Glendora Super Bowl Party II

9 Feb Shots!
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Shaken Not Stirred in the house

Sunday, I returned to Glendora to bartend the second annual super bowl party (that I have been involved in).  The host asked me back again, and I was delighted, because he has a killer backyard bar that is perfect for throwing big bashes. The weather was beyond perfect and about 80 guests enjoyed the game and cocktails provided by me.

The host asked me to create some specialty drinks, so I thought of some theme drinks, based on the teams playing. For the Carolina panthers, I created Carolina Sweet Tea, which has vodka, a splash of peach schnapps, and Popeye’s Sweet Tea.  I served this at a wedding and it was a huge hit – so much so that we had to go out and get more sweet tea. The tea didn’t over so well at the super bowl party, because there did not seem to be many Carolina fans in the house. I also created the Orange Crush in honor of the Broncos, and that was simply Orange Crush and vodka.  The hit drinks of the night ended up being the second string drinks – Jalapeno margaritas, and peach margaritas.

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Crowd at Glendora Super Bowl Party

I saw many of the same people that came last year and many of them sat in the same seats.  I made a lot of blended concoctions and the bar is well stocked. We had one big screen television behind the bar, and he had another TV at a secondary bar, and a projection TV set up. They had a bounce house set up to keep the kids busy.

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Mustang in pieces!

Halfway through the game somebody called out, “Who owns a white Mustang parked across the street?” I raised my hand, thinking maybe I was parked in front of a fire hydrant or something. The guy told me I had better come out and look at it. I walked out to the street and saw my trusty steed in pieces. A guy driving by in a monster truck had side swiped it with his big tires.  I really didn’t have time to deal with the situation, and was not upset – the guy stopped and gave his insurance info. Stuff happens, and I had bartending to do – the show must go on. Fortunately, some people who lived across the street who had nothing to do with the accident zip tied my bumper back on so I could drive home. Everything worked out fine. That car has taken me to over 200 events and hopefully will be up to 200 more.

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Shots!

The super bowl party was really buzzing by the end of the game and most of the guests were elated by the outcome. I really wasn’t able to watch the game, because I was busy, which is how I like it. The host says he is not having it again next year, but I hope he changes his mind. Next weekend is Valentine’s Day and I will be bartending a wedding in the South Bay for my associate Mia Martini. Late rthis month I will be returning to Palm Springs to bartend two weddings.  I am still open on February 20th at this point, so if you need a bartender for that date, please call me.

Palm Springs 50th Birthday Party

8 Feb Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!
Nice weather at the Charles Farrell Estate

Nice weather at the Charles Farrell Estate

Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Palm Springs to bartend a 50th birthday party at the fabulous Charles Farrell Estate.  This was the second or third 50th birthday party I have served alcohol at in the Palm Springs area, and I must say – when a man turns 50 he pulls out all of the stops. Saturday’s party was a marathon event that last over 12 hours, and featured pools, hot tubs, taco carts, BIG SCREEN TV’s, a Sushi Chef, and fresh squeezed grapefruit drinks.

The weather couldn’t have been better and was in the eighties daytime, and cooled down nicely when the sun went down. It is a hard to plan parties in SoCal in February with El Nino looming, but that wild child made no appearance last weekend.  People were walking around in swim suits no problemo.  I had my bar set up in a nice shady spot just off to the side of the patio and didn’t have to fight the sun all day.

Now, that's a BIG SCREEN

Now, that’s a BIG SCREEN

The best surprise find of the day was the grapefruit trees on the property.  There were several grapefruit trees just loaded with fresh grapefruits. I squeezed one of them and it was just perfect – not bitter and so sweet even. I drank mine with club soda and it was fantastic. It mixed well with vodka, tequila, and rum. Just add a splash of soda. Excellente!

Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!

Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!

The Charles Farrell Estate

  • Pool and Hot tub
  • Barbecue
  • Executive kitchen
  • Formal dining room
  • 7 bedrooms
  • Sleeps 16 plus

The Charles Farrell Estate is one of the several great properties available to rent in Palm Springs. I have bartended at several of the famous houses in the area, including the Cree estate in Cathedral City, and the Henry Mancini Estate in Palm Springs. The prices are surprising affordable compared to many other types of venues.

Guests mingling for 50th birthday party

Guests mingling for 50th birthday party

Kids hiding on the roof

Kids hiding on the roof

The guest of honor was certainly honored, and his wonderful wife did her best to make it a memorable and special day for him. He was also surrounded by some of his oldest friends, and many family members. The kids had a blast too. Goodfellas Tacos provided the taco cart. Fantastic sushi was done by Fresh Sushi Catering.

Sunday I had to get up early to rush over to Glendora to bartend a blowout Super Bowl Party.

