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.

Fourth of July Party in Villa Park

5 Jul Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo
Shaking it up in Villa Park

Shaking it up in Villa Park

This year Independence Day fell on a Saturday and Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the community of Villa Park in Orange County to bartend a Fourth of July Party. I want to go on record by saying the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I love pool parties, hot weather, barbecues, and fireworks, and I especially love being an American and all that represents.  This party that I bartended in Villa Park was the classic fourth of July party, and there couldn’t have been a better day for it.

When I arrived, I was impressed by the home bar and pool area that the host informed me had just been completed after a lengthy renovation. I do many parties all over Southern California, and this had to be one of the finest home bars I have ever seen. Not one detail has been missed, including lighting, ice chest, 75” television, sound system, granite countertops, and liquor selection. They also had a grilling station just adjacent to the bar set up to feed an army. Behind the bar is a Bocci Ball court.

The pool was set to a temperature of 85 degrees, and the kids in attendance rarely left it. I served a variety of drinks including Cadillac Margaritas, Mojitos, Mai Tais, Pina Colladas, Cosmos, Dirty Martinis, Cuba Libres, wine, and beer. Lemon Drop Martinis proved to be the most popular drink of the day. We went through one and half 5 gallon kegs of Stella Artois, and a handle of Fireball. However, I didn’t see anyone over intoxicated. The host grilled genuine German Brauts from a local German Deli – we Americans can enjoy that!

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

It was a great party spot, and I hope the hosts call me to bartend again. Great hosts and guests – It was a true pleasure to bartend and spend my favorite holiday in good company.  I had a good discussion with a young man from Holland, and a woman who emigrated from England. They both knew more about the Declaration of Independence than most Americans do.  They realized why America is important and stands out as one of the greatest nations in the history of the world. Sadly, many native Americans don’t seem to realize or even think about that.  Personal fireworks were still allowed in Villa Park and fireworks rang out all over the neighborhood as soon as the sun went down. Freedom rang!

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Next weekend I will be traveling to Montana to visit family and friends. I will also be doing a book signing for my novel, “Palm Avenue,”in my home town at Sheridan Stationery on July 11th. I will be doing my first Southern California book signing at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip on September 8th.  My next bartending event will be on July 18th in downtown Los Angeles.

Porter Ranch Engagement Party and Los Angeles Sip and See

29 Jun Urban garden in Los Angeles
Guests arriving to Porter Ranch engagement party

Guests arriving to Porter Ranch engagement party

This past weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at two events – the first being an engagement party in Porter Ranch, and then a daytime party in Los Angeles, as new parents celebrated the birth of their daughter.  Summer is here and so is the heat, the backyard parties, pool parties, large wedding and barbecues. Each type of party has its own kinds of challenges.

The engagement party at Porter Ranch was a backyard event that had two bars, and I provided two bartenders to serve 100 guests.  The future bride was of Persian heritage, and engagement parties are a big part of the Persian wedding tradition. I have done several Persian themed engagement parties and they have all been quite large and elaborate affairs.  For this event, I took my long time associate Mia to help me. She is always dependable and always a pro.

We set up two bars from scratch and that is all part of the preparation. The engagement party is structured similar to a wedding, and there is a program where certain things have to happen at certain times. The future bride’s brother acted as the MC of the event and he did an excellent job.  We served lots of Jack Daniels, Bacardi, and Kettle one.  The party went until midnight and the people were still dancing and having a great time as we broke the bars down.

Shots!

Shots!

I had a quick turnaround, because I didn’t get home until after one am, then had to be in mid-city Los Angeles to bartend the “sip and see” Sunday morning. The Cathay neighborhood of Los Angeles near Olympic and Fairfax is where I lived when I first came to LA, over twenty years ago. The nice thing about that neighborhood is that they get a nice ocean breeze, and it is typically 20 degrees cooler than the San Fernando Valley in the summer. The “Sip and See,” was a party organized by the parents so friends and family could see their one month old daughter. They did not have a baby shower, and instead chose to do it this way.

I set up my portable bar on the patio and we served Bloody Marys, Mimosas,  and Ginger Peach Bellinis. We always served  Bellinis for Sunday bruch when I worked at the former Frascati Ristorante in Redondo Beach, so I was quite familiar with them. I made the Bellini mix with ginger syrup and peach puree. All you need to do is pour in champagne.  It was a fun event and many of the guests sat out by the bar socializing. Simple Things of Los Angeles provided the food and I highly recommend it. They had the most amazing breakfast sandwiches and unique finger foods.

Urban garden in Los Angeles

Urban garden in Los Angeles

The Fourth of July is coming up next Saturday and I will be traveling to Orange County to bartend in the community of Villa Park. I am still available for Friday and Sunday parties, if anyone in the Los Angeles or Orange County is interested.

