Got the bottle for bartender tricks?
I T seems that pouring a drink straight into a glass just isn't the way to do things these days.
So many people in Crawley want to be able to serve a cocktail in style that a bartending tricks training school is proving hugely popular.
Sam Murphy, of Maunsell Park, in Three Bridges, set up FlairTrix a year ago and on Saturday held the first lesson of the year.
Some 30 people took part in the beginners' class at JJ Whispers, on Crawley's High Street, where they were taught some basic skills to impress friends at parties.
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Sam said: "It is quite a weird thing to throw around a bottle so to get them familiar with it we started with plastic bottles so they weren't afraid to drop them.
"They all learnt a simple routine which involved spinning the bottle over their head and around their neck and then catching it on the back of their hand and arm.
"It is quite a cool thing to learn because the skills and tricks can be put to use at any party they now go to.
"I even find myself using the skills in everyday life now, be it with my shower gel or a bottle of ketchup."
Sam became interested in learning the skill four-and-a-half years ago after seeing a group performing tricks on TV show Britain's Got Talent.
He said: "They really caught my attention and I became self taught over about two years.
"We started with only five people coming to classes in Crawley and to now be up to 30 at the last event and 45 expected at the next is brilliant.
"It is great for any bartender to get involved with too. My tips rocketed when I started 'flairing' and I must have made an extra £10,000 in tips in the last four years."
Sam, who runs the bar at TGI Friday's in Crawley Leisure Park, was particularly impressed with his youngest ever pupil – 10-year-old Harry Durham.
The 24-year-old added: "We had never had someone that young before at any of our lessons and I was extremely impressed. He picked it up a lot quicker than the adults.
"It is a skill anyone can pick up, though. In the past I have had a 53-year-old take part in one of our lessons and he surprised me with how agile he was."
Due to its increasing popularity, the FlairTrix training school will be run on a monthly basis at JJ Whispers, with staff there also being taught tricks.
Marc Simpson, a director at the nightclub, said: "It helps our staff by keeping them on their toes but also keeps morale high because it's an activity they can all do.
"It is another form of entertainment for the customers because it is obviously more interesting for them and is another string to our bow to be the best venue in town."
Anyone interested in taking part in a future training day can call Sam on 07535 757870.