Los Angeles Corporate Event

20 May Jalapeno margarita

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartending service was on hand at a corporate event in the Hancock Park area of LA. Shaken Not Stirred handled many aspects of the event including bar, table, and glassware rentals. Shaken Not Stirred also handled shopping services for all of the beverages, garnishes, and supplies.

I worked closely with the people putting on this event, making sure they got the right glassware, the types of table clothes, ect. We also made a drink menu and shopping list together, down to the wine selection. I made my special cucumber, and jalapeno margarita mixes for the specialty drinks. We served four different wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Rose.

I estimated how much wine we would need based on the approximate number of people (65). It has been my experience that people tend to drink less at these corporate functions, as many people make a quick appearance, have one drink, and then leave. That was not the case at this party, as most of the guests were foreign clients, and they tended to stay longer and drink more. It was a good thing that the host at the last minute, had me by more wine. We ended up going through most of it.

In And Out caters event

In And Out caters event

My margaritas seemed to be a hit, and I used most of my mixes. It seemed to have been split 50/50 between the two types of margaritas. I make my jalapeno margarita mix by combing fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, agave syrup and then blending all that together with jalapenos. It is a little spicy, but not overwhelming. I used red pepper as a garnish, along with a lime and a salt rim.

Jalapeno margarita

Jalapeno margarita

In And Out performed catering services for the corporate event. This was the first time I had seen them at a function. They set up a tent in the backyard to serve the guests, and had a truck out on the street doing the cooking. I think that these guests truly appreciated it, because they don’t have In And Out, outside the USA. I enjoyed my burger, even though it was cold by the time I ate it. It even tasted better cold.

Tomorrow night, I will bartend another industry party in Beverly Hills, at the home of one of my best clients. Then, on Saturday night, I will travel to Castaic to bartend a graduation party. May has been a good month for me, and primarily due to repeat business and referrals. That makes it nice when I don’t have to fight for every job I get, though I will continue to keep my eye on the tiger.

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Fullerton Graduation Party

17 May Mariachi Estrella de Chapala
Taco service

Taco service

Last night, I was the bartender at a Fullerton graduation party. The host had just graduated and received her doctorate degree, and that required three years of intense study and basically not having any kind of a life, outside her studies. So this graduation party was a great cause for celebration. There were at least 50 friends and family member in attendance, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I served Cadillac Margaritas, and Cucumber Margaritas, and I also improvised an orange margarita with fresh squeezed orange juice. The cucumber margaritas I make with my own cucumber syrup, and they were quite popular. I didn’t feel this last batch was my best however, and I think I need to adjust the recipe to get more cucumber flavor. One thing for sure, I don’t believe in infused liqueurs at all, and believe the flavor is better when mixes are made from fresh ingredients.

Graduation party in Fullerton

Graduation party in Fullerton

The host hired a taco cart and a mother and daughter team from Tacos Reina (909) 251-1609, provided the catering. I talked to Reyna, the owner and she was a very nice person. I love to see that people are making businesses for themselves. Many of these people rely on word of mouth alone to get their business and don’t know how to use the internet to their advantage. That is why I always put a plug in for people when they do a good job and provide a good service.  Reyna’s salsa and beans were out of this world!

The host also hired mariachis, and Mariachi Estrella de Chapala (562) 619-4891, provided the traditional Mexican entertainment. I always enjoy talking with the mariachis, and I always request my favorite mariachi song,  La Cucurrucucu, and they played it for me and to me. Such a beautiful classic song.

Mariachi Estrella de Chapala

Mariachi Estrella de Chapala

I am working today, preparing for a cocktail party on Tuesday in Hancock Park for one of the television networks. I am arranging for the table rentals, glassware, and doing the shopping. All of this requires a lot of coordination, but as I often say, “It ain’t brain surgery.”  We are buying alcohol and serving drinks, nothing for me is much easier than that. Preparation is the key for a successful event bartender.

I have another graduation party next weekend in Castaic. The graduation party in Fullerton was a referral from a party I did almost three years ago, and those clients were in attendance. I love getting referrals and repeat business. Memorial Day is coming up and I am still available on that date. Will bartend anywhere in Southern California.

Santa Clarita Engagement Party

11 May Future bride and friends
Live band at the party

Live band at the party

Saturday Night, Shaken Not Stirred was the bartending service on hand at a Santa Clarita engagement party. I have bartended several engagement parties since I started Shaken Not Stirred, but have yet to bartend a wedding of one of the engaged couples. I hope to get to do that with this particular couple, because I had great experience working for them.

