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Event Bartender Covers a Wedding Party and an Anniversary Party

27 Mar
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Backyard wedding in Indian Wells

Last weekend, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender service made drinks at a wedding reception in Indian Wells, and then bartended an anniversary party in Oak Park the next day. That’s a lot of driving in one weekend but totally worth it. I met a bunch of really nice people, and imagine this – no awful ones. It was a great weekend for parties, and bartenders.

On Saturday I drove to Indian Wells, and I must say this is one of the most beautiful times to go for a drive in California. Wildflowers of purple, yellow, and orange are sprouting up everywhere, and the hills are greener than I have seen them in years. Even the mountains and hillsides around banning, look more like Montana, than arid California. I know it won’t last long – a couple of dry months and everything will be brown again, so Californians should enjoy it while it lasts.

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Backyard wedding ceremony

Indian Wells is particularly beautiful right now and a perfect spot to host a backyard wedding. The hosts of the wedding party set up a very nice backyard wedding outside their condo in a gated community at Indian Wells. The hosts purchased a nice little bar at the thrift store and that is where I set up. I made Old Fashioneds and various simple mixed drinks for approximately 80 guests. Whole Lotta Love BBQ and Catering of La Quinta provided the food and they put out some excellent grub.

It was a very nice ceremony and a friend of the bride and groom was the officiant. I think backyard weddings are the way to go if you can find a good spot to put one on. This was the perfect spot and the weather was just right. The bride and groom were impressed that I was bussing tables when I wasn’t busy making drinks. I have a lot of restaurant experience and I was trained to keep tables clear. It is no big deal for me and I will do it if I am not busy making drinks. Sometimes I can’t leave the bar from start to finish, but I am happy to help out any way I can.

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Shots!

Hire an Event Bartender

  • Get help with your drink menu and shopping list
  • Impress Your guests
  • Enjoy your own party
  • Get professional quality cocktails
  • Ultimately save money

I drove back to LA the next day and made my way to Oak Park in Ventura County to bartend an anniversary party at a synagogue. This was a kosher event so we had to follow the rules of the synagogue. I have now done this a few times so I have some understanding of it. My son went with me to help and we served over 100 people for a quick three hour event.

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Anniversary party at Oak Park Synagogue

Elan Adivi, one of La’s top private chef’s provide the catering, and just by coincidence it was his engagement party. He is only 24, engaged to by married, and a successful business owner.  I’m sure  his parents are very proud. I had another bartender help him with a City of Hope fundraiser event Saturday night.

This coming weekend I will be doing a wedding rehearsal party at Dana Point in southern Orange County on Friday night, and then a birthday party in Laguna Niguel the next day. That will finish off the month of March and bring us into April, which is a big month for weddings.

San Diego 35th Anniversary

16 Aug
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Downtown San Diego at Sunset

Yesterday I wrote about a man’s 35th birthday party – today I am writing about a couple’s 35th anniversary party I bartended for in San Diego. It is one thing living for 35 years, but quite another to be married to the same person that long. These people must have done something right because they had a big group of family and lifelong friends there to celebrate with them.

I do a few events in San Diego every year and I like going down there. It really is a great city and I am surprised at how big the city limits of San Diego actually covers. This party was held in the southernmost area of the city limits near National City. The house were the party was held was up on a hill with an excellent view of Downtown San Diego, the bay and Naval base.

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Black labs matter!

I had an outdoor bar setup and I served Jalapeno and Cadillac Margaritas. I made the jalapeno Margarita mix at home and I am always surprised what a hit it is – it is quite spicy. I made the Cadillac Margaritas the classic way – tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, with a Gran Margarita floater. This is really the best way to make them, and it worked for this group of fifty people, but would be problematic for larger groups. Tacos by Manny provided the food and they made some excellent tacos.

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Cadillac Margarita at twilight time

35th Anniversary Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite lifelong friends and family
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve classic cocktails and good food
  • Have a toast!

