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Two Weddings and a Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

17 Oct
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San Clemente State Beach

 

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering for two big weddings and a Brazilian themed birthday party. Thursday I traveled to San Clemente to bartend a wedding at the Historic Cottage located at the San Clemente State Park. On Friday I bartended a birthday party with a Brazilian theme in the Venice Beach area, and then on Saturday drove to Palm Springs to provide bartending service at the Palm Springs air museum. It was a very successful week for Shaken Not Stirred.

The Historic Cottage

The Historic Cottage at the San Clemente State Park overlooks the ocean and is a fantastic venue for a wedding. This venue reminded me very much of The Pointe Vicente Interperative Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Historic Cottage only allows wine and beer service, and drink service stops at 10pm.

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Guests mingle during cocktail hour

For this wedding, the ceremony was held on the bluff overlooking the ocean, and then the guests came for the cocktail hour held in the front yard of the Historic Cottage. I had my portable bar setup there and a had a barback from Orange County helping me there. We served approximately 150 guests. After the cocktail hour, the guests moved to the backyard area of the cottage for dinner and dancing.

Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

A chef that I know, Ella Freyinger, referred me to bartend for one of her friend’s birthday party. The client and her husband were very British, but they wanted to do a Brazilian themed birthday party. I would be serving Caipirinhas, the Brazilian cocktails and they would be serving food popular in Brazil. Caipirinhas are made with Brazilian cane liquor, Cachaca, brown sugar, and lime. They are somewhat labor intensive drinks that require much muddling, so I kept busy making them for four hours for 30 guests.

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Cachaca and Brazilian soda

 

At first, I didn’t think the guests liked them, because they were drinking them slowly, but that changed quickly. Guests brought more bottles of different brands of Cachaca, and I was making drinks with at least four different brands, including Pitu, Cachaca 51, Novo Fogo, and Avua. The owner of the Avua brand was actually at the party, and provided a lot of insight about the various types. I must mention that Caipirinhas are deadly drinks that go down smooth, but can bite like a rattlesnake.

Palm Springs Air Museum

I have done weddings and parties at venues all over the Coachella Valley, but this was my first wedding at the Palm Springs Air Museum. It is a truly fantastic museum located in a hangar at the Palm Springs airport. It is full of vintage planes and displays, which I didn’t really have time to look out because I had to hustle and prepare for a 230 guest wedding party. I had another bartender and barback there to help me. Unlike many wedding parties I do the ceremony for this one was done somewhere else, so the guests trickled in, rather than arriving in a line all at once. It can be daunting to serve a line a 230 people.

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Myself, barback Teresa, and bartender Thomas

We served margaritas, and mojitos, and various other drinks. The highlight is when they opened the hangar door and we could see a dramatic sunset over the mountains of Palm Springs, as well as vintage planes outside the hangar and commercial jets taking off nearby. It was a great event and hope to return there soon.

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Shots!

 

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bartending Service at 8 Big Events

8 Aug
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The View from 17th Floor

Last week was one of the busiest weeks ever for Shaken Not Stirred – my staff and I provided bartending service at 8 great events. I started off the week doing two corporate events in Downtown LA and Venice, and then on Saturday we had a baby shower, a going away brunch, and two birthday parties. Sunday I drove to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, while another bartender did an anniversary party in Manhattan Beach.

I picked up a new corporate client and they say they will be doing as many as two events a month, all on the weekdays. I love these kind of events. I did the first one on thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, and it was held at the 17th floor pool area of a luxury condo building. I brought all the supplies, and hustled them up to the 17th floor. It is an extra service I provide for an extra fee, and many of my clients do not want the hassle of shopping for their supplies. I am glad to do it.

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New Favorite Mode of Transportation in Venice

On Friday, I once again traveled to Venice to do a mixer that coincides with the First Friday Food truck event on Abbot Kinney. This was my third time doing this event. Once again, I shopped for and brought all the supplies. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to 30 or so people. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hire a Bartending Service

  • Craft cocktails and professional quality drinks
  • We can do the shopping for you
  • Professional consultation
  • Multiple bartenders available
  • ABC certified

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    Fullerton Baby Shower

Saturday was the big day that I was worried about because I had four different events staffed by four bartenders, plus myself. I had a baby shower to do with another bartender in Fullerton. One bartender did a daytime event in Sylmar, and then a birthday party later that night in Santa Clarita. Two other bartenders headed out to Pacoima to do a birthday party. Fortunately, everyone was on time and everything went great.

