 cl Mozart Amande ChocOrange
1.5 cl Monin Mango Syrup
1.5 cl Monin Passiofruit Syrup
6 cl Caraibos Orange Juice
Garnish: Orange & Cherry

Taiwan
Hsu Po Sheng
Strawberry Love Song
3 cl Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit
3 cl Giffard Crème de Fraise des Bois
1 cl Monin Cranberry Syrup
1 cl Fresh Lime Juice
Garnish: Strawberry, Mint Leaves & white Radish

Austria
Stefan Haneder
Melon Leaf
1.5 cl Grand Marnier
3 cl Ron Zacapa 23
2 cl Malibu
1.5 cl Monin Melon Syrup
8 cl Cranberry Juice
4 cl Orange Juice
Garnish: Fresh Lime Squeeze

For more about the event from the IBA click here