Los Olivos Wedding

29 Mar Sunset
Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse

Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse

Shaken Not Stirred made the longest journey yet to bartend a wedding reception in the mountains north of Santa Barbara. The contract stated that the wedding was in Santa Ynez, but the venue was closer to the town of Los Olivos. The wedding took place at the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse, which is a rustic farmhouse that was disassembled in Appalachia, and then brought to the hills and reassembled.  It is a remote location, but very quaint, and with stunning views, fresh air, and bright star lit nights.

The wedding ceremony was held on the hill above the farmhouse and there was a stunning view of the valley below and the ocean to the west. The sunset was incredible and I have provided a picture here. After the wedding, the guests made their way back to the farmhouse for the cocktail hour.  There were about forty guests, so we had one little rush at the bar right after the wedding ceremony.

Get yer' hands out of your pockets!

Get yer’ hands out of your pockets!

I had been hired on this job months ago, and spent much time coordinating with the host. I served Old Fashioneds, Tom Collins, Gin and tonics, and of course, wine and beer. Plymouth gin is by far the best gin available and is what I recommend for gin drinks. I make the Tom Collins with Plymouth gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, garnished with a cherry.

Guests dined on tamales and Mexican food that a local caterer brought up and dropped off. One thing about it, if you forget anything at this location, it is not too easy to return to town to get it. Los Olivos is the closest town, fifteen miles down a narrow mountain road. My son was with me to help and he was great, as usual.

Guests walking down from wedding ceremony

Guests walking down from wedding ceremony

Next weekend is Easter Sunday, and so far I have nothing scheduled. I hope to get a birthday party or cocktail party on Friday or Saturday night. I have a few events scheduled in April, and will be traveling to Apple Valley at one point to bartend an anniversary party.  I have birthday parties to bartend in Alhambra and Orange County. Book your spring and summer parties now!

Sunset

Sunset

Palm Springs Rehearsal Party

28 Mar Is that a mermaid?
Poolside bar at the Korokia

Poolside bar at the Korokia

The second event of the weekend happened Friday night at the Korakia Pensione hotel in Palm Springs where Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to bartend a wedding rehearsal poolside party.  There were approximately 80 guests in attendance, and I had a new girl, Kellie, working with me, and she did an excellent job.  Good food, good drinks, and good music were had by all.

The Korakia Pensione hotel is a very cool little hotel nestled right up next to the mountain, west of downtown Palm Springs. It was supposed to be a hot day, but it didn’t feel that bad and the sun was behind us as we set up. We served blended Cadillac margaritas, and strawberry margaritas, along with a lot of Corona, Imperial lager from Costa Rica, and Chronic IPA. The biggest disaster of the night was when we ran out of limes, which is an ongoing problem. From now on, I am bringing the limes.

Is that a mermaid?

Is that a mermaid?

I think margaritas are so much better with fresh lime juice. A very good bartender taught me that good drinks should have an equal amount of fresh citrus and sweetening agent.  A sweetening agent could be simple syrup, agave, or pineapple juice. We used fresh strawberries for the strawberry margaritas.  Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir were the wines of choice.

Shots!

Shots!

After I post this I have to start getting ready for my event in Santa Ynez. According to the map, I drive to Los Olivos, and then take the Figeroa Mountian Road until it ends. Should be interesting. GPS is worthless out in these remote areas. My son is going with me on this one, and he always does a great job. Pictures will follow.

Next weekend I have no events scheduled, but I’m sure something will come up. Shaken Not Stirred is the flexible mobile bartending service. We will go anywhere, anytime to bartend.

Rancho Mirage Grand Opening Barbeque

27 Mar Typical day in the desert
Desert Periodontics

Desert Periodontics

Desert Periodontics of Rancho Mirage celebrated the grand opening of their dental education center and hosted a barbeque for approximately 60 people. Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to provide bartending service.  CV Barbeque of Palm Springs provided the catering and served tri tip and other goodies. Overall, I think it was a very nice event.

This kicked off the first event of three this weekend for Shaken Not Stirred. I will be bartending a wedding rehearsal dinner tonight at a hotel in Palm Springs, then traveling all the way to Santa Ynez, on the opposite end of Southern California to bartend at a wedding reception.  All three of these events  have required much advanced planning.

