Last night I bar tended a Christmas party in the City of Orange – the hills of Orange actually, at a very nice residence in a gated community. As a mobile bartender I have gone all over Southern California and have worked at many nice homes and venues, and have met an interesting cross section of people. Some of my clients are very wealthy and have huge fully stocked marble bars and fire pits outside and restaurant style patio heaters, and fine glassware, and some are working class people who throw backyard parties with a folding table set up for a bar, tubs full of beer, and plastic cups. I like doing all kinds of parties, and meeting all kinds of people.
Last night’s event was a small party of around twenty people. The bar was stocked very well, and had a nice selection of fine vodkas, including Jean Marc XO vodka, which is a French hand-crafted vodka, which is very refined for straight sipping. The host had ice balls that fit right into a cocktail glass and were just right for straight sipping different liquors. That was the first time I had ever seen those. I learn something new each time.
The hostess came up with the specialty drink, which was a Peartini. It was made with Pear infused Grey Goose vodka, a dash of Disaronno, a dash of Sweet and Sour, and topped off with champagne with a pear slice garnish. The drink was a big hit. I came up with a Fireball Martini, which was vodka with a dash of Fireball Whiskey, and a dash of bitters. I don’t know about that one – a couple people said that they liked it, but they didn’t order a second one.
Christmas party bar
Next weekend I am doing a holiday party in Santa Barbara, and am renting a bunch of glassware for the party. If you need glassware, I can get most of what you need and rentals range from .75 to $1 per glass. I have a New Years Eve party booked in Upland, and have started to book weddings in the spring. Book your event now – don’t wait until the last minute, but if it is the last minute, call me anyway, I may be able to help you. Shaken Not Stirred is a mobile bartending service that covers the entire Southern California region.
Friday night I worked a small costume party at a private residence in La Quinta. As I do more and more jobs I am starting to know neighborhoods – this place was just across the street from where I did another job. The house had a very nice granite bar, as most of the homes in La Quinta do. The bar was stocked with just about everything. There were probably thirty guests and most were dressed in costume. I dressed as Lloyd the bartender from “The Shining.” I don’t know if everybody from the party got that. I told one lady who I was supposed to be, and she recoiled immediately – “Get away from me! Not THAT creepy bartender!”
It was nice serving drinks in real glassware for a change. Most of the guests drank wine, but I made a few classic martinis and some mixed drinks. The guests had a short cocktail hour and then dined by the pool. It was a very nice and low key party, and I was happy to do it. I like going to the Palm Springs/Indian Wells/La Quinta area and the season is just gearing up out there. Somebody called me Saturday morning and wanted me to do a last minute day time gig in Palm Springs, but I had to decline because I had to get to the wedding in Eagle Rock that was booked months in advance. Somebody else called me to do a gig in Orange County and I had to decline that one too.
Saturday night I bartended the wedding in Eagle Rock. It was held at the 20th Century Women’s Club
“I’ve always been the bartender”
The 20th Century Women’s Club back yard
of Eagle Rock. This was the first time I had ever worked that venue. It is a very cool old building with a nice back yard where the ceremony was held. It seemed like a very nice place to hold a wedding and was a very relaxed atmosphere compared to some of the venues I have worked.
The specialty drinks of the night were the bride’s special, which was El Presidente brandy and Horchata, and the groom’s special which was strawberry lemonade and Tangueray gin. I served a lot of wine and beer also. This party was booked months in advance, which I suppose is the right way to do it. They hired four servers from another company and rented glassware. I can also provide servers and glassware –ask me for a quote. In the end, many of the guests helped break down and clean up the party, which I have never seen before. If you are thinking about having a holiday or birthday party or any other kind of event in November or December book it now!
Last night I worked a wedding in Glendora and sent another bartender, Jessica, to do a 30th birthday in Chatsworth. Another successful night for Shaken Not Stirred. As I was setting up for the party in Glendora, someone called me because their bartender cancelled at the last moment. I can’t believe how many calls I get like that. Unfortunately I couldn’t help that person. I have never cancelled or flaked on a gig, and couldn’t imagine doing it. Reliability means a lot to me, but I guess not everybody feels that way.