TO BE CONTINUED…

3 Day Corporate Event in Downtown LA

1 Feb Interesting merchandise at The Reef
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Interesting merchandise at The Reef

I bartended a 3 day corporate event in Downtown LA last week at the LA Mart, also known as The Reef. This is the third time I have been called back there, and it always nice to get repeat business. The Reef is a twelve story building in Downtown Los Angeles that is home to dozens of showrooms where distributors and importers show their wares to wholesale buyers. They have several shows a year that attract buyers from all over the country.

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The Reef in Downtown LA

The Reef sets up bars every day during the special markets to serve complimentary wine to the buyers. The idea of course is to get them in the mood to buy, buy, buy. These are always fun events and I end up talking to and serving hundreds of people during the three day period. On the final day, they had a reception for the buyers and sellers and we served wine and beer. It was a great way to cap off the three day event.

After the Saturday night event I was driving home and I took Broadway, which I quickly learned was a mistake. They were having a special “Bringing Back Broadway” event and thousands of people were walking along Broadway and standing in line outside the old theatres down there. It took me twenty minutes to drive one block. I finally got off of Broadway and onto Olive, and that was my second fatal mistake. Cars were jammed solid in every direction. It took me one hour to go a block and get off of Olive. It was a good thing I was not on my way to a job.  This is why I almost always leave two hours early to any job I do in Los Angeles.

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Bar setup at The Reef

Downtown LA Events

  • Grand Openings
  • Trade Shows
  • Conventions
  • Corporate Events
  • Client Appreciation
  • Retirement parties

Next week I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend an all day party on Saturday, and then am doing a repeat performance Super Bowl Party on Sunday in Glendora. I have two more wedding events going on in Palm Springs at the end of the month, and a Valentine’s Day wedding in South Bay on February 14. The month of March is still pretty open, so book you parties now.

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Buyers and sellers mingle at The Reef

Fullerton Baby Shower

24 Jan The host with friends and family
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Ladies gather for baby shower inside tent

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Fullerton in Orange County to bartend a January baby shower.  The host had a tent set up in the front driveway as there was a chance of rain. These tents are available from event rental companies and people can have a very nice party on their own properties that don’t cost a fortune. It didn’t rain, but the tent also provided privacy and a cozy setting for the baby shower.

I set up my portable bar and table in the back of the tent.  I served Mojitos, Margaritas, Madras, and Mimosas – the four M’s. The host had a plenty of supplies, and the 60 ladies in attendance drank more than I thought they would. With all the tables in the tent, it was a bit difficult to move around, so I went and took drink orders from the ladies and delivered them with my tray, like a male cocktail waiter.

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The host with friends and family

I have done a few baby showers and champagne and Mimosas are always popular. At this baby shower they served food buffet style with disposable plates and silver wear. I helped keep the tables clear, and I always do that when I am not busy making drinks, because it makes the time go faster for me, and my hosts always appreciate it. I am not one of those bartenders who just stands behind the bar waiting for guests to come order drinks.

I am starting to book more weddings and parties in the spring. I have booked several jobs in the Palm Springs area where the competition is not as tough. It seems that everybody in Los Angeles is now a mobile bartender.  I had a great month in December doing all my jobs in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, but now I have to venture out because everyone in Los Angeles is hungry. Sometimes people go for the cheapest bid, and then realize they get what they pay for. As it is, I think my prices are fair, and maybe even a bit low. Next week I have three events in downtown Los Angeles at the Reef merchandise mart. I have done several events there in the past and am always glad when they call me back.

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Phones are now a fact of life

Next month I have a Super Bowl party lined up and have received inquiries about doing an Academy Awards party. I am still available for the Academy Awards, so please call me if you need a bartender for your Oscar’s Night party.

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My portable bar at the event

Greek Night at Huffington Center

19 Jan Keeping the tradition alive
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The Huffington Center in Los Angeles

Shaken Not Stirred bartending service was on hand for the second annual Greek Night at the Huffington Center in Los Angeles hosted by the Sons of Pericles.  I bartended the event last year and was very pleased that they called me back again. The event was held at the Huffington Center, which is connected to the St. Sofia Cathedral near downtown Los Angeles.

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Traditional Greek dance

I panicked a little when I showed up, because the parking lot was full and people were overflowing from a party already in progress in the banquet room where last year’s event was held. I walked inside and there was another bartending company with two bartenders busy making drinks for the party.  I wondered if I had the date wrong and immediately called my contact. He informed me that we would be doing the party in a different room.  They were having a wedding in the large banquet room.  The Huffington Center is World Class facility and has basketball courts, a theatre donated by Tom Hanks and his wife, banquet facilities, and a professional kitchen.

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Keeping the tradition alive

They were using the facility’s only portable bar for the wedding, so luckily I had my portable bar in the car. I always carry it for that reason. I can set up my portable bar in a matter of minutes and be ready to go. The host was worried that they would run out of booze, but I assured them that they had plenty for 100 guests. The event was a fundraiser, and the guests had to buy tickets for drinks.

