FLAIR TODAY FROM URUGUAY! – Danilo Oribe Interviewed

Updated: April 1, 2007
From starting out competing only 40 days after he started flipping bottles to finishing in the top three at the Legends of Bartending with only having one drop the whole week… Mr. Danilo Oribe. He has a kind persona about him but behind the Flair bar he is wild, exciting, precise and passionate about what he does. Back again on the cover of Flairbar.com for a second time, this time we get to know a little more about the guy from Uruguay. So sit back and enjoy a Skyy vodka or Finest Call cocktail and enjoy…

Age? I am 23 years old.

Where are you from? I am from Montevideo, Uruguay.

How long have you’ve been Bartending? I have been bartending for about four and a half years.

And Flair Bartending? Same as Bartending.

Where do you work? In Uruguay we have a Bar Crew, Bars and Flair shows in events, it is called “Shake and Show”, and I have also been working for 3 years in
a Flair Bar in Uruguay “The Bar” (Conrad Hotel and Casino by Harrah´s) in Punta del Este.

What got you into Flair Bartending? At that time I was studying to be a Physical Education teacher and I was invited to work as “barback” in a big social event in 2002, and I was impressed watching some Uruguayan Flair Bartenders performing in that event.

After that I started studying to be a Bartender in the Uruguayan Bartenders Association, and I started to Flair on my own at the same time. That gave me the push to start practicing and get better little by little.

How did you start out learning to Flair? Thanks to the support of my colleagues in Uruguay, they gave me a good idea about Flair. I started out practicing with a big support from Marcelo Pellejero, one of the first Barman shows in Uruguay, since 1995. He introduced me into the profession. Oscar Pérez and Pablo Fernández, from
latinbar.net organized an interesting and very professional seminar about Flair in 2002 in Uruguay as well as in many other countries in Latin America, since then I had a big motivation and also a big support from them.

Danilo_quote1Tell us about the Flair Bartending scene in Uruguay? Nowadays it is growing little by little, to begin with I can tell you there were two new competitors from Uruguay in the IBA international competitions this year. They are Juan Pablo Santiago and Alejandro Pellejero, to compete in the IBA World Flair championship in Taiwan in November, and the Pan-American Flair competition in Venezuela, in August. They are great, and I hope that in the near future they will
have the chance to compete in the USA.

In Uruguay there are two Flair schools, I suppose we have at least 30 new Flair bartenders each year, I can also say that actually just 10 or 15 Flair Bartenders keep on practicing, but some of them are really good.

What is Flair Bartending? Really, for me it is way of life, today I can say my life changed 100 percent because of this profession, I am extremely grateful to Tom Cruise! (ha, ha).

Danilo_cutout4smDescribe to us your style of Flair? I believe my Flair point is to have a good overall performance, trying to get a good smoothness with difficulty and originality in some routines. I always try to have a lot of contact with the public, crowd reaction. I would say that my Flair has a lot of influence from South America “FLAIR LATINO” or “Latin Flair”, that is the style I like and admire more than any other.

What makes you stand out from other Flair Bartenders? The passion for this profession.

What do you hope to get out of Flair? I hope to keep learning, meet a lot of people, try to get in more competitions and to give support in Uruguay to the new Flair Bartenders.

What is your favorite Flair Bartending competition and why?  Legends, no doubt, before legends I think I was a Bartender flipping bottles, now after being in the Legends final, I can say I am a Flair Bartender.

Who do you look up to in this Sport?  Rodrigo Delpech, Adriano Marcellino, Juan Llorente, Ken Hall, Nicolas Saint Jean, Oscar Pérez, Pablo Fernández and many more. Christian, of course, changed the Flair history and he had a big influence on many of us.

FBC_Video_ButtonWhat are your thoughts on the FBA Pro Tour, (likes and dislikes)? I think it is great, the sport keeps growing through activities like the FBA Pro Tour, the problem is that it is not easy for all the competitors to be in all the competitions, but in the future I hope it will be better.

