Newport Beach 50th Birthday Party

23 Aug 50 candles put out a lot of heat
Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party. This was my third party I have done in Newport Beach, and I am becoming familiar with the area. The birthday boy’s wife hired me and arranged the party.  She wanted real glassware and I supplied white and red wine glasses, and beer glasses. I can provide most glassware rentals for $1 a glass.

I have done several 50th birthday parties. It is obviously an important milestone. I have said this before, any man or woman who has family throw a birthday party for them is truly blessed. This particular gentleman was very blessed and had a large nice group of friends and family surrounding him, and he was fortunate enough to have a great Orange County home to throw the party at.

I arrived early and set up my portable bar and table in the backyard. The host was serving  Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Heineken, Blue moon, and Corona. They didn’t have much for soft drinks, and I was only serving iced tea and water. Many of the kids were upset that there was no soda. I understand that many people believe soda is a horrible thing, but I usually stress to people when I consult with them to have more non alcoholic drink choices. Some lemonade, cranberry juice, or something.  They had nine different choices of alcoholic drinks available, and only 2 choices for non alcoholic drinks.

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

It is nice working with real glassware, but there is always breakage. I dropped one wine glass, and then  had to stop service and clean that up. This is also why I don’t recommend anyone use real glassware in a pool area. If a glass breaks and broken glass gets into the pool it becomes a real problem. Especially now, while the drought is going on. People cannot drain their pools and refill them, even if they want to.  Also, when using real glassware, it is important to have some disposable cups on hand to use when we run out of real glasses.

I got this job at the last minute; otherwise I would have had no event this weekend. I have two bartending events next weekend – one in downtown Los Angeles, and one in West Hollywood. Then I have events coming up in Desert Hot Springs, Temecula, Northridge, Coachella, and close to home in Sherman Oaks.  I will be aggressively seeking to fill any open slots in the coming months. I had some very good news this week – I was notified by Thumbtack that I had been chosen as the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015. I credit that to my habit of showing up early and trying to be of maximum service at all events I do. Also, I quickly respond to all correspondence from my clients. Being a good bar caterer is not brain surgery, but requires common sense.

50 candles put out a lot of heat

50 candles put out a lot of heat

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Have Portable Bar: Will Travel

19 Aug Shots!
The road to Hesperia

The road to Hesperia

My portable bar has been invaluable and has paid for itself many times over. Last Saturday night I took my portable bar all the way to Hesperia in the high desert of San Bernardino County. I bartended a birthday party and was pretty busy making drinks for approximately 100 guests.  I was a bit worried, because it was one of the hottest days of the summer, but once the sun went down it wasn’t so bad.

This event was booked by another bartender friend of mine and she wasn’t able to do it, so she called me. She and I will be doing several events together over the next couple of months. I was happy to take the event, though I don’t usually seek jobs in the Hesperia/Victorville area. I drove the back way in through Palmdale and across the desert. It is a very scenic drive, if you have never done it.  When I arrived in Hesperia the temperature was 104, and the wind felt like a blast furnace.

My portable bar is nothing special. It is what I can carry in my Mustang. It takes literally two minutes to set up, and then I have a folding table with a table cloth that I set next to the portable bar. I put all of the bottles and glassware on the table and I serve off of the portable bar. I have done all kinds of events with this portable bar set up, from Bellaire to Bakersfield and never once has somebody said, “What the hell is that? Get that thing out of here!” That is also why I only charge $35 for the bar.

Full banda playing

Full banda playing

I served many Bloody Mary’s, Micheladas, Margaritas, and Mai Tais. The guests self served their beers, which was fine with me, because 100 guests is a lot for one bartender. I handled it. Toward the end I was pouring a lot of shots. The host had purchased some special Jager Bomb shot glasses, and they worked great. I certainly made good use of them as I served a whole 1.75 ltr bottle of Jagermeister, and small case of Red Bull.

So far I don’t have an event scheduled for this weekend, and I hope I will still get one. Many people wait until the last minute, and also bartender drop out for one reason or another.  I have never cancelled an event, but I can see legitimate reasons for doing that. I have been on my way to events, and barely escaped serious accidents, thanks to reckless drivers.

Shots!

Shots!

Jager Bombs in special cups

Jager Bombs in special cups

I do have many events already booked in September and October, so I am not overly concerned about this little lull. I know the competition is getting tougher, and I will have to work as hard as I did in the beginning to keep the business going. I admit, I have been a little complacent lately. Shaken not Stirred:  Have portable bar, will travel.

Los Angeles Private Bartender Does 4 Events in 4 Days

10 Aug It's a tough job...
Guests mingle at Hollywood event

Guests mingle at Hollywood event

The Los Angeles private bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending at four different events in LA last weekend. Thursday night there was a corporate event at a post production facility in Hollywood, then on Saturday, a 30th birthday party in Marina Dell Rey, and wrapping up the weekend was a surprise pool party in Culver City. This was a rare weekend when Shaken Not Stirred did not have to leave Los Angeles County.

