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Updated: 5:56 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | Posted: 7:27 p.m. Monday, March 4, 2013

Beavercreek T.G.I. Friday’s bartender could be best in the world?

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Beavercreek T.G.I. Friday’s bartender could be best in the world? photo
T.G.I. Friday’s bartender Scott Christian makes it look easy. Photo by Amelia Robinson)

By Amelia Robinson

Staff Writer

A cocktail is more than a cocktail in Scott Christian’s hands.

“Every drink tastes better when I make it because that liquor gets to go on an adventure before I put it in that drink,” the Bartender at T.G.I. Friday’s in Beavercreek says. “I am going to toss it behind my back. I am going to throw bottles behind my head. I am going to throw tins inside of other tins. Do blind catches. Different pours. It just makes it fun.”

The Fairborn-raised Dayton residents will display his skills on a national stage when he battles in Dallas Wednesday for a $10,000 grand prize and T.G.I. Friday’s World Bartender Championship title.

Cash prizes for various skills will also be rewarded.

The so-called ‘working flair’ competition is about more than shakes and stirs.

“We are tested on our speed, but you have to make the drinks perfectly to recipe… All the way down to your whipped cream has to be a certain height,” said Christian, who typically tends bar Friday through Sunday at the Friday’s located at 2800 Centre Drive. “If there is a spec for it, they test you for it. It is a pretty tough competition.”

Christian beat out about 1,000 other bartenders to represent this region in the competition.

In total, about 8,000 Friday’s bartenders from more than 900 locations in no less than 60 countries took part in the tournament-style competition.

“Out of those 8,000, there are ten people left from five counties,” Christian said. “It is pretty incredible to get to be classified with that group of people.”

The countries represented are the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan and the Dominican Republic.

A Friday’s employee nine years, Christian said he has been serious about flair bartending about three years. He has competed in about a dozen Friday’s competitions and another dozen other non-company competitions around the United States and Canada.

Christian, who graduated Wright State University in December with a sports medicine degree and now works during the week for Dixie Chiropractic, said he’s like to see bartending grow as a sport even thought is is related to

alcohol.

Friday’s started its bartending championship in the 1980s. Competition bartending was at the height of its popularity in the 2000s.

“To get flair more mainstream is kind of tricky, but who would have thought you would have had television shows on the world poker tour,” Christian said. “The sky is the limit to where this could go. It is exploding in Europe. We are really starting to bring it back to the States.”

Christian said he’s met and learned from bartenders from all around the country.

“I watch YouTube videos, but nothing beats getting to see a live performance,” he said. “The stuff that some of these guys are able to do is absolutely incredible. I am getting to the point where I can do some of these bigger moves these guys all over the world are doing. I can’t even explain to you the feeling that you get.”

What do you think? Where does your favorite local bartender work?

Contact this columnist at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth

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