Flair Bartending Competition in Nepal
Illusion Flair Forever Championship, one of the most ambitious bartending events in the country opening a milestone in the flair bartending industry
On February 18th, Illusion Flair Forever Championship, one of the most earnest bartending events in the nation. Flair bartending is the practice of bartenders entertaining guests, audiences, and clients with the manipulation of bar tools such as liquor bottles and cocktail shakers in a tricky and dazzling way. In Flair Bartending Competiton, bartending competitors compete to make the best cocktails while displaying challenging jaw-dropping tricks. Points are awarded on the basis of taste and flair.
Illusion Flair Forever Championship 2020 featured bartenders from bartending schools of Nepal and India. Famous names in bartending industry such as Ekka Nak Juggler ‘Indonesian Flair Champion’, Eugene Sokolov ‘Ukraine Flair Champion’ were in flair judge panel whereas Tara Adhikari ‘Beverage specialist and owner of Rain Patan and Kiki Bhutia ‘Former Director at Hongkong Bartending Association Nepal were present as Mixology Judges. All of the performance was reviewed by Yuvraj Pun, ‘President of Nepal Flair Bartender Association’.
“We featured 62 bartenders from Nepal and India in the competition,” said Santosh Acharya, Managing Director of Illusion Flair. “Each contender will get five minutes to make the Ruslan vodka-based cocktail. The bartender has to accumulate points and impress the judges,” he added. Piyush Bohra from ‘Bar Academy of Doon’ won the champion prize, Rai Badshah Kirat from ‘Illusion Bartender Academy’ lifted the trophy as 1st runnerup. Tek Bahadur from ‘Toit Bar & Brewery’ was able to secure 2nd runnerup. The best cocktail position went to the Alim Maharjan.
“This event has given local Nepali bartending industry an international exposure. We are constantly getting approached by the hotels and the future of the Nepal Bartending looks promising. It is a delight to see young bartenders having so much passion and commitment to this profession,” said Kiki Bhutia, Former Director at Hongkong Bartending Association Nepal. He is currently working as the Mixology Instructor at The Bartender’s Factory.
“We are looking to organise more events with international judges, celebrity guest bartenders. The local participation from the spirit company is low but with this kind of event, we are confident that they will support us in the coming future,” said Santosh Acharya.
“Bartending is a respected profession but it’s still looked down. Bartenders face many problems here. Local Business owners in Nepal are happy to invest millions on sound systems, decor or celebrities but are not willing to pay a decent salary to a good bartender, who can run and manage their business.” remarked Kiki Bhutia on the problem prevalent in the bartending business in Nepal. “Events such as Illusion Flair Forever Championship encourages bartenders to opt this profession as a career,” he added.