As I said before, these people must have done something right. The hosts could not of been more gracious to me and all of their guests. The kids were super nice also, as were all of their friends. I had a really good feeling when I left the party, knowing there are such good people left in the world. My day had started off on a negative note. I went to the beach in San Diego, left my wallet in my car, and while I was at the beach my car was broken into the thieves stole $200 of my hard earned money. It was my own fault – everybody in Southern California knows to never leave money in their car while at the beach. It’s a hard pill to swallow, knowing that you have nobody but yourself to blame. 

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Shots!

Next weekend I will be staying close to home and will be bartending a wedding in Calabasas. My son will also be bartending another party in Burbank. The summer is slipping away at light speed for Shaken Not Stirred and I am already booking holiday parties. The election is 84 days away. 2017 is approaching…

Beverly Hills 10th Anniversary Party

1 Aug
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Bar prep at Beverly Hills 10th Anniversary party

Saturday I was honored to bartend for a 10th Anniversary party for some of my best clients. I have provided bartending services for this couple at least a dozen times at business related cocktail parties, film premiers, and wrap parties. This was the first personal type party that they hired me for and it was their biggest party to date.

Over 100 guests, including children drifted in and out during the four hour event. I served a lot of drinks very quickly. We had two specialty drinks including a Blackberry Mint Moscow Mule, and a Watermelon Cucumber Vodka cooler. I am able to make these labor intensive drinks for large groups of people because I make batches of several drinks at a time. I served out of the Moscow Mule toward the end of the party and was almost out of the Watermelon drink at the end.

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Blackberry Mint Moscow Mule

They have a pool in the backyard and hired a lifeguard to watch the kids, which is a great idea. I did another party recently where there were many kids swimming and no lifeguard. It only takes a few minutes for a tragedy to happen. Especially at a large party where alcohol is being served.

10th Anniversary Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite friends and extended family
  • Hire performers
  • Renewal of vows

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    Guests mingle at Beverly Hills Anniversary party

Ella Freyinger provided the catering and she did a fantastic job, as always. I have worked with her before. This time they had barbecue chicken, tri tip, hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids, and a whole variety of summer side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. There was plenty of food and friends and family attended the 10th anniversary party from around the country.

I have a wedding coming up next weekend in Lancaster, but that is the only thing I have scheduled for this week. I was thinking that it is kind of slow, and I checked my schedule for last year around this time. Actually it was even slower for Shaken Not Stirred last year. It will pick up soon enough because before you know it the holiday season will be here. I have already booked some parties in October, November, and December, and have had inquiries for New Year’s Eve. and January. It is never too early to book your holiday parties. I am starting with a new booking service, and they say they will book me more work than I know what to do with six months in advance. I may have to hire some more bartenders.

Summer Bar Service at Three Parties

7 Jun
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Ladies pose at Stevenson Ranch

Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service for two parties last weekend on the first hot days of summer. Friday it was over 100 in the the San Fernando Valley, and I traveled to Stevenson Ranch near Magic Mountain to bartend a birthday party. On Saturday I returned to Eagle Rock to bartend a Second Wedding party, while my son drove to Sierra Madre to bartend a wedding reception.

The good thing about Southern California is that it rarely stays hot, once the sun goes down. It usually cools right off and it did Friday night. It was the client’s 35th birthday party and it started at 9pm, because many of the guests were still working on Friday night. I served Mojitos, Old Fashioneds, and Margaritas. Many of the guests had a great time playing beer pong, while others danced to Pandora. Guests dined on barbecue from a local restaurant, which was really good, but I forgot to ask the name of it.It was a good example of a succesful backyard birthday party, where everyone had a good time, and it didn’t cost a fortune to put on. Guests commented that it was good to have a bar service tending the bar, because otherwise it is just chaos when guests make their own drinks.

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Bride and Groom at Second Wedding

Advantages of Hiring a Bar Service

  • Less waste of alcohol
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves
  • Better cocktails
  • Less over serving
  • Guests appreciate it
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Bartender dances with bride

Saturday night I was nervous because the Second wedding, meaning the couple was getting married again and renewing their vows for the second time, was going to be an elaborate affair. I brought two servers and there were going to be 140 guests. The hosts had set up a very nice tent and tables at the home overlooking the 2 Freeway and Forest Lawn in Eagle Rock. The servers were supposed to serve food to all 140 people. Well, there weren’t quite that many people and all worked out quite well. LA Party DJ’s provided the music.

