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How to Do the Shadow Pass Flair Bartending Move

Learn how to do the flair bartending move called the shadow pass from mixologist Chris Cardone in this Howcast video.


Hi, Chris Carone from the Beatrasin in New York City. I'm going to teach you how to do a shadow pass. I'm not really sure where the name came from. It might have originated from a guy who was working at the Shadow Bar in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas but regardless, it's a no-look pass behind your head from one hand to the other.

It definitely takes a lot of practice and it's going to take some clunks to the head. I promise you. But, the general concept of the move is to take the bottle, throwing it from one hand to the other. Except, instead of in front of your face, it's going to go behind your head. So, you're going to have a little bit of a rotation. You're going to start with your bottle in sort of a juggler's grip, how a juggler would juggle bottles.

You're going to take your bottle and you're going to throw it across your body, catching it with this hand. Now, a good way to practice is to not look at it as it comes around because you're not going to be able to look at it as it goes behind your head. You take your bottle. You throw it and you catch it behind - on the other side of your head with your other hand.

At some point you're going to graduate to going behind your back. And that's a shadow pass. Like that. You're going to kind of release it and just have to know where that hand is going to go. When I first started doing this, I remember watching myself in the mirror so I would know when to squeeze. So, it's a good little trick, a good trick-er, to learn how to do a shadow pass is to look in the mirror so you can learn when to squeeze the bottle.

Part of it is to look at the bottle and follow the bottle as it is coming behind you because you can kind of gauge where to put your hand based on throw. You'll know by looking at when it comes passed you where to grab. But, I promise you - when you first practice this, use a flare bottle and get ready because this is going to get clunked a few times. Eventually, you will graduate to your glass bottle and you'll take it and we'll throw it behind our back to do a shadow pass.

And that is how you do a shadow pass.

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