Corona 40th Surprise Birthday Party

21 Dec Tacky sweater contestants enjoy shots
Tacky sweater contestants enjoy shots

Tacky sweater contestants enjoy shots

Last night Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Orange County to bartend a surprise 40th birthday party in Corona. The party also doubled as an ugly sweater party/holiday party. The birthday boy was told they were going to an ugly sweater party and had no idea that it was actually a surprise birthday party for him. It is always nice to see someone’s face when they are surprised with something like this. Whoever get a surprise birthday party thrown for them, is indeed a blessed person, because not everybody gets one.

There were about 50 people in attendance, and many of them were active or former members of the military, particularly Marines. I used to drink with Marines, and they can drink. I served Long Island Ice Teas, Mai tais, Cadillac margaritas, and Bay Breezes. I served countless Fireball, tequila shots, and Caramel Apple shots.  Caramel Apple shots are made with Butterscotch Schnapps and Apple Pucker. Bud Light, Tecate, Modelo, and Coors light were the beers of choice.

Only a runner up?

Only a runner up?

The ugly sweater contest was fun and there were many great creations. Had I known, I would have worn an ugly sweater myself. The thrift stores must make a killing on old sweaters this time of year. The winner with the tackiest sweater was voted on by all of the guests in attendance and he won a gift certificate to Outback Steak House.

Shots!

Shots!

I put in a bid for a holiday party in Beverly Hills for tonight. It was a last minute request. I might as well do as many holiday parties as I can. One of the guests last night inquired about my services for a party next month, and I hope that she calls me. I have literally made hundreds of drinks this week, and can probably make a couple hundred more to close the week out.

Two Nights, Two Holiday Parties, One Bartender in La Canada

19 Dec "Closed Escrow" cocktail
lc1

La Canada, California in December

As the Holiday season heats up, I was the bartender on hand at two weekday holiday parties at a spectacular residence in La Canada. I had bartended at the house before and was pleasantly surprised when they called me to bartend their back to back holiday parties. The first party, on Wednesday night was a school fundraiser, Christmas sweater party for about 40 ladies. The second party was a client appreciation holiday party and was attended by around 70 guests.

Christmas sweater competition

Christmas sweater competition

We had the same specialty drinks two nights in a row, but just changed the names to reflect the event. My new specialty drink, “Santa’s Syrup,” was dubbed “Closed Escrow” at the Thursday night party. It is made with bourbon, ginger syrup, club soda, and a dash of bitters. The drink was so popular that we ran out of Jack Daniels.  I substituted Hennesy, and I heard people say that was even better. The home made ginger syrup mixes well with everything, and one of the other specialty drinks was made with tequila, ginger syrup, and fresh lime juice. The liquor flowed in La Canada, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

"Closed Escrow" cocktail

“Closed Escrow” cocktail

This was one example of a party that I was called for on the last minute and I love it. I will do events tomorrow all day long if you call me tonight. Speaking of tomorrow, I am traveling to Corona to bartend a surprise 40th birthday party. The host has been very anxious trying to arrange everything just right and not spoil the surprise. I hope everything meets her expectations.

Speaking of expectations, I find myself getting a bit of stage fright leading up to an event. I anticipate many things that could go wrong. I think that anxiety is somewhat healthy and keeps me sharp so that I am super prepared. Bartending isn’t brain surgery, and being prepared and on time is ninety percent of it. So far I have a perfect track record on those two things.

Holiday party bar

Holiday party bar

Los Angeles Bartender Available New Year’s Eve.

I still have New Year’s Eve open and it is kind of my fault. I assumed I had a party, but should have checked in about it a month ago. The people who said that they would want me, are not having their party this year. So, I passed up other offers, thinking that was in the bag. Totally my fault, but I am positive I will get something and am excited to see where this year will take me. Could be anywhere in Southern California. I’m looking forward to another great year with Shaken Not Stirred.