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Groomsmen at Second Wedding

Meanwhile, my son was bartending a wedding reception in Sierra Madre by himself. This was the third party he has done for me alone and once again I got good feedback. Here is an excerpt of the email I received from the host after the wedding, I just wanted to thank you for sending Will to our wedding. He was on time, extremely proficient and courteous to everyone. He made sure the bride and I were taken care of throughout the afternoon and kept the entire backyard free of empty glasses and napkins.We couldn’t be happier with his service and time with us on Saturday. Please extend a heartfelt thanks to him on our behalf.”

I received a similar text praising the job done by my servers. Overall it was a great weekend. This weekend I will be providing bar service for two parties in Woodland Hills, not far from the first place I ever rented in Los Angeles.

 

Encino Law Office Anniversary Party

27 Jul

An Encino law office celebrated 20 years in business Saturday and Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to provide beverage service. The law office is located on an Encino estate that is perfect for partying. They did the party up right and had two different caterers, a photo booth, steel drum band, bartenders, and later on a DJ. It was a hot day and the ice was melting faster than we could keep it stocked.

The party was an open house and people came in and out all day. People brought their kids and the pool was busy all day. There was a dog there that was in and out of that pool for nine hours straight and I’m sure that dog had a good night’s sleep. I brought another bartender with me, Mia, and we served Modelo on tap, Margaritas, and a few other specialty drinks. We served many shots of tequila and had several brands to choose from including, Cazadores, Don Julio, Patron, and Don Azul.

Nesta provided the entertainment with steel drums and I have seen them at other parties – they are great  addition to any summer party. They had a taco bar set up in the front yard and I don’t know how the cooks kept from passing out it was so hot out there. The sun was just relentless. Another caterer was set up in the backyard and they kept passing around appetizers including shrimp cocktails, and then prepared a nice lasagna dinner. Everyone was well fed and we never ran out of drinks.

Next week I am doing a cocktail party in Beverly Hills for a repeat customer and then a wedding in Lancaster on Saturday. I have four different weddings booked for August. Then, in September I am planning on spending a whole week in the Palm Springs area and here is the press release

Rob with a huge jug of Cassadores

Rob with a huge jug of Cassadores

Retriever doing what she does best

Retriever doing what she does best

Nesta Steel Drum Band

Nesta Steel Drum Band

about that. The first week of September I am traveling to Montana for a much need week vacation.

 

Santa Clarita Surprise Anniversary Party

1 Jun

Last night Shaken Not Stirred bartended and provided servers for a surprise 25th anniversary party at the Santa Clarita Activities Center. This was a very nice and fairy new venue and was a great place to have a party with plenty of parking. The daughter of the anniversary couple hired me and put on the whole elaborate surprise party. She created a whole story to get her parents to the location by making them believe they were going there to give a business presentation. The surprise worked perfectly as they walked into a room of 70 of their close friends and family members.

The food was brought in and my servers set it all up. I am lucky to have several good people who work for me on these occasions. Everybody I have does an incredible job and I am always complimented on the service of my employees. It is not brain surgery – I have been a part of hundred of events serving in nearly all of the capacities from server, to event planner, to manager. It doesn’t have to be a big, stressful deal for the hosts.

We served Cosmopolitans, Margaritas, and Jack Daniels at the bar, along with beer and wine. Entertainment was provided by “Dj Marvelous”, and he did the music and was also able to facilitate karaoke. The surprise guests of honor were very pleased and had a great time. I think everybody at the party did. It seemed to be a close knit group of family and friends and I think it was a memorable event for them celebrating an important milestone.

Santa Clarita Activities Center

Santa Clarita Activities Center

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Cirita bartending

DJ Marvelous heats up the dance floor

DJ Marvelous heats up the dance floor

Next month, in June, Shaken Not Stirred is booked every weekend including some Saturdays and Sundays. Next weekend I have a “Triple Crown” party booked in Pasadena on Saturday, and a Bar Mitzvah on Sunday where I will serve fake cocktails to 100 teenagers. That should be interesting! I now have a portable bar, a table, and several Martini glasses I can offer for any party.