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Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

This weekend I have a wedding at the Diamond Bar Center on Saturday, and a birthday party in Studio City on Sunday. The month of august is flying by, and it won’t be too much longer that I will be booking Christmas parties. Like last year, I am saving all dates in December for my existing customers. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Santa Monica Showcase and Mountain View Retreat Wedding

26 Mar
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Back to the Future car at Virtual Reality showcase.

Shaken Not Stirred had another busy weekend – first bartending a showcase event in Santa Monica on Friday, and then doing a wedding at the Mountain View Retreat in La Quinta on Saturday. I made hundreds of drinks at the two events and served several cases of alcohol. I guess I got my practice in, because I’m gearing up for a three day wedding event I have this coming weekend in Palm Springs.

The showcase event was held at a historic building in Santa Monica which is now home to The Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom. They showcase new forms of virtual reality there. I was too busy to check out any of their demonstrations, but it all looked very cool. I brought another bartender with me and we worked two separate bars, serving over 200 people.

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Guests mingle in back lot

Karma Tequila provided the tequila for the event and we also served the new light beer from Corona – Corona Premier, with only 90 calories. Guests said it was pretty good. They had a couple of food trucks pulls into the back parking lot to serve the grub, and they had a DJ on the scene. We served completely out of tequila and most of the beer by the time the night was through.

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Shots!

The next morning I had to get up bright and early and head out to La Quinta, 120 miles away. I was not only bartending a wedding that night, but I had to do all the shopping too. It is an extra service I provide and charge extra for, but in some cases the host wants that convenience. I preordered most of the alcohol from Bevmo, and it was all waiting for me in La Quinta when I got there. The rest of the supplies I bought at Smart and Final, including the ice.

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Wedding ceremony at Mountain View Retreat

The wedding was held at the Mountain View Retreat, where I have bartended before. I set up my portable bar and table under a veranda beside the pool. The ceremony was very nice and then the cocktail hour began. I handled 75 guests by myself just fine, though the line got long at times. I served spicy jalapeno margaritas, and a lot of vodka drinks. We ran out of vodka and bourbon  toward the end and the wedding planner went and bought more.

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Guests mingle by the pool

This coming weekend I am returning the Palm Springs to bartend a three day weddding event. Thursday is the rehearsal dinner, Friday the wedding, and then there is a pool party on Saturday. I will be bartending all three events, so it should be a fun weekend. Please follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already.

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Shots!

West Hills Surprise Birthday Party

13 Feb
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West Hills, CA

Saturday night I traveled across the San Fernando Valley to bartend a surprise birthday party in West Hills. A proud father planned the event for his son’s 25th birthday party, and I think the event went off exactly as planned – the son was genuinely surprised and touched, and everybody had a great time. I always like doing surprise parties, and as I have said before anybody who gets one thrown for them, is truly blessed.

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Guests anxiously waiting

I have been neglecting this blog since the busy holiday season, and it’s time to get back to basics. I built my business up with internet marketing and now that I am getting many referrals and much repeat business, I have gotten lazy about doing the things that made my business successful in the first place. Since I started Shaken Not Stirred, I have completed close to 500 private events.

This surprise birthday party was held at the family’s brand new home in West Hills at the far northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. The house was located at the end of a cul de sac and my first comment to the host was, “He’s going to see all these cars here and will immediately know what’s going on.” Naturally the host had already thought of that. I unloaded my portable and bar and moved my car back up the street, as all the guests were instructed to do.

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Don Julio 1942

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

  • Plan a diversion to fool the guest of honor
  • Invite a wide range of people
  • Hire a bartender
  • Serve great food
  • Play great music

I set up my portable bar in the backyard and the guests started arriving about 5pm. The guest of honor was due to arrive at 5:30. He was told they were going to dinner in Beverly Hills. Everyone got into place and the birthday boy arrived right on time and got the surprise of his life. By the way, the guest of honor is a pro football player for the Arizona Cardinals. He was truly touched, and his father was so proud. I served simple mixed drinks to around fifty drinks and everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

February tends to be my slowest month of the year.  So far I only have one event scheduled for this week on Saturday in Mission Hills. Next week I will go to Palm Springs on Friday, and then turn right around to do a birthday party in Redondo Beach on Saturday. March is very busy with several weddings already scheduled all over the place. I will be doing a lot of traveling in March. Please follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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Venice Corporate Event

Shaken Not Stirred had its best holiday season to date and so far in December we have completed 21 events, with two parties still to go. When I first started doing this blog, I would write one blog post for every event I did and that has gotten harder and harder to do as I do multiple events in one week. It has a been a hectic season, and I am a little relieved that it is over, but as far as I know, all of our clients were happy and there were no major problems.

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My son bartending in Hollywood

My goal this year for the month of December was that I would save as many dates as possible for repeat customers and referrals. For the most part I did that. I had great repeat customers book parties in Valley Village, Hollywood, Venice, San Clemente, Silver Lake, Van Nuys, Reseda, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley. I didn’t have to travel too far, with San Clemente being the furthest I went during the month of December. I picked up some great new clients in Simi Valley, Hermosa Beach, Santa Clarita, and Moorpark. I am probably forgetting someone, but will remember them later.

