On the 25th June the 2nd edition of Bottle Tin is King (#BTiK) took place at the one and only Roadhouse in Covent Garden London. #BTiK is a new concept in regards of flair bartending competition as it does not follow the normal format of other flair competitions.
By taking it back to a competition centred around two objects, which can be the bottle and tin or perhaps a combination of two other objects, it encourages flair bartenders to take it back to the basics and focus more on the routine as a whole, technical ability and what you are doing as a form of entertainment.
Is it even entertaining? If the answer is no then you wont get very far in #BTiK. Successful bartenders in the #BTiK competition must call on every facet of their creativity and really explore their imagination in order to come up with something that is not only entertaining for the crowd but also new and original for the judges.
#BTiK really pushes bartenders to come up with new and original moves. This what decides the winners.
Congratulations to long time bartender, representing EBS London, Flavius Lupu for wining this year’s edition of Bottle Tin is King. It was very closely fought between Flavius, Jumbles and Marek with very slim margins deciding the final standing. We talked to Flavius to find out his thoughts on winning his first #BTiK:
This was your first victory at #BTiK, how did it feel?
“So this was my third Roadhouse victory and winning at the Roadhouse is always special, but yes it was my first #BTiK victory and probably my most important Roadhouse victory to me. I have believed in the #BTiK concept for a long time, it is where you can truly express yourself as a flair bartender and show off your uniqueness. This is what I encourage in all flair bartenders I work with and in life – just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
“Roadhouse is like a second home to me, I love it here. It felt great, I didn’t feel under any pressure because I didn’t go to win, I went because I love what I am doing and I wanted to take the crowd on that journey with me. I wanted to show them how I see flair and at the same time inspire my students”.
What do you think about the #BTIK style of competition?
“I think #BTiK is such an awesome concept. It brings back the fun and freedom, which I think has got a bit lost in flair bartending competitions over the years. The fun and freedom in my eyes should be respected more as this is where flair bartending started many years ago.
The bottle and tin are the two elements or the roots that founded the flair bartending culture that we all love – literally the birth place of all moves. We must pay homage to people like Nicholas Saint Jean, Sebastian Oguic and Alex Searle as well as many others that have shared their imagination of flair with all of us and shaped the style of the new generation. What we are doing today wouldn’t be possible without them”.
You always place pretty high in the important flair competitions, what do you think sealed the victory for this one?
“Haha! I’m full of quotes you know, so I’m going to give you another one, ‘ You can’t stand out and fit in at the same’ or another I love, ‘I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not’.
So in answer to your question I have just been me the whole time, nothing has really changed with this victory, I had fun, I laughed an enjoyed it and tried to transmit that energy to the public – as I always do. It’s about what you do and how you do it, not about how much you do.
In this routine I did a mixture of style, flow, body movement and music interaction. By the end of the routine the whole crowd was singing the song, so for me that was already winning even if I would have come last! I know some people wont believe it but I don’t need to win, I lead life as window with a nice view”.
This of course gets you into the Roadhouse Grand Final in November, is there something special you are preparing?
Haha of course! I am preparing the ultimate show but it would be so special if I tell you right? See you in November! And remember be original and you’ll always be found!”.
Thought on #BTiK with Tom Dyer
“#BTiK was also happening on the 25th anniversary of the Roadhouse bar so we also had 6 old school Roadhouse legends that each worked behind the bar for 15 minutes each. It was a great addition that generated a lot of hype and interest on the day, which carried through to #BTiK. The vibe and energy on the stage, the audience, the whole overall show was fantastic and a real step up from the previous year. It was almost a return to the Roadhouse competitions of time gone by.
#BTiK is a very special competition as for me, if you want to be the greatest bartender in the world, #BTiK is at the forefront of demonstrating this. Any serious flair bartender needs to be able to master one bottle and one tin before anything else. For example, there are plenty of fantastically talented flair bartenders who’s performances can suffer when multiple objects are introduced, albeit their flairing ability can actually be just as high as those who can handle multiple objects. You have to be good at all aspects of flair in order to be good at Bottle Tin – your drink, your presence, the show you put on all has to be on point, after all you cannot rely on the theatre of throwing up multiple objects”.
We invited down some old school legends for #BTiK such as Svetilo Andreev, AKA Drops, and Riccardo Massamateo. It was great to see Riccardo on the Roadhouse stage again. Ricardo hasn’t competed for 6 years came 4th and made it to the World Finals. Svetlio has never competed at the Roadhouse and this was his last chance to step up and try it out, one last time to get on the world famous Roadhouse stage. In his own words, you are not a true professional flair bartender if you haven’t performed on the Roadhouse stage.
It was a big step up for Jumbles and Flavius as well who have never come in front of Marek at #BTiK before, both have been snapping at Marek’s heal’s for years.
It was also great to see Jean-Marc Pothier put in a really consistent and strong routine. He has always been a contender but never have we really seen him nail it. It was great to see him make the final round and it was really well deserved”.
Roadhouse Competitions to come:
The UK Open – July 30th.
The UK Final – August 20th
Chicks with Flicks – September 24th
The World Open – October 29th
The Roadhouse World Flair Grand Final – November 25th and 26th