The wedding in Glendora at the La Fetra Center was a Mexican styled wedding complete with Mariachis. Probably 100 people were in attendance, and another bartender, Mary, helped me. They had keg beer and I want to stress that I don’t recommend that for parties less than 150 people. At this wedding they had two 16 gallon kegs and I would say both were still half full at the end of the party. Keg beer is messy and hard to deal with. When you first tap the kegs you have to deal with foam for probably half an hour. If you have those pump type taps, the beer pours extremely slow. Kegs were cool to me when I was 16, but I’m over them now. We also served vodka, tequila, and rum drinks. Many shots of tequila went down.
I helped the host of the 30th birthday party in Chatsworth construct a drink menu. She decided on dirty martinis, Cosmos, and Margaritas. I talked her out of keg beer and she served Corona and Stella Artois. Jessica, the bartender said it was a great event. I like helping my clients with drink menus and shopping lists, and I think I can save them a lot of money.
Mariachis serenade the guests of honor
Mary holds down the fort
Next weekend I have a costume party scheduled in La Quinta, (I am going as LLoyd the Bartender) and a wedding in Eagle Rock. Don’t forget, book those holiday parties now. If you wait until the last minute you may have a hard time finding a bartender. Shaken Not Stirred serves Southern California, from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.
I was a home on Sunday afternoon, contemplating going to the beach when the phone rang. Someone was a having a party and the bartender didn’t show up – no show, no call. “How fast can you get to Newport beach?” the guy wanted a to know. “About an hour,” I said. So I put on my bartending clothes, grabbed my gear and drove to Orange County from the San Fernando Valley.
When I arrived the party was in full swing. It was a child’s birthday party but there were probably sixty adults there and were bartending for themselves. Chaos at the bar! I hate to be thrown into the fire, so to speak, but I got behind the bar and everything settled down quickly. I served margaritas, lots of wine and even a mojito or two. In the end I was glad I came and I was planning to go to the beach, and I did get there. I can’t always do last minute gigs, but you might as well call, because I might be able to.
Yesterday I did a wedding in Palm Springs at the Henry Mancini Estate. This was something that was booked months ago and involved much planning. I brought three girls with me – one barback and two servers. It was a little stressful because one of the girls I had scheduled cancelled and I had to scramble to find somebody else hours before the event. I found someone locally in Palm Springs and she showed up and did a great job.
There were a little over 100 people in attendance and we had two bars set up – one for a cocktail hour by the pool, and one next to the dining/reception area. It all went pretty smoothly and I think a great success. The only problem was that the ice didn’t arrive until ten minutes before we were supposed to start serving. It took awhile for the beer to get cold, but much worse things could have happened. The favorite drink of the night: “ The Groomsman” – Crown Royal and Coke.
I’m looking forward to the holiday season. I have many events booked but still have many dates open in December. Shaken Not Served serves the entire Southern California region.
Cocktail Hour by the pool
My crew with “El Padrino”
The “Bar Manager” and “El Padrino”
Wednesday night, I was the bartender at a corporate event in Santa Monica. I don’t do many gigs during the week usually, but expect to do more as the holidays approach. Corporate events are quite different than most of the events that I do, but I am more than happy to do them. This particular event had around 100 people in attendance and I handled it just fine by myself.
I served four different types of wine, water, and soft drinks. The host provided Carbernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, a Grenache blend, and a Chardonnay by Hahn Winery. I would say Pinot Noir was the most popular for the night, followed by Chardonnay. I always open several bottles at the beginning of the event, but the trick is not to open too many so I won’t have several opened bottles at the end of the event. At this event, I served two cases and only had three opened bottles at the end, and they were almost empty. Most people don’t know that wine goes bad quickly once it is opened – it is only good for about four days.
The host of this party requested that I only serve two glasses of wine per person. That is extremely hard to do, when it is an “open” bar. With 100 people I can’t remember who I served what to all the time. A better way to do this would be to issue drink tickets as the people are arriving. No drink ticket, no drink. I would say at this event most people only drank two, but I’m sure some had more than that. I am LEADS certified by the State Alcohol Board, and am trained to spot intoxicated people and not to serve them.
Catering was provided by Fik.le of LA and they served the best buttermilk chicken sandwiches. Macoliscious provided a scrumptious variety of macaroni and cheese. They had a raffle at the event and gave away some fantastic gifts including Spectrum memberships, a Chef’s dinner for ten people, and hotel room in Lake Tahoe. I bought some tickets but didn’t win.
The holidays are approaching at light speed now. Book your company Christmas parties now, as well as your home parties. I require a 25 percent deposit to hold the date which you can pay on pay pal link. I have one Halloween party booked so far on November 1 in La Quinta, but the other dates are available.