Busy Holiday Party Season for Los Angeles Mobile Bartender

15 Dec downy3
downy3

Snow in Southern California

The Los Angeles mobile bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred provided mixology for two parties last weekend. Saturday night, I traveled a full five minutes from my house to bartend a holiday party in Valley Village. Then, on Sunday, I traveled to Downey do bartend a holiday/company party. I love doing back to back parties and wish it was like this every weekend.

I have spoken with different hosts about holiday drinks and I must admit, I didn’t have many ideas. The holiday cocktails I saw online didn’t inspire me for one reason or another. Either the drinks seemed too fancy for their own good, or required too many ingredients for large parties. I wanted to develop something on my own, and I think I have finally found it.

The host of the Downey party wanted something festive. I tried to develop a Candy Kane cocktail using vodka, Crème De Menthe and grenadine, with a Candy Kane garnish. In theory it would be a layered drink with Christmas colors. I tried it at the Saturday night cocktail and the response was less than favorable. I heard people liken it to Nyquil, and Scope. I served it as shots. I set two shots up on the bar and a guest asked me, “What’s this?” “Christmas shots,” I said. “Yeah, but what are they called?” he asked. “Christmas shots,” I said very straight faced. He thought that was hilarious.

Christmas shots

Christmas shots

Shots!

Shots!

Los Angeles Mobile Bartender Invents New Drink

Anyway, so the Nyquil shots were a dud (though people kept drinking them). I had a backup plan and that was homemade ginger syrup. I call it Santa’s Syrup. I mixed well with vodka, whisky, tequila, rum, or gin. People loved it at the party Saturday night, and people loved it at the Sunday party. I was mainly mixing whiskey with Santa’s syrup, bitters, and a club soda. Another great drink was with tequila, fresh lime juice, and club soda. I will bring Santa’s syrup with me to all future holiday parties.

Santa's Syrup with whiskey in Downey

Santa’s Syrup with whiskey in Downey

This coming weekend I have a Christmas party scheduled in the city of Corona. I am working on a big party later this month where I will have to provide servers and a griller and I hope I get it.  I sent another bartender to do a wrap party for a client in Studio City and he said it was a huge success. I am still available for New Year’s Eve, and will be working hard this week to get a gig. Stay tuned from more tales of the Los Angeles Mobile bartender.

Shots!

Shots!

Redondo Beach Holiday Office Party

12 Dec The Esplanade before the storm
The Esplanade before the storm

The Esplanade before the storm

Shaken not Stirred returned to the old stomping grounds in South Redondo Beach to bartend a holiday office party on Thursday night two weeks before Christmas. The office was just a hop skip in and jump from the location of the old Frascati Ristorante where I was the bar manager, and just down the hill from Le Rive Gauche, where I worked off and on for years. I have a lot of history in the area, good and bad, and it is always bittersweet to go back there.

The people in the South Bay are usually drinkers, and the host and I loaded for bear. The host had a favorite shot concoction called the Oatmeal Cookie shot, and I made a pitcher of them. The shot is made with butterscotch schnapps, cinnamon schnapps, Bailey’s, and Jaegermeister. They say it tastes just like an oatmeal cookie. Several people tried it and liked it, but this was not the hard drinking crowd I remember from Redondo Beach. The crowd was pretty mellow, maybe because it was a Thursday night, or maybe because the biggest storm in a long time was rolling into Socal, and they were worried about getting home.

Pitcher of Oatmeal Cookie shots

Pitcher of Oatmeal Cookie shots

I served Blue Moons, Coor light, Stellas, and Pacificos. Good old Kendal Jackson chardonnay was the wine of choice (I once dated a woman who bought that by the case). We also served 14 hands Cabernet, which they say is a very nice wine. I made whiskey sours, grey hounds, gin and tonics, and Cuba Libres. Ws China Bistro of Redondo provided the food.  It was a very nice event for the employees and clients of the firm.

