WFA Grand Slam: Skilled Flair Bartender 2017 The Results, Memorable Moments & More

The Results

Skilled Flair Bartender in Cancun, Mexico went down on the 17th and 18th of August. The second time this tournament has taken place, it was also the first time it was undertaken as a WFA Grand Slam, as well as being our first WFA Grand Slam ever in Central America.

It was a hard fought competition with a number of new faces but in the end the winner was the returning champion and long time professional flair bartender, Marek Posluszny. The Top 3 along with trophies and cash prizes were awarded the WFA Black level and 4th-6th were awarded WFA Purple level. The full results can be seen below:


Skilled Flair Bartender, Cancun

Skilled flair bartender is always an interesting event and a great addition to the WFA competition calendar. Starting off as a relatively small flair bartending competition, Skilled Flair Bartender has come a long way in a very short period of time. The organisers have always aspired to be part of the WFA Grand Slam selection and entered discussions on how to achieve that with our Head of Gradings & Grand Slam Consultant @thomasdyer-3.

One of the greatest things about Skilled Flair Bartender is its location. The first WFA Grand Slam to take place in Central America and only the second Grand Slam to ever take place in South & Central America, it understandably attracts a number of bartenders from the local area that we do not usually get to see. With the vast majority of competitions happening in Europe it isn’t always achievable for many of the competitors from South and Central America to make it over to compete. This was the perfect opportunity for many of these bartenders to take part and that is just what happened with flair bartenders competing from Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina and the USA alongside a number of the usual suspects such as Marek Posluszny (@marasboston), Miika Mehtio (@miikamehtio) and Cristian Balta (@baltacristian).

As well as the standard professional competiton, which you expect to see at every WFA Grand Slam – Skilled Flair Bartender also had a competition running for semi professionals, as well as a separate achievement for the best cocktail, best red bull based cocktail, best Da Vinci cocktail, and best female flair bartender. The semi professional competiton is a great addition which encorouges less experienced flair bartenders to compete on the big stage , with the best two competing alongside the professionals in the finals – although they are still judged as semi professionals.

Taking place at TGI Friday’s in Cancun, Mexico, the competition is not all about flair as previously mentioned.

The bartenders had to make two cocktails, one based around Red Bull and the other on Da Vinci syrups. The winning Red Bull cocktail will be placed on the TGI Fridays cocktail menu in Cancun.  Both cocktails were tasted by a panel of professional tasting judges and combined with the bartenders flair score to get their final score.

Most memorable moment

We caught up with judge for the day and Head of Gradings & Grand Slam Consultant here at the WFA @thomasdyer-3, to discover what his most memorable moments were:

There were a couple for me this time around. Both came from bartenders we don’t always get to see a great deal of but I always look forward to seeing them perform. I love how this competition in particular provides a platform for bartenders from this part of the world, as it is very clear they have a lot to offer and bring to the scene

The first for me was from Alexis Guizado, he performed a four bottle sequence with some links and connections that were mind blowing! Alexis has to get a special mention for this sequence, the difficulty and originality shown was some of the best I have seen this year.

Alex Guizado four bottle sequence.

The second most memorable moment came from our runner up, Yonny Aguilar. Yonny brought a level of difficulty with his moves that I haven’t seen before – it was amazing. From a score point of view his moves were scoring 3 points higher than the next nearest flair bartender, on the difficulty scale. The most memorable moment of his routine for me was when he was performing a throwing sequence with a number of objects in the air, whilst these objects were in the air he performed a floor bounce with a tin, it was ridiculously difficult to attempt – and he pulled it off!

For me it is clear that the bartenders in South and Central America and the surrounding region practice their asses off. The level of quality and difficulty they bring to this competition is incredible. It is a shame they do not have access to the same level of opportunities as the European bartenders in particular. Although the level of difficulty and originality were particularly impressive from the local bartenders there is still another level to be added to the choreography of the routines and an element of competition intelligence that needs to be added to ensure they are really killing it at Grand Slam level. The ability is certainly there, I think it is just a matter of experience – so the more competitions (big or small) you can be involved in, the better!”.

Runner up, Yonny Aguilar