They hired a live band for the engagement party and they were very good. I had the card from the band, but now can’t find it. I will get the name and insert a link here as soon as I get it. Live bands really add a lot to any party.

Shots!

Shots!

The future groom likes Old Fashioneds, as did many of his friends. I don’t think I have never made so many Old Fashioneds in one night.  I remember when I first started bartending at a restaurant, somebody would order an Old Fashioned every once in awhile, and I would have to refer to the bartender’s guide to remember how to make them. Now, everybody is drinking Old Fashioneds again because of the show, “Mad Men,” likewise Manhattans, Rob Roys, Tom Collins, are trending again.

At the Santa Clarita engagement party I set up my portable bar in the gazebo of the host’s backyard.  We used Bulleit Rye whiskey for the Old Fashioneds and went through a whole handle of that. I also made Cucumber margaritas, that came in second for the most popular drink. Stone IPA was the most popular beer of the night.

I want to do Hurricanes, Bahama Mamas, and Pisco Sours at some future party. I have a feeling, some tropical party is on the horizon with a Jimmy Buffet theme. I see they are making Margaritaville tequila now, so Jimmy Buffet is getting richer from his trademark. Not bad, for a guy who used to sing for dollar bills on the streets of New Orleans. Good for him. Sammy Hagar is also a tequila mogul.

Future bride and friends

Future bride and friends

I have some fancy cocktail parties coming up in Beverly Hills and Hancock Park later this month, and then a birthday party in Orange County.  I also have a graduation party to bartend in Castaic on the 23rd. I am still available for this weekend, so I wonder where in Southern California Shaken Not Stirred will end up?

Mission Viejo Company Party

9 May Shots!
Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Shaken Not Stirred was hired to bartend a Mission Viejo company party last night. The host had the party at her parent’s Mission Viejo home and invited about thirty guests, who were on her team at work. I didn’t realize it until I got there, but I had met the host’s parents at another event and they had recommended me to bartend. That is always nice. I love getting referrals and repeat business.

The host had asked me to bring some pear syrup to make pear martinis, and I did that. Her husband had also made some pear puree, cucumber puree, strawberry puree, and lime puree with a juicer he had. I must say that those fresh purees really added something to the drinks. I made the pear martinis with vodka, pear syrup that I made, and a dash of the fresh pear puree that the host’s husband made. That was the ticket. The fresh lime puree really added something to the Cadillac Margaritas, and Moscow Mules. I am going to look into buying one of those juicers.

Dog guarding the taco stand

Dog guarding the taco stand

I bartend a few parties in Orange County each year. I left the San Fernando Valley two hours ahead of time to drive to Mission Viejo, and realized I had not left early enough. On a Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, it might take two hours just to get to LAX from the Valley.  I ended up being forty minutes late from the agreed upon time. I always give myself at least one hour to set up and prepare, and I often need every bit of my time. Fortunately, the guests arrived about forty minutes late as well, so it worked out. This was my first time being late to a party.

I sold two of my books, “Palm Avenue,” at the party. I was not trying to hawk my book there, but was talking to one of the guests and he was asking me what else I do. I told him about my book and he wanted one. I just happened to have some copies in my car and so I sold him a signed copy. Some other people saw the book and they wanted one too. That was a nice addition to my bartending job there.

Shots!

Shots!

Tonight I will bartend an engagement party at a home in Santa Clarita. I will be making cumber margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and Bay Breezes as specialty drinks. I have a few corporate events in Los Angeles later this month that are repeat business and referrals. It is always nice to get new customers, but it is very nice to get business through word of mouth and referrals.

Two Vegas Style Parties Back to Back

3 May
Outdoor bar at La Canada home

Outdoor bar at La Canada home

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred – Friday night I bartended at a fundraiser/poker tournament at a private home in La Canada, and then on Saturday night was the hired mixologist at a Vegas themed birthday party in Porter Ranch. Two nights, two very fun and successful events.  The event industry is thriving in Los Angeles, and there are so many great services that make parties really spectacular.

The Friday night poker tournament in La Canada was hosted by one of my best client’s at his fantastic home.  Casinos in Motion had at least ten poker tables there and dealers. The money that was raised benefitted a private school. The tournament didn’t end until one am. We served completely out of Grey Goose, Patron, and Johnny Walker Black.

Saturday night, the party was a birthday party/fight night event. It was a joint 40th birthday party bash for the husband and wife who were hosting the party and it just happened to fall on the Mayweather/Paciao fight night. I must say, they did an excellent job preparing for this party. They had red carpets, velvet ropes, and elaborate lighting set up in the backyard overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  Aces N Eights provided the Blackjack Table and dealer for the event.

