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Battle at the Blues

Battle at the Blues
July 14-15, 2007

Flairco & Windsor Bluesfest
Battle at the Blues
Windsor Bluesfest, Windsor, ON, (Canada)

Cash & Prizes

The Battle at the Blues flair bartending competition will be held on Saturday, July 14th and Sunday, July 15th as part of the Windsor Bluesfest in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. This event is meant as a fun competition for both the competitors and those in attendance.

Each competing bartender will perform one flair round featuring both working flair and exhibition flair skills, with a list of required drinks and deductions for mistakes. The Battle at the Blues is a Level 1 event on the 2007 FBA Pro Tour.

Mike McLean (FBA Master Certified Judge, Flairco, Inc.)
Ryan Smyth (Director of Special Events, Flairco Inc.)
Luis Herrera (FBA Board of Directors)

The standard FBA scoring system and definitions will be used.

Qualifying rounds will be 4 minutes and Finals will be 6 minutes.

A qualifying round will be held during the afternoon on Saturday, July 14th at Peppers Bar & Grill.

The final round will be held on the main stage at the Bluesfest on Sunday, July 15th.

Entry Fee to this competition will be $75.00 CAD (approximately $67.50 USD)


Competitors can set up the Flairco Portable Bar any way they like with only a few guidelines.
  • Bottles must start in the speed rail or on the lower bar surface
  • All shaker tins must start mouth down on the lower bar
  • All glassware will be set on the lower bar
  • Nothing can start on the upper bar surface

1st place $1,000.00 CAD (approximately $900.00 USD)
2nd place $500.00 CAD (approximately $450.00 USD)
3rd place $250.00 CAD (approximately $225.00 USD)
4th place $150.00 CAD (approximately $135.00 USD)
5th place $150.00 CAD (approximately $135.00 USD)
6th place $100.00 CAD (approximately $90.00 USD)
7th place $100.00 CAD (approximately $90.00 USD)

DRINK #1 Smirnoff and Pepsi - Working Flair
Smirnoff Vodka (half full bottle) - (1.25 oz)
Fill with Pepsi
Build over ice in a gibraltar glass.
Tall Straw
Lime wedge garnish
Specialty Drink
The bartender's specialty drink should include only sponsor products.
Sponsor products include:
  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Captain Morgan Rum
  • Jose Cuervo Tequila
  • All other brands distributed by Diageo
Any Glass
Any Garnish


  1. All the competitors are to read the rules in full before asking questions. If you have any questions please post them in the Battle at the Blues forum.
  2. Violation of any rule may result in disqualification from the competition.
  3. Any acts that display low integrity, poor taste or disrespect for the competition, sponsors or the host facility are subject to disqualification.
  4. You must be at least 19 years old to participate in this competition.
  5. All expenses for travel, hotel, and food are the responsibility of the competitors.
  6. The entry fee for this competition is $75.00 CAD (approximately $68.00 USD) and all competitors must be FBA members in good standing. You may join or renew your membership at the event. Annual membership fee is $55.00 USD.
  7. You must email Mike McLean at mike@flairco.com if you wish to compete
  8. Competitors will receive a complimentary pass to the Windsor Bluesfest for both Saturday, July 14th and Sunday, July 15th. This pass allows entry to the show and access to the competition area.
  9. Competitors will have four (4) minutes in the qualifying round and six (6) minutes in the final round to prepare two (2) cocktails. The first cocktail, a Smirnoff and Pepsi, will be prepared using a Working Flair setup, and the other, a specialty cocktail of the competitor's choice, using an Exhibition Flair setup. Competitors can make the drinks in any order or combination they want.
  10. After the allotted time for the round is over, the music will stop and judging for technical elements will be over.
  11. Bottles that are used for props or for balancing may be empty or have a cap. These bottles may not be used to flair with, or they will fall under the Intentional Empty Bottle Flair Penalty (see PENALTIES Below).
  12. Working Flair Setup will use bottles set to at least half (1/2) full and with Spill Stop #285-50 metal pour spouts.
  13. Exhibition Flair Setup will use bottles set to at least 1/2 oz of liquid with any free flowing pour spout.
  14. All pour spouts must be free flowing, unaltered, restricted, knocked down or modified in any way. Pour spouts may have one (1) stripe of tape around the neck to hold them in place.
  15. Due to AGCO regulations, competitors will use water to fill their bottles with. Juices or coloring may be used to simulate the colour of the liquor for the bottle being flipped.
  16. Juices for the specialty drink can be in Store N Pours, Piazza Pours, Finest Call bottles or clear, un-tinted glass bottles.
  17. Competition organizers will only have a limited amount of 750mL sponsor bottles and competitors should provide their own bottles if possible. However, these bottles must be product specific to the drinks they are making with the original sponsor brand labels intact.
  18. The use of fire is not permitted and will result in automatic disqualification.
  19. For warm-up, the competitors are assigned a special area. Any flairing outside of designated area will result in disqualification.
  20. Music must be in CD AUDIO format, NOT MP3! It should be in its own case, properly labeled with the competitor's name and track number. The CD must be ready to play as the DJ will not do any mixing at all. It is recommended that you bring more than one copy with you in case it is damaged or not readable. Event staff are not responsible for damaged or unreadable music.
  21. All competitors must attend the meeting one (1) hour before the start of the qualifying round to review the rules, submit two copies of their specialty drink recipes and sign waivers. If you do not attend this, meeting, you will be disqualified.
  22. Competitors can set up the Flairco Portable Bar any way they like with only a few guidelines. Bottles must start in the speed rail or on the lower bar surface. All shaker tins must start mouth down on the lower bar. All glassware will be set on the lower bar. Nothing can start on the upper bar surface.
  23. The event organizers reserve the right to inspect any or all competition equipment before and/or after a competitor performs.
  24. All finished drinks must be placed on the bar top before the end of the routine.
  25. Organizers are not responsible for any injury or traumas received by the competitor during performance.
  26. Organizers are not responsible for any loss of personal belongings of the competitor.
  27. No competing liquors will be allowed as ingredients.
  28. All extra ingredients, mixes, garnishes, glassware or tools are the responsibility of the competitor.
  29. All bottles used must be product specific.
  30. If the recipe for this specialty drink is not provided at the competition meeting, the competitor will not score any points for this drink.


Difficulty 100 points:
  • Difficulty 100 points
Flow of routine 50 points:
  • Smoothness 50 points
Creative Flair 50 points:
  • Variety 50 points
Showmanship 200 points:
  • Presence & Composure 50 points
  • Specialty Drink & Sponsor Promotion 50 points
  • Overall Performance & Entertainment 100 points

1 Points: 5 Points: 10 Points: 25 Points: *EMPTY BOTTLE FLAIR - Competitors can be penalized on two levels for Empty Bottle Flair. If the judges determine that the competitor DID NOT maliciously perform Empty Bottle Flair, then the competitor will receive the UNINTENTIONAL penalty (5 points). If the judges determine that the competitor DID maliciously perform Empty Bottle Flair, then the competitor will receive the INTENTIONAL penalty (20 points).

Dropped or spilled drinks may be remade before the time runs out. The remaking of drinks should also include some form of flair, be it a tin spin or a simple garnish toss.

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