For last night’s event in Rancho Mirage, Pina Colladas were the number one drink o choice. I also served traditional margaritas, and pomegranate margaritas. It was a warm night in the desert and we went through two cases of Corona and Heineken as well. By the end the event we were almost out of everything, which worked out nicely. Less stuff for the hosts to pack home.

Typical day in the desert

Typical day in the desert

I wasn’t able to take any good pictures at the event, because unfortunately my phone died. This was the second event I have done for these clients and I hope to do many more. Their facility in Rancho Mirage is top notch, and I’m sure they will provide a great service to the community with their dental education center. I have recently undergone extensive dental work myself and finally realize how important good dental care is.

Tonight’s event is at the Korakia Pensione Hotel in Palm springs, and will be held poolside. I have heard great things about the hotel, and am excited to be working that venue. Let’s hope for another successful event for Shaken Not Stirred.  Preparation is the key to a successful event.

Special Corporate Project for Palm Desert Event

20 Mar Premade drinks for special event
Premade drinks for special event

Premade drinks for special event

The marketing director of a corporation in San Francisco called me from this website and asked if I would be interested in doing a special project for a Palm Desert event. She wanted me to make and bottle 300 drinks for a conference that was scheduled to be held at a resort in Palm Desert. I told her that I had never done a project like that before, but agreed to do it.

The company in San Francisco shipped me all the bottles, caps, and special ingredients need. I purchased the liquor. I made 240 handmade sodas with their special syrups and seltzer water.  There was ginger ale and spicy cola. They tasted better than the average soda.

Handmade sodas

Handmade sodas

I also made two cocktails and bottled them in flasks. One was called the Desert Mule, and was a vodka based drink and it was really good. The other was a Margarita made with their special syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice. I then made some other drinks in large growler bottles.  The project was very labor intensive, but I got it done without any help.  I delivered the drinks to the hotel in Palm Desert as I was contracted to do. I was grateful to get the project, and to be trusted with such an undertaking. I will gladly do it again.

Flasks and growlers

Flasks and growlers

On Saturday, I will bartend at a wedding that one of my associates booked in Riverside. This will be the first event that I have done not under the Shaken Not Stirred banner in quite some time. I must admit, it is kind of nice to do one event that I am not entirely responsible for. That all changes next weekend, when I have one company party in Palm Springs, one rehearsal dinner the next night at a hotel in Palm Springs, and then a wedding on Saturday on the other side of Southern California in Santa Ynez. I am responsible for all of those events, and have done much planning over the past few months. In the mobile bartender and event business, preparation is everything.

Finished projects delivered

Finished projects delivered

Shaken Not Stirred: James Bond Theme Party in Brentwood

15 Mar "Shaken not stirred,"
"Shaken not stirred,"

“Shaken not stirred,”

“Shaken Not Stirred,” is a phrase coined by James Bond, and I felt it was the perfect name for my bartending company. Last night I bartended a housewarming party in Brentwood that was attended by approximately 70 guests. Many of the party guests were dressed in full Bong regalia. I wore white shirt and bow tie in honor of the occasion.

The host wanted real glassware, and I brought the glass rentals. I like using real glasses, especially for Martinis. A few glasses got broken at this party. I think real glassware is better at some parties than others. This house was five levels, so real glassware was a little problematic.

I poured many gin martinis, “Shaken Not Stirred.” Manhattans were also popular. I poured Fireball and tequila shots all night until two in the morning. We served completely out of whisky, champagne, and white wine. It seems that everybody had a good time and didn’t get too out of hand.

Shots!

Shots!

Screwdriver waiting to get screwed

Screwdriver waiting to get screwed

Today, I am finishing a corporate project I am doing. I have to put labels on 300 pre-made drinks. Tomorrow I will deliver them to Palm Springs, and I have rented a truck for that. Next weekend I am helping one of my associate bartenders with a wedding that she booked. It is kind of nice to have a break from be responsible for everything.

The final weekend of the month I will be busy with two parties in Palm Springs, and then a wedding in Santa Ynez, that my son will help me with.

