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?”

Los Angles Party Bartender Covers Three Socal Counties

13 Apr Friends and familia
Eagle Rock cocktail party

Eagle Rock cocktail party

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angles party bartender service covered three different counties in southern California last weekend.  The weekend started in Eagle Rock, moved to Santa Ana, and ended on Sunday in Lake Elsinore.

Friday night Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to bartend a cocktail party and impromptu concert by a Los Angeles based trio.  The host set up a small, well stocked bar by the pool for me, and I served Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and other classic cocktails in real glassware.  The hosts were both accomplished photographers in the food and beverage industry, so presentation was important.

The trio played for an hour or two and approximately forty guests sipped wine and had appetizers. The  House was on a hill that had views of Griffith Park off to west, and a very well landscaped back yard perfect for entertaining. It was a nice mellow party and great way to start off the weekend, and the third of forth nice event I have done in Eagle Rock. It seems to be a really happening neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Shots!

Shots!

Saturday night I traveled to Orange County to the city of Santa Ana to bartend a birthday party. The host requested a server and I took my friend, Alex to help me. He has extensive fine dining and catering experience.  He is one of several experienced assistants I have available. This was a larger party than the one in eagle Rock and about 80 guests were in attendance.

I quickly discovered that the host was of Chilean descent. There were many Chilenos in attendance, and they like to party. My ex wife was Chilean and I love the culture and the people. When Chileans are at a party, they usually drink a lot of wine, and that was the case here too. I want to do Pisco Sours at some party and have yet to find any takers. I also served a lot of Jack Daniels and Marker’s Mark (I think that is an Orange County thing).  I booked another party for May while at the event, and I always love doing that. This was my third event in Santa Ana.

Lake Elsinore party

Lake Elsinore party

Sunday, I traveled to Lake Elsinore in Riverside County to bartend a surprise birthday party. This was my first party in Lake Elsinore and I really liked the area. The hosts had just recently moved into the house and I think it was their first party there. They had a nice backyard and pool for entertaining. I set up my portable bar and served a boatload of Modelos, Bay breezes, and Mojitos, and a few frozen Margaritas.

I had an event scheduled for Apple Valley next weekend, but unfortunately they had to cancel, so as I write this, I am still available for April 18. The Los Angles party bartender may end up anywhere in Southern California on that weekend, and I know I am getting a lot of calls and have to turn many jobs down. I am grateful for every job I get.

Friends and familia

Friends and familia

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.

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