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Friends unite in Los Angeles

I made standard mixed drinks for the party, including screwdrivers, Cuba Libres, Jack and Coke, and Cape Cods. Last year we had Ouzo which was quite popular. The Sons of Pericles is a fraternal organization connected to the Greek Orthodox church, and this event was represented by chapters all over the United States and even Canada. I talked to guests from Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and Canada. A very nice group of people and they keep up their cultural traditions with traditional Greek music and dancing.

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Shots!

This weekend I will travel to Fullerton in Orange County to bartend a baby shower. I have done a few of these and usually serve a lot of champagne. I have received many inquiries for weddings in the spring, and have booked a few of them as far away as August. Next month I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a birthday party and then am bartending a repeat super Bowl party in Glendora.

60th Birthday Party in Chula Vista

6 Jan Birthday girl with cake
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Otay Ranch Community Clubhouse

In my previous blog I predicted I would be doing some traveling in January and that came true quickly as I drove almost tot Mexican border to bartend a 60th birthday party in Chula Vista. It was a last minute call on Sunday and I was happy to do it. I don’t do many parties in the San Diego area, but this month may be slim, so I jumped at it.

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US/Mexico Border

The party was held at a very nice community club house in the Otay Ranch community in Chula Vista. You can literally see the US/Mexico border from that area. One thing that strikes me is the high mountains that dive the two countries on some areas of the border. I can see how crossing the border on foot is a very treacherous proposition.

I brought my portable bar and set it up inside the clubhouse. I helped the hosts set up tables and chairs, as they only had one hour to set up. The DJ set up his equipment in the balcony area, which worked perfectly. The caterer set up in the kitchen area.  We all had a job to do and we were all pros, so we know exactly what to do.

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Guests dancing in Chula Vista

The hosts had never hired a bartender before, so they didn’t know quite what to expect. They bought all the beverages and supplies without any consultation from me, so they did what most people do – they bought way too much of some things and not enough of others. This is where a professional bartender can really save you some money, by consulting about the shopping list. I have done enough parties that I can estimate pretty accurately how much to buy.

Once the music got going and everybody had a couple of drinks, the party got going. The birthday girl must have danced every dance. It turned out to be a very nice 60th birthday party. 60 is certainly an important milestone.

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Birthday girl with cake

As I said before, January looks like a slow month for me and I have nothing scheduled until a fundraiser at Huffington Center in Los Angeles on the 16th .  I am also booking weddings for later this year. I hope to get a party this weekend somewhere, and I will travel anywhere in Southern California. It is raining hard right now, and El Nino is here, so it might rain a lot this season.  California needs the rain, and it might get people in the partying mood before the month is over.

New Year’s Eve Party Welcomes in 2016

2 Jan Goodbye 2015!
"The Last Word" cocktail

“The Last Word” cocktail

Thursday night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a New Year’s Eve party in Sherman Oaks, ringing out 2015. The party was the perfect event to end the year on, and begin the new one. 2015 was a great year for Shaken Not Stirred, and we have increased our client list considerably. December was one of the busiest months we have had, and for that I am very grateful. One of the highlights was when Shaken Not Stirred was chosen Number 1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015, by Thumbtack.

The New Year’s Eve party was something I booked a couple of months ago, and I had at least 30 requests since then for New Year’s Eve. I think the first year I was in business I didn’t even get a New Year’s Eve party. It seems that many people are opting to have parties at home, rather than go out and get gouged. I charge more for New Year’s Eve than other nights, but even so, I think the host was able to do their whole for party for 30 people, food and beverages included for under $1,000. I remember once, when I was married my wife and I went to a NYE party in Malibu, and spent that much for the two of us.

The party had a Prohibition era theme, and I made several cocktails from that period that the host chose. The cocktail menu included the Last Word, Mint Julep, Fleur di Paradis, Whiskey Sour, and the Old Fashioned. The Fleur di Paradis turned out to be the big favorite of the night. The drink calls for gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, St Geramine liqueur, and a champagne topper.

Guests dressed in their Prohibition era best

Guests dressed in their Prohibition era best

My daughter, Pia helped me out, and this is the third or fourth party she has helped me with. She will have a full time job soon and probably won’t be able to assist me much next year. It’s a shame, because some of the guests mentioned what a cool duo we make. I have several other good servers and bartenders available to help me also.

Goodbye 2015!

Goodbye 2015!

This month, January is looking slow, so far – I have a couple of parties booked. Last year in January I did 6 events, and hope I will have at least that many this month. Last month, I was able to do most of my parties in the San Fernando Valley, but I have a feeling I will be traveling during these slow months, and that means, Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Bakersfield. Shaken Not Stirred looks forward to a record year in 2016. Bring it on!

Hello 2016!

Hello 2016!

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