Palm Springs Wedding Canadian Style

14 Mar Father walks bride down the aisle
Father walks bride down the aisle

Father walks bride down the aisle

Friday, Shaken Not Stirred was the chosen bartending service in Palm Springs at a wedding reception where the bride and groom were from Canada, as were all of their guests.  The wedding participants and guests were all happy to have a brief reprieve of the brutal cold of Calgary, Alberta. I know what that is like, growing up in Wyoming. Especially, in March, when you live up north, any escape from the cold weather is certainly something to look forward to.

I learned something new as I bartended this wedding. Virtually every person who ordered a drink, ordered it as a “press”.  A press, in bar terminology means with water added. I was serving Canadian Club, and people would say, “I’ll have a rye and coke press,” In American English, that means a whiskey and coke with water. The Canadians want more water than coke added. The same goes for vodka drinks – a screwdriver, for instance, is also ordered as a press.

I told some of the guests that Americans would never go for this. They would send their drinks back as “watered down.” The Canadian wedding guests told me it is a sure fire way to avoid hangovers. I don’t know about that, but it can’t hurt. It was a hot March day in Palm springs, so I think the Canadians got their money’s worth of warm weather by coming to Southern California.

Make that a "press"

Make that a “press”

There was a photographer, Alan Gough at the party who is also originally from Canada. I wasn’t to mention him, because I think his service was outstanding. He shot pictures the entire day at the wedding, then quickly edited the pictures and put on a slide show, complete with music at the end of the event. No waiting around for weeks with this guy for edited photos. The guests loved his presentation, and the photos were great. His company is called and here is a link to his website.

After I post this, I will start getting ready for a James Bond themed house warming party in Brentwood this evening. I am bringing glassware rentals to the party and will be serving real martinis. I always like real glassware for that reason. I can get all kinds of glassware for your party for roughly $1 a glass. On Monday, I am traveling back to Palm Springs to complete a special corporate project I was contracted to do.  I will be delivering 300 premade drinks to a conference at the Palm Springs Marriott.

Hurry sundown!

Hurry sundown!

Off the Hook Bash in Wilmington

8 Mar Hood Rat poses with Dos Once
Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington

Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington

Saturday Night, Shaken Not Stirred was contracted to provide bartending services at a party in Wilmington, just adjacent to the docks of the Port of Los Angeles.  This was my first event in Wilmington, and I hope the first of many. Wilmington gets a bad wrap around town as a tough area, but I must say the neighborhood where the party was held was quite charming, and tucked away from the chaos of Los Angeles.  At this particular party four bands performed until two in the morning.

I set up my portable bar in the back yard and was open for business. I served the usual vodka drinks, including Screwdrivers, Cape Cods, Sea Breeze. I also served whiskey drinks, wine and they had a half keg on hand. By the end of the night there was literally nothing left, except for a couple bottles of Riesling.   One guy walked up to me with a half cup full of whisky and coke, and asked if there was anything left. I had a half bottle of red wine open, and he told me to pour it on – on top of the whiskey and coke.

As I was breaking down, the South Bay band, June Holiday was still playing. Gary Dayton Hill of Malibu warmed up the crowd with some country songs, he was followed by South Gate band,  The Night Times played a few numbers, then another band was on, that I didn’t get the name of because I was so busy. A DJ spun a great mix between sets, and I must say the entertainment was top notch all evening. This had to be the most memorable party I have ever done.

Gary Dayton Hill and company perform

Gary Dayton Hill and company perform

I am a very busy mobile bartender this month of March. I have events in Palm Springs, and Brentwood next weekend, and then am returning to Palm Springs again on Monday to do a special event for Torani, the Italian Syrup company.  I am getting some of these events because I have excellent reviews on Thumbtack, Yelp, and Gig Salad.  I have made some mistakes as a party planner and bartender, but have never been late or cancelled a gig, and I have always gotten the job done.

In other news, I will put in a plug for my novel, “Palm Avenue,” and I need some likes on the Facebook page. The 200th person to like the page will receive a free book. The spring party and wedding season is booking up quickly, so I suggest you book your event now.

Hood Rat poses with Dos Once

Hood Rat poses with Dos Once

Scenesters in Wilmington

Scenesters in Wilmington

Party heats up

Party heats up

Good times!

Good times!

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