Mobile Bartender Service at Cathedral City Wedding

28 Sep

Shaken Not Stirred, the Southern California mobile bartending service provided mixology at the beautiful Cree Estate in Cathedral City. This is the second wedding

Madboom Cooler

Madboom Cooler

The Cree estate pool

The Cree estate pool

Guests mingle at cocktail hour

Guests mingle at cocktail hour

Shots!

Shots!

Twilight at the Cree Estate

Twilight at the Cree Estate

I have done two weddings at the Cree Estate, and I must say if you want absolute privacy for your wedding in a fantastic setting in the Palm Springs area, consider the Cree Estate. For this event, we had two bars, one near the main house for the cocktail hour immediately preceding the wedding ceremony, and then another bar was set up on the lawn for the after dinner reception.

I had planned the bar service with the bride for several months leading up to the wedding. She wanted a cucumber/vodka based drink. She wanted to do a drink that was served in one of her favorite bars, which involved muddling a cucumber with mint leaves and serving it with vodka and pineapple juice. We decided that any drink that involves muddling is probably not the best idea for a wedding with 100 guests. We settled on a drink that was called the Madboom Cooler. I made cucumber/mint syrup to eliminate the muddling. We used one once of cumber/mint syrup, one once of pineapple juice, two ounces of vodka, and a splash of club soda. Top it off with a cucumber slice and a mint leaf garnish.

The drink seemed to be a hit as about 80 percent of the guests ordered it at the cocktail hour. I wasn’t really prepared for that. At most wedding and events, usually only about 25 percent of the guests order the specialty cocktail. I was making those drinks five at a time. It seemed that people liked them, because many came back for more. We had real glassware, which is always nice. We also served Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, and Souverain Cabernet for wine, and had Negro Modelo and Corona Light for cervesas.

Mia was my barback and she always does an incredible job and is a great bartender as well. I often bartend parties of 100 people by myself, but I recommend a barback for groups that large. For groups over 125, I definitely recommend two bartenders. I have another wedding coming up in Temecula in two weeks and she will help me with that one as well.

This coming week, the mobile bartending service will stay close to LA. I have a post wedding party in Calabasas on Friday, a birthday party in Venice on Saturday, and then a birthday party on Sunday in Porter Ranch. By request I will be making homemade margarita mix for the party on Friday. I am enjoying making mixes with fresh ingredients. I am not going to sit here and say that it is brain surgery. Making the infused simple syrups and mixes is pretty easy to do, but I think the difference in taste really makes it worth it.

Los Angeles Party Bartender Service Goes to San Dimas for Quinceanera

21 Sep

Los Angeles party bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to San Dimas in the San Gabriel Valley to bartend a quinceanera at the San Dimas Community Center. The San Dimas Community Center has a very nice facility to host parties at and there were over 100 people in attendance. They had one of those portable bars on wheels set up for me when I arrived and the bar was stocked with tequila, vodka, Malibu rum, and I had several coolers full of beer. This was the second quincinera I have done in the past two months.

I was very busy the whole time, and I usually recommend two bartenders for events this size. There is barely time to restock beer, ice, and cups etc. I must have poured 200 Shirley temples and Roy Rodgers for the kids and I also made virgin margaritas. I brought some of my cucumber syrup and made cucumber margaritas, which were a hit. I also made a drink I called the “Cucumber Soda” with vodka, cucumber syrup, and soda water. I served out of Modelo, Corona, Tecate, and Budweiser, but we still had some Bud Light and Coors Light at the end of the night.

As a Los Angeles party bar service I am learning that there is an ongoing stream of events year round that need bartenders. The weather is nice in Southern California, so weddings keep happening year round, and birthday parties, Quinceaneras, corporate events, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvas, and cocktail parties. Shaken Not Stirred serves pretty much the whole Southern California area. I have done parties and events in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Kern counties. There is plenty of work to go around for many bartending services.

Next weekend I will be in Palm Springs to bartend another wedding at the Cree estate. I hope to pick up another event in the Coachella Valley on Friday night, and/or Sunday. It would be nice to do multiple events in the area if I am going to be out there. The first weekend in October I will be busy close to home with events in Calabasas, Venice, and Porter Ranch, then I will be doing another wedding in Temecula the next weekend.

I schedule in December is currently open and I know it will fill up fast as people start booking holiday parties. I hope to book some repeat customers from last year, and will probably send a newsletter out. I have changed my policy on checks and will no longer be accepting checks. I received a bad check for a wedding I recently did, and I don’t know if it was a mistake or what, but I am having a hard time collecting it. Business is good, but not that good, where I can absorb bad checks. I still happily accept cash or Paypal.

