Bartenders show off skills at flair comp­etition in San Antonio

4th annual Texas flair bartending challenge held at Miami Bar on NW Loop 410

SAN ANTONIO - It's been 25 years since Tom Cruise wowed movie audiences with his flashy bartending skills in "Cocktail" and his moves live on in flair bartending competitions. 

Miami Bar at 602 NW Loop 410 hosted the 4th annual Texas flair bartending challenge drawing competitors from as far away as Argentina and Austria.

"We needed to bring something like that to San Antonio, and we got a couple of guys together and we started with a small event, just six or seven competitors, and now we've grown to over 20 competitors," said organizer Carlos Lomeli.

"It's my first competition and hopefully all goes well," said Jose Casas, a bartender from McAllen that came up with a group of valley bartenders. "It's my first competition, everybody's like, 'you're going to drop, you're going to drop.' If I do, it's my first competition and I'll learn from it."

Casas led the event off Monday night and had a drop and a couple of spills, but was glad to get the first one out of the way. He had a chance to watch and learn from some of the best in the industry including Rodrigo Delpech. The Argentine is currently ranked number one on the pro circuit.

"For me, it's kind of two passions at once," said Delpech, who began competing at 16. "It's great to be on stage and do something you love and you're able to entertain people with, and at the same time, I get a chance to see the world."

Organizers expect the two day event to draw big crowds in the bar, and for those who can't make it, the entire event is broadcast live online.

"It's such an entertaining thing," said Lomeli. "When you go and sit at a really cool flair bar you're going to see things you've never seen before."

"Back in McAllen, not a lot of people flair, so the little things I do know, I do it behind the bar and people really appreciate it," added Casas.

Bartending challenge slide


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