Today I have nothing scheduled, but have a large backyard holiday party in Valley Village tomorrow, and then another company Christmas party in Downey on Sunday. The rains have stopped and hopefully they will stay stopped long enough for me to bartend these two weekend backyard parties. Where else in America can you host backyard parties in late December, but southern California. Next weekend I go back to Orange County for a Christmas party in Corona.

I thought I had a New Year’s Eve party booked, but that fell through and am still open for that one. I know I will get something, and it will be interesting to see where in Southern California Shaken Not Stirred brings in 2015 at.

Shots!

Shots!

Three Event Weekend for Los Angeles Special Event Bartenders

7 Dec Shots!

This was a three event weekend for Shaken Not Stirred in Los Angeles special event bartenders. Friday night we had two big events in Studio City and Hollywood. I bartended a 21st birthday party at a home in Studio City and I sent two bartenders to bartend a wrap party at the rooftop of the W Hotel in Hollywood.  On Saturday night I traveled to Yorba Linda in Orange County to bartend a company Christmas party. From all accounts, the three events were a smashing success, literally and figuratively.

Studio City 21st Birthday Party

I had met with the guest of honor in advance and he had some specific cocktails he wanted to serve at his party. We came up with a list, including the Mai Tai, the Coconut Pie, and most importantly, the Flaming B-52 shot.  I had never done the flaming shots before, and I got plenty of practice at this party. I spent half the night pouring and lighting Flaming B-52 shots.

The Flaming B-52 is made with Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Gran Marnier, and topped off with a dash of Bacardi 151. You light it up and the guest drinks it quickly through a straw. I felt kind of like the guy in the Deer Hunter who loads the gun for Russian roulette, each time I would light a shot up. The birthday boy seemed to have had a great time and turning 21 is a big deal in anyone’s book.

Friends celebrate a man's 21st birthday

Friends celebrate a man’s 21st birthday

Hollywood Wrap Party Featured Special Event Bartenders

After I had already booked the party in Studio City, one of my best clients contacted me and wanted me to bartend a wrap party in Hollywood. I sent two of my best bartenders to do that one. I was not going to ditch the first person who had contracted with me for that date to do a potentially more glamorous party. I don’t do things that way. I had total faith that the bartenders I sent to Hollywood would deliver and they did.

The wrap party had Don Julio sponsor the tequila and they had a rep on hand mixing Paloma Margaritas, made with grapefruit juice. I worked with the coordinator and we developed a list of three other margaritas to serve: The Prickly Pear Margarita, the Cucumber Margarita, and the Jalapeno Margarita.  I made the cucumber syrup, and the Jalapeno juice for two of those drinks, and word has gotten back to me that the drinks were a hit.

Yorba Linda Company Christmas Party

Saturday Night I bartended a company Christmas party in Yorba Linda, in the heart of Orange County.  I had spoken briefly with the host about a drink menu and shopping list, but we didn’t ever come up with anything definitively. I think she was super busy arranging the party, as she hired a caterer, a magician, blackjack dealers, a Santa, and me the bartender.

Santa hands out gifts to kids in Yorba Linda

Santa hands out gifts to kids in Yorba Linda

Anyway, I had very limited supplies to work with, but I made the best of it and developed my own drink with rum, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and soda, which I called the Christmas Fizzle, and it was a hit. The host requested a Bloody Mary and I had no tomato juice, or anything, so I improvised a Bloody Mary with Tapatio, olive juice, and vodka. She loved it! Now, that is a mixologist. (I hate that word).

The caterers on the event were Exciting Events out of Temecula. Their Jamaican shrimp appetizers were incredible, and so was their tri-tip with sundried mash potatoes. Their food was way above average as far as caterers go, and I highly recommend them.

Shots!

Shots!

Special Event Bartender Busy in December

The people who hired me to bartend the 21st birthday party in Studio City wanted to hire me again for a wrap party next weekend. Unfortunately, I am already booked for another party in Valley Village. I think I have found another bartender for them, though it was difficult. All the bartenders are already booked for most of the dates in December. I just booked another holiday party in Redondo Beach on Thursday, which is my old stomping grounds. Call me if you still need bartenders for your holiday parties, wrap parties, or just plain old get togethers.