The princess of the Quincinera and friends

The princess of the Quincinera and friends

Wedding Bartenders Mix it Up in Westlake Village

16 Sep

A ranch in hidden Valley near Westlake Village was the setting for a wedding with two hundred guests and two wedding bartenders. I always recommend two bartender for groups this big. Even with two bartenders, the line stretched back for fifty yards just after the ceremony. The whole night I felt like a bartender in a busy nightclub, because they just kept coming.

We served vodka drinks, margaritas, Jack Daniels, and Captain Morgan. They also had Budweiser, Shock Top, Dos Equis, 805 Ale, Stella, and Coors Light available for the guests. That was quite a beer selection and supply. They also served single serve Chardonnays, Merlots, and White Zinfindel wine by Copa. The bride wanted to charge people for the mixed drinks so people would not over drink. We charged $4 for mixed drink tickets and that worked out pretty well. They at least collected enough to pay the wedding bartenders.

The ranch was an excellent setting for a wedding, with the Santa Monica Mountains in the backdrop. The sun went down and there was a nice breeze blowing in from the ocean. The DJ, Sean Driscoll also sang a wedding song and played acoustic guitar. I have seen many DJ’s, but not many who do that. He said he had a key board as well and can do all kinds of entertaining. I was a very good DJ as well. Brook Mcleod of Poiema Photography

My son waiting for customers at bar

My son waiting for customers at bar

Wedding crasher

Wedding crasher

Shots!

Shots!

provided wedding photography.

I had spent months planning the bar menu and drink service with the bride and it was nice to see it come off so well. I think the bride and groom and all of their family member were quite happy with our service. I brought my son with me to help and I always receive many compliments about him, which makes me feel good.

This weekend, Shaken Not Served will travel to San Dimas to do a Quincinera. This is an event I booked while doing another event. I love that kind of business, when people hire me on the spot based on my service. Then I will round out the month by doing a wedding in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate. I am booking many events based on Google searches, which means this blog is working.

Private Bartender and Server in Beverly Hills

10 Sep

Last night I was the private bartender and server for a small dinner party at a Beverly Hills Estate. 12 people were in attendance. This was my third event for this particular client. I had done two cocktail parties previously where there were many more people in attendance and I had a bar set up in the backyard. This time, the host wanted me to set up my bar in the kitchen and to just ask guests what they wanted.

There were virtually no drinkers in the crowd, and I served several sparkling waters and a couple glasses of wine. I did make one of my special cucumber martinis for the host and she complimented me on it. I was starting to wonder why I was even there, so I switched into my fine dining server mode. I have worked for years as a server in fine dining restaurants, and I put that experience to use. You serve from the right hand side, pick up from the lefts, etc. You keep water and wine glasses refilled and anticipate the needs of the guests.

My point is that there is so much more to being a private bartender than just making drinks. I have had people ask me to hire them, and then it became clear talking to them, that they only wanted to make drinks a collect tips. That is such a short sighted attitude that many bartenders have. My philosophy is to be of maximum service and chances are I will be asked back time and time again.

Ella Freyinger was the private chef for this dinner party and she served up a great meal. She made an excellent mixed green salad and then served rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower cous-cous with pomegranate and pine nuts, and then had pasta with kale pesto. An apple tart was the dessert, along with expresso. Ella said she has several private clients and also does catering for parties as big as 500 people. You can contact her at ebelle2385@gmail.com.

This weekend I will bartend a wedding in Westlake Village and am taking my son to help me. I have people contacting me every day to do parties and I am already booked two months in advance. I still have October 18th available and most Fridays and Sundays in October. I still have Friday October 31st available for a Halloween Party. I will dress up as Lloyd the Bartender again and still have the costume.

 

Wine bottles at Beverly  Hills dinner party

Wine bottles at Beverly
Hills dinner party

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Estate

Redondo Beach 50th Birthday Party

10 Sep

The day before Labor Day I bartended a 50th birthday/End of Summer party at a home in Redondo Beach. The house was on the hill almost on the border of Palos Verdes Estates, where there is one of the most fantastic views of the South Bay and the Santa Monica Bay. As I have mentioned before, I have a lot of history in this area. There were about 40 guests at this backyard party and they had tables set up in the yard, along with a taco cart, and stage for a live band.

One of the guests brought her Margaritaville brand margarita mixer and premade margarita mix that already had the tequila added. That made it easy for me. She showed me how to operate the machine, and I made many pitchers of blended margaritas. I walked through the crowd and refilled margaritas, as the crowd and band warmed up. I also served Coronas, red wine, and made a few Blue Hawaiians, and Sea Breezes. The South Bay weather was perfect as it always is.