I was hired by a party planner to do the corporate event in Hollywood.  They had some special requests and wanted me to make a Jicama Cucumber margarita mix, which I had never done before. They gave me the recipe and I got it done, and I think the drink was a hit at the party. If you have a special request for any kind of mixer like this, please ask me. I will try to accommodate you.

I have now done several special events for production companies, studio executives, and television productions her in the Los Angeles area. I am starting to run into some of the same people over and over again. Of course, this is good for me, because I now have many references within the film and television community. Of course, we all know, it is “who you know,” in that industry. In fact, I had to send one of my other bartenders out to bartend a screening party in Century City for one of my best clients that same night.

My daughter cocktailing

My daughter cocktailing

On Saturday, I traveled to Marina Del Rey to bartend a 30th birthday party. They had the party at the community room overlooking the pool at their apartment building. It was a excellent place to hold the party and the weather was perfect. I took my daughter to be may cocktail waitress/server and she did an excellent job. I was very proud of her and I think the hosts were very happy with her service. I hope to take her with me on many more events.

Shots!

Shots!

On Sunday, I was the Los Angeles private bartender hired to service a surprise birthday party in Culver City. The host held this party at the pool in her apartment complex. Once again, this worked out quite nicely, even though it was very windy while we were setting up. The host was throwing a party in honor of her girlfriend’s big success with her Youtube Channel. She reached over 200,000 subscribers.

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Turning 30

Turning 30

The girlfriend was quite pleasantly surprised and it was a great little party with approximately 20 guests. I made Pisco Sours, and the Brazilian favorite, Caipirinha. It was my first time making both of those drinks and I think they were a hit with the limited number of guests.  Next weekend, so far I am only scheduled for Saturday night in the Inland Empire. I hope to pick up some corporate event, or perhaps a cocktail party on Friday night.

It's a tough job...

It’s a tough job…

Chillin' by the pool in Culver City

Chillin’ by the pool in Culver City

Shaken Not Stirred at Malibu Wedding

3 Aug Bride goes through the sparkler gauntlet
My daughter learns how to open wine

My daughter learns how to open wine

This past Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Malibu to bartend a wedding at a beautiful home overlooking the Pacific. The bartending service also contracted to provide three servers for the event. It was a fantastic day for the wedding and many of the guests had flown all the way from Argentina to attend. There were approximately 100 guests in attendance.

There were two bars set up – one on the deck overlooking the property, where a cocktail hour was hosted just after the ceremony. I served Mojitos, and a Madras as the specialty drinks and we served a lot of wine and beer. Argentineans usually drink a lot of wine and that was the case this time as well. The servers I brought with me, including my daughter served appetizers, including bruchetta, shrimp cocktails, and other delights.

Bride goes through the sparkler gauntlet

Bride goes through the sparkler gauntlet

Once the cocktail hour was over, we moved the bar operation down to the second bar where dinner was being served. They had an authentic Argentine caterer who had a fire pit set up and was doing the beef, chicken and sausages for the dinner. I was so busy, I did not get the caterer’s card, or I would have included a link to his site here.

Argentine fire pit

Argentine fire pit

The three girls I brought kept busy clearing the plates and glassware. They used real plates and glassware at this wedding, which is nice, but requires much more work, since everything must go back into boxes to be returned. Many wedding are using plastic wear that looks almost like the real thing, but is disposable.

I continued serving drinks all the way until midnight and the party was still going on. Argentineans love a good party. I felt unusually fatigued at the end of the party, and when I got home I had the full blown chills, followed by a fever. I don’t know what caused this, but as I write this, I am still recovering.

I hope to be fully recovered by Thursday where I have a corporate event in Hollywood. Then on Saturday, I go to Marina Del Rey to bartend a rooftop 30th birthday party. Then on Sunday, I have a pool party in Culver City, where I will make two drinks I always wanted to make, the Pisco Sour, and the Caipirinha, both South American cocktails.

Mobile Bartending a 60th Birthday Party in Long Beach

26 Jul Shots!
Shaken Not Stirred in the house

Shaken Not Stirred in the house

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service traveled to Long Beach to bartend a 60th birthday party for a repeat customer.  I took another bartender/server with me, and she had worked a previous party at the same location. A year earlier, I had fallen halfway into the pool at a previous party, and many of the guests didn’t let me forget about it. This time, there were nearly 100 guests and my helper and I had our work cut out for us.

The host prepares very well for her guests, and we had quite a well stocked bar to work with. We had five kinds of beer, red and white wine, and a full array of liquor. The host received a Maragaritaville margarita maker as a gift and she wanted to use it at the party. I have used one before, but couldn’t remember how to use it. Luckily, my assistant knows how to read directions and we figured it out. We made blended margaritas, daquiries, and pina colladas with the machine.

Looks intimidating doesn't it?

Looks intimidating doesn’t it?