If you could help influence Flair to change our sport somehow, what would it be and why? I think we need many more professional Flair Bartenders, in that way, there will be more Flair Bars, more sponsors and TV stations such as
espn will be interested in Flair Bartending, that would be the top!

Danilo_quote2What are your plans now? After almost 5 years that I started in this profession, I have been in more than 15 countries performing and representing my country in competitions and events, If I want to keep competing, I know I have to start working in the USA or Europe, from Uruguay it is practically impossible to keep going. We´ll see.

What are some common myths about the profession of Flair bartending? That we are always drunk!
How often do you practice? Not always because of my job. I always practice when I’m getting ready for a competition. For instance, for Road House 2006 I practiced for a whole month about six hours every day. For legends 9, I practiced eight hours a day for 10 days in Vegas, thank you Oscar for your garage! and also for teaching me how to make the speed round and the pour test round!





Danilo_cutout3smWhat is your advice to some of the new people wanting to start competing, any helpful hints? I think you have to work hard in your training every day if you can. It Is necessary to have a big motivation, if you have it, you will spend many hours practicing without noticing the time.

Tell us about your first Flair Competition and your experiences there, What were you feeling, Did everything go as planned? My first comp was in a night club in Uruguay in 2002, 40 days after I started practicing Flair for the first time! It was a memorable experience. Fortunately I wasn’t very nervous and everything went the way it was planned, I had no drops!

Describe to us what your ultimate Flair competition would consist of? It would consist of the top 50 Flair competitors from all over the world (actually there are unknown great Flair Bartenders who are not competing), making them compete for a week, and finally get the top three competing once again to see who is the best of the best. And that competition would be held not every year, but just like the soccer world cup, every four years!





Before entering Legends 9, what were your thoughts going into it? I was very excited, I knew I had just 10 days to really learn the speed round and pour test round in Vegas, with the real bars, bottles and cocktails, it was the first time competing at this level for me, I had an idea but it was all new for me.

Because of that, my goal was to be in the final, to be honest I was happy with that, I knew there were many top competitors who were very experienced in this kind of competition. It was incredible for me to be in the top 3! For example, I just trained for the working Flair round the same day of the final, in the morning. To win the exhibition Flair round in the final was Fantastic for me, because of that I finished third in the final overall score.

Danilo_quote3Now that it is over, Tell us your thoughts on Legends of Bartending 9? Oh, I think it is the best competition ever, great organization, and I think it will be even better in the future with more sponsors and top competitors.

Out of two days of insane Flair I heard you only had one drop… How did you accomplish that? That´s one of my goals, I can sometimes have drops, it is ok, but I was very happy about that.

Where do you see the future of Flair Bartending? In a stadium for thousands of people. Wouldn’t that be nice?



Danilo_cutoutsmWhat obstacles do you see our sport of Flair Bartending encountering in the near future and in your opinion, how can we overcome them? I think if we want to develop Flair Bartending, we need more experienced Flair managers in hotels and bars, to make our profession well known and to have more Flairbars, but most of all, I think we need more professional Flair Bartenders.

If you had the opportunity to convince a skeptical Bar manager to hire a Flair Bartender, How would you go about it? At first I would tell him that this bartender can make perfect cocktails, that he also knows how to make those cocktails quickly, that he can calibrate liquids, that he has a great passion for this profession, and mainly, that he has a great show to entertain guests.






What are some common obstacles you face as a Flair bartender opposed to a regular bartender? To be catalogued just as a juggler, the goal is to show knowledge, also in mixology, and show that it is not just juggling, that it is something really different.

Why do you think Flair bartenders from all over the world want to come and work in America?? I think it is because the major competitions are held in America.

What is your favorite drink? I like many drinks, one of them Grand Marnier and Tonic. Thanks Flairbar.com for the magazine, which is very popular around the world and of course in Uruguay as well!



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