As the sun went down and the band got into full swing, many of the guests got out on the dance floor. I even saw an elderly lady in a wheel chair roll up to the dance floor and then get up and dance. I admired her tenacity. She refuses to quit living. What is everyone else’s excuse? The host told me that most of the people at the party didn’t know each other, but everyone was getting along great. Good food, good drinks, and excellent atmosphere make for a great party. I have done many 50th birthday parties and it really is an important milestone in anyone’s life.

The South Bay is my favorite area in the Los Angeles basin, and I know there must be hundreds of people needing bartenders for all kinds of parties and events. I love going down there and hope to do many more birthday parties, weddings, fundraisers and other events. I am late writing this blog because I went to Montana on Labor Day and stayed for a week. It was a nice escape for a week, and now it is back to business. I had a cocktail party scheduled in Beverly Hills the first day back, and then have a wedding in Westlake Village this coming Saturday.

Sunset in Redondo Beach

Sunset in Redondo Beach

No excuses!

No excuses!

Shots!

Shots!

Private Bartender Attends El Monte Quinceanera

31 Aug

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred, the private bartender service was honored to bartend at his first Quinceanera in El Monte. For some reason I thought I was going to bartend a wedding, but when I got there I discovered it was a Quinceanera. I was scheduled to arrive at four and arrived at 3:45 and there were already probably 100 people there. I panicked and thought that I had mixed up the times, but was informed that I wasn’t. It was hotter than blazes in the San Gabriel Valley and I set up my portable bar under a tent.

I started bartending immediately after setting up and I served Coronas, Modelos, and a variety of mixed drinks. Margaritas were the most popular, and I brought some of my special mix. I made many margaritas with that and then used regular margarita mix after that. I went through several bottles of tequila and served a lot of Jack Daniels. It was hot and we ran out of ice half way through. Somebody ran and got more ice.

I booked another Quinceanera for September on the spot and was given a deposit. That was my one remaining Saturday in September that wasn’t booked, so that worked out well. There were many people at the party that spoke only Spanish, and I know enough Spanish to get by. There were some men there playing guitars and singing. I asked them to play my favorite Spanish song, Cucaruca tu, and they happily obliged. I remember once being in Acapulco at a bar and the guitar player was pissed off because the American kept requesting “La Bamba.” I asked him to sing Cucaruca Cu, and he was so happy – he sang his heart out.

Today I am private bartender to a backyard party in Redondo Beach, a community where I have a lot of history. I was bar manager at Frascati Ristorante on PCH before it closed, and have worked off and on for Le Rive Gauche in Palos Verdes Estates. I am leaving tomorrow for Montana for a week vacation, then have a cocktail party the first day back in Beverly Hills. Autumn is my favorite time of the year and am looking forward to bartending many nice events.

Shots!

Shots!

Pinata at El Monte Quincinera

Pinata at El Monte Quincinera

Shaken Not Stirred Provided Bartending Service at Camarillo Wedding

30 Aug

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a wedding at the McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo. I brought along another bartender to serve wine and beer to around 150 guests at this very nice venue. I hope to bartend many more events at this location in Ventura County. The weather was perfect for a wedding and a nice ocean breeze blowing in from the coast provided natural air conditioning.

Forever Young Brewery,  provided some kegs and he had a keg cooler with Co2 bottles, which makes it very easy for the bartenders. This is really the best way to serve beer from kegs – and I dread the pump up taps that slow service way down and the beer is often way too foamy. We had six different beers to serve, from a light ale, an IPA, two different porters, a stout, and Coors Light. We served completely out of the Ale and IPA, but there was plenty of the other beers left over. We also served Chardonnay, a Moscato, Merlot, and Cabernet. We ran out of white wine, which is always the biggest seller at weddings.

After the initial rush directly after the wedding ceremony, I probably could have handled this party by myself, but I usually recommend that people book two bartenders for parties over one hundred people. I have several great people who work with me, and the service is much quicker, especially when a big line to the bar forms. We usually try to pick up empty glasses and keep the tables and area clean when we aren’t busy. Good bartending service is about providing all around service, not just serving drinks.

Bruce Barrios provided the DJ services and he says that Ventura County is his territory. He says he does several events a year at the McCormick Home Ranch, and I hope to work with him again. Wood Ranch Barbecue

McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo

McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo

Future bride with her daddy

Future bride with her daddy

Action shot bartending

Action shot bartending

The sparkler gauntlet

The sparkler gauntlet

provided the catering and their food is always excellent. My son has worked for them for years and they are a very good company that is growing in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

Tonight I have another wedding in El Monte, and then tomorrow am doing a backyard pre Labor Day party in Redondo Beach. This marks the official end of the summer, but not the wedding season, as I still have several wedding coming up in Westlake Village, Temecula, Palm Springs, and I just booked one in Santa Ynez.  I am flying to Montana on Monday for a week long vacation, and then am providing bartending service for a cocktail party on my first day back in Beverly Hills.

 

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