Creating Craft Cocktails With Flair

Meet The Chilled 100: Vladymyr Buryanov, Las Vegas Flair Academy, European Bartending School, Las Vegas
Twelve years ago, while living in Yalta, Ukraine, Chilled 100 member Vladymyr Buryanov witnessed a flair bartending presentation that changed his life completely. He was so impressed by what he saw that he took it upon himself to study flair bartending moves and become competition-worthy. Less than year later, he started winning events around the world. Now in Las Vegas, he has carved out a niche for himself as co-owner of the Las Vegas Flair Academy and, recently, opened one of the first EBS (European Bartending School) outlets in the United States.

While he has made a career out of being a flair bartender, Buryanov believes that flair and craft are starting to dovetail.

“We used to have the flair bartenders that would flair a little too long,” he explains, “and mixologists who made you feel as if they had left the bar to go to a farm to pick the fresh fruits before making your cocktail. Now, I see the mixologists toning it back a little bit and making nice cocktails with far less ingredients, and flair bartenders are starting to do more simple flair just to add a little wow factor while making cocktails.”

Chilled 100 Mixologist, Vladymyr Buryanov, chilled 100, what's chilling right now

Chilled 100 Mixologist, Vladymyr Buryanov / Photo by Vladymyr Buryanov

Buryanov brings this exact philosophy to his work, whether he is training new bartender, instructing students, or making drinks for patrons.

“I love using ‘craft flair’ to make any drink,” he notes. “The cocktail should be about the consumer. I want to make sure they enjoy watching me make the cocktail as much as they enjoy drinking it.”

He has always admired world champion flair bartender Tom Dyer, citing his combination of presentation and creativity.

Considering that flair is so much a part of his work, it might come as a surprise that Buryanov puts the customer before the performance. He is proud to see that bartending has become a respected profession with the potential of being a true career.

Chilled 100 Mixologist, Vladymyr Buryanov pouring several cocktails at once, chilled 100, what's chilling right now

Chilled 100 Mixologist, Vladymyr Buryanov Pouring Several Cocktails at Once for a Crowd / Photo by Vladymyr Buryanov

However, he cautions neophytes, stating “There is so much more behind it than mixing drinks. It would really benefit those who are just learning to take some classes to help them become a well rounded bartender. Most importantly they should focus on quality and customer service!”

With his dedication to creative cocktails and the wow factor of flair, Vladymyr Buryanov is an ambassador for what he sees as the future of bartending.

“Flair bartenders are learning mixology,” he observes, “while mixologists are learning flair. In the end I can see it is a nice balance between the different bartending cultures. I expect in the future it will be expected of all industry professionals to have good knowledge about what they are serving and be able to serve it in style.”

thyme time cocktail

Thyme Time / Photo by Vladymyr Buryanov

Thyme Time

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Orgeat Syrup
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Egg Whites
  • 2 dashes Cherry Bitters
  • Few Sprigs of Thyme
  • Lemon Zest

Preparation: Dry shake ingredients without ice. Then, shake with ice and fine strain. Garnish with thyme sprig and lemon zest.