As the night went on we served many shots, including Patron shots, fireball shots, Jaeger shots, and vodka. A few people “fell” into the pool, but fortunately this time I didn’t.  Falling into the pool becomes an inexpensive proposition when most people are carrying $400 I-phones. It was a pretty fun group of people, and one of the guests may book a party with me next month in Thousand Oaks.

Next week, I will be doing a large wedding in Malibu, then I have a rooftop birthday party scheduled in Marina Dell Rey later in the month, and a wedding in Hesperia. As I said before, the summer is slipping away. I still have some dates available, and always am available on the weekdays and nights to bartend corporate events.

Faster than a speeding bullet

Faster than a speeding bullet

Shaken Not Stirred Mobile Bartending

  • Birthday parties
  • Pool parties, barbecues
  • Anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Openings
  • Weddings, engagement parties
  • Quincianeras
  • Cocktail parties

    Shots!

    Shots!

If you have a need for a bartender last minute, don’t hesitate to call me. I am tired today after two events this weekend, but if somebody calls me today, I will go out. Somebody called me yesterday last minute because their bartender cancelled, and I was unable to help her, but sometimes I can, will be happy to do so. Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service covers the entire Southern California region.

Palm Springs Bachelorette Party Bartender

25 Jul Katsuya Fresh cocktails
Katsuya Fresh cocktails

Katsuya Fresh cocktails

Friday, I drove to Palm Springs for my second time as a bachelorette party bartender. Palm Springs seems to be the place that ladies from LA like to go for their bachelorette parties. Do you realize how hard it is to spell bachelorette? Anyway, there are many cool houses for weekend rentals that are perfect for this type of party. This particular house had a nice indoor bar with a sliding window that opened up to the pool area, so that people at the pool can come up and order drinks.

I worked with hosts of the party developing a drink menu. They requested the Katsuya Fresh as one of the specialty drinks. It was my first time making this cocktail, and it seemed to be a hit. There were nine ladies in attendance and we went through 3 bottles of vodka. The Katsuya Fresh is made with vodka, fresh lime juice, sake, and simple syrup. I also served spicy jalapeno margaritas, and gray hounds.

The ladies asked me to help them start the grill, and as I did that, I decided I would grill for them. This was my first time as grill master, and I really don’t have too much experience doing it, but I think I did ok. I would rather be busy than just standing behind the bar, and let the hosts enjoy themselves. I hope they were happy with my grilling, and I am afraid I didn’t cook the vegetables and corn long enough. There are some tricks to good grilling, and I should learn them, in case I run into this situation again.

Who's afraid of sharks?

Who’s afraid of sharks?

The ladies were surprised that I came all the way from Los Angeles to bartend a party in Palm Springs. I bartend in Palm springs because I like going out there. I can usually drive to Palm Springs quicker than I can drive to Orange County. I hope to be the bachelorette party bartender in Palm Springs on many more occasions.

I am quickly writing this, because I have to get ready for another event in Long Beach this afternoon. It is a 60th birthday party, and the second party I have done for this same client. I am taking a server with me also. Next weekend I have a big wedding in Malibu, and am taking three servers with me on that one. Summer is flying by and I am already booking parties into the holiday season.

Palm Springs bachelorettes

Palm Springs bachelorettes

Los Angeles Loft Party

20 Jul Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft
Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

I was on vacation in Montana for a week and when I returned I had a birthday party to bartend in a Los Angeles loft overlooking MacArthur Park. I had contracted to bartend a different party months earlier, and the host had to cancel because she got very ill. I told her at the time, that when she was ready, I would apply her initial deposit for another party at a later date. She finally called me, was doing much better and scheduled the party for last Saturday.

I state on my website that deposits are nonrefundable, but I of course make exceptions. There are many reasons that hosts cancel parties that are beyond anyone’s control. I recently had a host cancel a pool party because a cold front with rain happened to roll in that day.  I require deposits for parties because it protects me somewhat if a party does cancel, but it also protects the host, insuring that I will hold that date for them.

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Saturday’s party was held in an 11th story loft in the Cement Building overlooking MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles. The party was based around a “Kill Bill,” theme, and I developed a bar menu based on the different characters in “Kill Bill.” The guests arrived dressed in Kill Bill garb, and I congratulate the two hosts for their authentic costumes. I even wore a Japanese head scarf, and I looked like Christopher Walken in the “Deer Hunter.”

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

I wore the headdress down to the liquor store to buy ice. I went to a small liquor store a block away and was purposely bumped into by a gang member as I was walking out. I didn’t have time to deal with the egregious act of disrespect like I probably would have in the past and just kept going. When I got back to the building where the party was being held, the manager of the building told me it was probably a member of the notorious MS13 gang from El Salvador that controls the neighborhood.  “They aren’t too happy this neighborhood is being gentrified,” he told me.

MS 13 gang members

MS 13 gang members

Friday, I am off to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, then on Saturday, I am bartending a birthday party in Long Beach for a repeat customer.  After that, I have a wedding lined up in Malibu, and a birthday party in Marina Del Rey. The summer is flying by for Shaken Not Stirred.

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