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

I was bartending by myself for approximately ninety guests and was very busy. I made my special Jalapeno Margaritas that were a big hit, Mai Tais, Moscow Mules, Dark and Stormys, and Lemon Drops.  I also served Stella Artois and Modelo Especial, prosseco, and wine. It seems that Modelo is becoming the most popular beer in LA, overtaking Corona. I think all the Mexican beers are made by the same company, and beer is one of Mexico’s number one export products.

Next weekend will be busy also, as I have a company party scheduled in Mission Viejo for Friday, and then a wedding reception in Santa Clarita the following night. I was bartending in my sleep last night I have poured so many drinks this week. I still have a couple of open dates later this month, which I’m sure I will fill quickly. It is the season for graduation parties, and I have seen  many inquiries for such parties this month.

Shots!

Shots!

Green Room Bartending and Wrap Party

1 May Hollywood wrap party
Beautiful spring day in LA

Beautiful spring day in LA

Last night, Shaken not Stirred wrapped up a three part event at  a production facility in Los Angeles.  Last year, we bartended a screening event in Hollywood, and were contacted by the same people to do the  studio events. It was a great experience and unfortunately the show wrapped for now. Hopefully they will do more episodes in the future, and they will need bartending service again.

I set up a portable bar in the green room, which was a converted sound stage where they had put out lounge chairs and monitors for VIP guests to relax and watch the live taping. The show was a sketch comedy and was very funny. Always at live tapings, they have a comedian warm up the live audience and the guy they had was great. I also was able to watch the rehearsal on the monitors in the green room.

I bartended the first night, and then I had one of my other bartenders do the second night, because I was already booked on a birthday party. He showed up and did a great job. I was able to show up and help him out, just as he was wrapping up for the night. The crowds got larger at each event.  I hope to do more of this kind of business, and am currently talking to someone at one of networks to do a high end cocktail party.

Guests relax in green room during taping

Guests relax in green room during taping

Last night they had the wrap party after the tapings ended. I would guess that there were at least 150 people at the wrap party. I was very busy pouring wine and beer by myself, though they did bring in someone to help me near the end. I had six different types of beer and my biggest challenge was keeping them all cold with the limited coolers I had. We ended up with two cases of beer left over at the end, and one bottle of wine. That was pretty good guessing on the party planner’s part.

Tonight I am bartending at a fundraiser at a private home in La Canada. This is for a repeat customer. Shaken Not Stirred has been in business for less than two years, and I am starting to get much repeat business, which I love. Tomorrow, I will travel to Porter Ranch to bartend a birthday party/fight night event. I still have May 16th and May 23rd open and I am available to bartend on those dates.

Hollywood wrap party

Hollywood wrap party

Alhambra Surprise 40th Birthday Party

26 Apr "You talkin' to me?"

An ongoing drought in California

Guest bartender

Guest bartender

threatens the very existence of the state, yet on the day a woman schedules a surprise 40th birthday party for her husband, it rains cats and dogs. Well, that is an over exaggeration, rain messed things up for the surprise birthday party, but didn’t stop it. The host had tents set up in the backyard that kept most people dry. I had my own tent for the bar, and caterers had a tent.

The birthday boy had gone fishing and arrived home early because of the rain, so he wasn’t given the proper surprise cheer, but I saw his face as he realized they were having a party in his honor. I have said this before, but any man who has a surprise birthday party thrown for him is a lucky, and loved man. His wife had done extensive planning for this party, and hired a bartender (me), a DJ, and a caterer.

The caterer, Tacos Chicuas (213) 590-8209, provided tacos and quesadillas that were way above average.  I think their technique using a rotisserie cooker made the meat exceptionally tasty.  They had some incredible beans and a great selection of salsas. DJ Tossing T and MC JT provided the entertainment.  For a  surprise  40th birthday party, everything was top notch.

Tacos Chicuas with rotisserie cooker

Tacos Chicuas with rotisserie cooker

I served many pineapple based drinks, and the favorite of the night was the Buccanus, which was Buchannan Irish Whisky, pineapple juice, and grenadine, with a cherry garnish. This is the favorite of the birthday boy, and the trend caught on. I also served cucumber margaritas, and many Malibu and pineapples.

While I was bartending in Alhambra, I had another bartender doing at event at a television Studio in Glassel Park. He served beer and wine for about 100 people in the green room at a television production. I will go there again Thursday night. I have contracted with the production company to bartend at several of their tapings. Next Friday I will be bartending a fundraiser in La Canada, and then bartending at a party in Porter Ranch next Saturday night.

"You talkin' to me?"

“You talkin’ to me?”

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