2006_06_fcocktail.jpgAbout a million years ago, we can remember when Tom Cruise was better at choosing his co-stars. For example: alcohol and style in Cocktail, inspiring wannabe bartenders everywhere. Like Cruise, the movie hasn't aged perfectly, but it is still the go-to guide for explaining exactly how cocktail slingers got so, well, cocky. What we didn't know is that there is an entire organization called Flair Bartender's Association that is devoted to the bottle-spinning, ice-throwing theatrics of these professionals (the association recalls another movie, too- "You know, I do want to express myself, okay? And I don't need 37 pieces of flair to do it.").

And this weekend the FBA takes over the Javits Center for The Big Apple Showdown, promising fun, flair and mixology. For the entry fee ($100, which doesn't seem as steep when you figure in the samples), you too can compete for $5000 in cash and prizes in the Open Division or just absorb the styles from around the world, right here in the center of the universe.