Los Angeles Bartending Service at San Diego Area Christmas Party

3 Dec
Bell Tower st Balboa Park

Bell Tower st Balboa Park

Los Angeles bartending service, Shaken Not Stirred bartended a San Marcos Christmas party in San Diego County on Sunday. Geranium Street Floral of San Marcos had a record year and rewarded employees with a top notch shindig. Employees and their families enjoyed food, drink, and music at the San Marcos home of the company’s owner.

Shaken Not Stirred did a party the night before in San Diego and the timing was perfect for Geranium’s Street’s party.  Cadillac Margaritas were the drink of choice, along with Negro Modelos, and Kendal Jackson chardonnay. Guests dined on tamales from Ernesto, while the host provided live music at an impromptu jam session.  50 plus guests enjoyed themselves at the Christmas party.

Geranium Street Floral is an emerging company and has been in business for four years in the San Marcos area. The company imports and sells a variety of artificial plants. Their artificial hedges look fantastic and I have posted a picture of one of them here. These fake hedges and topiaries are being used at many events and I have seen them at weddings.

Guests mingling in San Marcos

Guests mingling in San Marcos

Los Angeles Bartending Service Exploding in December

When I returned to Los Angeles, one of my best clients called me and needed a bartender for this coming Friday, 12/5. I was already booked, but am sending two of my best bartenders. It is a wrap party for a film and will be held at the rooftop of the W Hotel in Hollywood.  I will be bartending a 25th birthday party that same night in Studio City. I had booked that party first. If I tell somebody I am going to bartend their party, I am not going to pull a switcheroo on them at the last moment because I got a better deal. I don’t do business that way.

I still have some dates available in December, and I’m sure they will fill up. I’m hoping some of my regular clients call me with last minute requests. The holiday season is in full swing for the Los Angeles bartending service, Shaken Not Stirred.

 

Artificial hedge by Geranium Street

Artificial hedge by Geranium Street

San Diego Engagement Party

30 Nov
Pretty girls in traditional dresses

Pretty girls in traditional dresses

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at an Engagement party in San Diego last night. I book some parties in San Diego, if I feel they are worth traveling that far, and this one definitely was.  This was my first Vietnamese American party and the hosts and guests couldn’t have been nicer. Operating a bartending service in Southern California, I do events for all kinds of ethnic groups, and it is always interesting. I have bartended at Armenian parties, Mexican parties, Russian parties, African American, Italian, and Salvadoran parties.  The language barrier doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.

This particular event was an engagement party and it seemed to be done in a traditional way. The women were dressed in their traditional dresses, and the men wore suits. This is a very important part of Vietnamese culture where the two families come together for the first time. The party was held at the family of the future bride, and the family of the future groom all arrived at once. They brought a number of gifts and roasted pig.

I served Long Island Ice teas, Remy Martin cognac, and Heinekens. There were over 100 guests and that will keep one bartender busy. When I serve a drink like the Long Island Ice Tea, I usually make a big batch of it. If you don’t know already the Long Island is a potent drink and contains vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec, topped of with a bit of sweet and sour and Coke. The funny thing is that it tastes a little bit like iced tea. It will sneak up on you.

Traditional Vietnamese engagement party

Traditional Vietnamese engagement party

Some party crashers showed up and I thought they were neighbors and served them. The hosts did not want them there and told them to leave. They flat out refused to leave and I thought it was going to be an issue. This can get a little dicey in Southern California, since I hear about shootings at neighborhood parties all the time when party crashers are turned away.

The Christmas party season starts in full swing next weekend. I am bartending two parties. I will stay close to home on Friday night and am bartending a birthday party in Studio city. On Saturday I will travel to Yorba Linda in Orange County to serve drinks at the first Christmas party of the season. I some others booked, but still have many dates left available in December. Call me and let’s talk about it.

Shots!

Shots!

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