Shots!

Shots!

Altadena Surprise Party and Bakersfield Wedding

23 Jun Junior League of Bakersfield wedding
Getting "surprised"

Getting “surprised”

Friday started the weekend in Altadena for Shaken Not Stirred, where I traveled to bartend for a surprise party. The father hired me for his son’s 35th birthday surprise birthday, and it was martini themed party.  Friends and family gathered in the backyard, while the one of the birthday boy’s friends took him out to distract him long enough for us to get ready. I think he was truly surprised and overwhelmed when he did arrive.

I made Manhattans, dirty vodka martinis, gin martinis, and Lemon Drops. I brought my own martini glasses and they had several. It is always a pleasure for me to make martinis and serve them in real glassware. The presentation is just so much nicer. The birthday boy’s father manned the barbeque and made some killer trip tip.

Guests enjoying martinis in Altadena

Guests enjoying martinis in Altadena

For this job, I did all the shopping . It is a service I offer for a fee. I will buy everything you need, including all the alcohol, mixers, cups, straws, napkins and ice. I require an up front deposit for this, plus the service charge. People have trusted me with hundreds of dollars for this and I have never done them wrong. I have an excellent reputation and don’t want to jeopardize it one bit.

Saturday, I traveled to Bakersfield for my second wedding in Kern County. I also did the shopping for this wedding, and spent most of my day Saturday getting all the supplies together for a 100 person wedding. The wedding was held at the Junior League of Bakersfield. It is a historic building in downtown Bakersfield. I set up my portable bar in the corner of the dining room.

I served Mojitos, Margaritas, and various vodka drinks to the guests.  When serving Mojitos to a large crowd like this, I make a large batch, and serve them that way. I also get several drinks ready as the ceremony is taking place, so that when everybody rushes in afterward, I can make the line go fast. It is ideal to have a barback, but I handled the 100 person  Bakersfield wedding by myself just fine.

Junior League of Bakersfield wedding

Junior League of Bakersfield wedding

Everything went pretty well until the last five minutes, when friends and family were cleaning up the dining room. Some drama broke out among some of the guests outside. The bride looked at me and rolled her eyes, “We almost made it without something like that happening. We almost made it,” she said.  It seems that machismo and alcohol don’t always mix. Believe me, nobody knows that better than me. Kevin Rush was the DJ and he helped to diffuse the situation. I can see that he is a true pro and dealing with situations like that, and also did a very good job of DJing and running the wedding program for the night.

This weekend I have an engagement party in Porter Ranch, and then a Fourth of July party coming up in Orange County.  I still have a few dates open in July, so book your parties now.

Shots!

Shots!

Chino Hills Graduation Party

14 Jun Guests dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle"
Storm clouds disappearing in Chino Hills

Storm clouds disappearing in Chino Hills

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred bartending service was on hand for a graduation party in Chino Hills. It was a high school graduation party, though I didn’t serve alcohol to the high school graduates, but served to their parents and older friends and relatives. It was a very mellow party, though no doubt an important milestone in a young woman’s life, as she prepares to embark on the next adventure in her life – a college career.

I am always impressed when family members throw parties in honor of each other. I have said this 100 times on this blog, and I will say it again. Anyone who has a party thrown in their honor is a very blessed person. The father of the graduate was so proud of his daughter, and gave a very touching speech on her behalf. Nobody threw a graduation party for me, because I was a terrible student in high school, and a rebellious teen – I didn’t give my parents much to be proud of in high school. The fact that I even graduated is a miracle.

That being said, the group of high school graduated at the Chino hills graduation party were a very nice group of kids. None of them tried to get me to serve them alcohol. They seemed to have a great time sitting at their own table, and when it came time for dancing, they all got out on the dance floor. Anybody who says the youth of today are totally worthless, I will have to say there are countless examples to contrary.

Guests dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle"

Guests dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle”

I served Cadillac Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and wine. It was not a hard drinking crowd, but I seemed to stay busy. I have a blender and don’t mind making blended drinks at all. I am pretty good at making them, because I made thousands of blended drinks when I worked at the bar at LAX. We made pina colladas, daiquiris, and margaritas blended. People are amazed when I pour the ingredients into the blender, blend it up, then pour into the glass and it pours right to the top of the glass with nothing left over. That comes with practice.

Next week I will be bartending a birthday party in Pasadena on Friday, then travel to Bakersfield on Saturday for a rather large wedding. I am doing all the shopping for the wedding, which I don’t mind doing for a small service charge. This will be my first event in Bakersfield, and I don’t mind going up there, or anywhere if it makes sense financially. At this point, I am still available for the Fourth of July, though I have been emailing back and forth with one person.

Backyard party setup

Backyard party setup

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