Tell us when and where it all started. When did you start your bartending career?
I started in 2005, while I was still in college studying Chemical Engineering.
How did you start with flair bartending?
After I broke my leg and was forbidden to play football, I started working in a bar. I had a teacher but he didn’t really pay any attention to me so I pretty much learned everything by myself.
How many hours of practice did you put into it?
I practiced every day for as much as I could. Sometimes I would stay and practice for three to four days in a row, I would eat and sleep in the flair room. I can’t say that’s the best way to come at it but at that time I was so interested and inspired that I couldn’t leave it alone.
It seems that that was a good way about it for you, it gave you great results.
It did, I was the Champion of Russia. Later I realized that rest is essential. You need to combine rest and practice because you’re way more capable when your body is relaxed.
How did the idea of “Craft Flair” come about?
Since I’ve been to many educations and I understand the steps. I always wanted to teach people various moves they can use behind the bar. The idea of making videos came to me a long time ago.
I like the feedback I get because I learn through it. I realized that everybody has talent, they just have to find it. And if someone doesn’t understand what I’m trying to teach them, it just means I just have to figure out a way to explain it better.
Since you travel a lot, what do you consider to be a good bar?
What makes something a good bar most of the time has nothing to do with how the bar looks or the type of cocktails they offer. It’s all in the way bartenders carry themselves and how they treat their guests. That’s mostly the reason why people come back to a bar, and if they serve good cocktails and the interior looks good, that’s just a great plus.
You visited Croatia many times is there a city that you’re particularly fond of?
I’ve been to Croatia but every time for competitions and Split is probably my favorite place because of its history and nature which is unbelievable.
Do you have any advice for future bartenders?
They should find a balance between practicing and relaxing. I advise them to push themselves and learn as much as possible but at the same time have fun with it. They should enjoy it but in an ambitious way.