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Casino themed holiday party 

I had multiple bartenders, including, Tanner, Edie, Matt, Melanie, Thomas, and Will helping me. Some of the bartenders went out and completed gigs on their own and I got great feedback from all of my clients. We literally served thousands of cocktails over the course of the month. We went through gallons and gallons of vodka, whiskey, and tequila. We emptied cases and cases of wine and beer.

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Reseda Christmas party

Highlights included the big casino night in Venice, the annual Christmas party in Hollywood for the Better Call Saul production company, the Spacex launch, and numerous wonderful home parties, food, drink, and music. I sampled all kinds of fantastic food, from tacos, prime rib, pork belly, steaks, and many ethnic delicacies.

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Venice Christmas Party

This weekend marks the final chapter for Shaken Not Stirred in 2017. Saturday I will drive to Huntington Beach to bartend a 40th birthday party/whiskey tasting. On Sunday, I get to stay in the San Fernando Valley for New Year’s Eve – I will be doing a NYE party in Sherman Oaks. Looking forward to a great New Year and already have several dates booked in January, February, and March.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark

Southern California Event Business is Booming

8 Nov

The Southern California event business is really taking off as the economy heats up. There are actually more events than there are bartenders. When I first started doing this as my own business – the competition was fierce. I had to scrap for every event that I got. Now, it seems there are way more events coming up than there are bartenders to do them. 

I used to write a blog post about every event that I did. Now, I do so many events that it is hard to keep up with the blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending service recently at corporate events in West Hollywood recently, a fundraiser in Mid City LA, a huge Halloween party in San Bernardino, and a very nice wedding in Coachella. I will recap the bigger events here.

San Bernardino Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28th was probably the biggest party night of the whole year in Southern California. I had so many requests for Halloween parties, but this one I booked months in advance. The hosts of this party do it up big. They literally spend months decorating their workshop into a Halloween extravaganza. Guests come in from all over the country to attend.

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Shots!

This was the first year that the host hired professional bartenders, and I think he was quite pleased with us. We served all kinds of drinks and shots and managed the liquor inventory. Guests self served themselves beer and frozen margaritas, but we kept busy from 9pm until 4:30 am. Great party and I hope we are asked to return next year.

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Fellow bartender, Thomas

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More shots

Mid City LA Fundraiser

I was referred to the hosts of this event from another client, which is always nice. They wanted me to purchase all of the alcohol, and that is a service I provide in some cases. They were expecting 125 guests, so I recommended they have two bartenders, and I made a list of alcohol and supplies they would need.

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Live music at Gallery 38

The event was held at Gallery 38 on West Adams Boulevard, mid city. Gallery 38 is a somewhat small space and will not really accommodate 125 people. So, only about 75 showed up and that was just right. I felt bad that there was so much alcohol left over, but they can use that at another event.

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Friends gather for a drink

The fundraiser was to benefit Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps former gang members transition back into society after serving time in prison. Artists donated art works to the cause and they were on display on the walls of Gallery 38. They also had poetry readings and live music. It was a fantastic event and I was happy to be present for it.

Coachella Wedding

This was my third wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in Coachella. It is a great venue on a secluded ranch just south of the ten freeway. This venue has everything a couple could want for a private wedding. The photo opportunities alone at the venue make it worthwhile.

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The wedding party

For this wedding, they had us set up a bar on the lawn near the ceremony for the cocktail hour. We served beer and wine to the guests for an hour or so, and then moved it to the main bar where we served cocktails for the rest of the night. I hired a bartender local to the area, and he worked out great helping me, and I will be sure to use him again.

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Newly married couple

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shots!

This weekend so far I have an eighties themed party in Studio City, and a birthday party in Porter Ranch scheduled. Please follow us on Instagram.

Rosamond Wedding in the High Desert

12 Oct
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Groom and groomsmen at Rosamond wedding

Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a wedding in the high desert near the city of Rosamond. It was my first time doing a wedding in Rosamond and the wedding took place in an orange grove adjacent to the rolling hills nearby. I had another bartender with me and we served approximately 130 guests.

I set up my portable bar near a little guest house where the cocktail hour was to be held. The ceremony took place around 4pm and the cocktail hour was right after that. We served “Sex on the Beach,” cocktails and another drink made with Hennessy, lemonade, and Popeye’s sweet tea, which I coined the “Tiger Woods.” I premade the drinks in my beverage dispenser for faster service. We also served locally brewed keg beer from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster. We had two different types of brew, including an IPA and a Blonde ale.

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Kegs from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster

After the cocktail hour concluded, we moved the bar to the dining area where we continued service for the rest of the evening. They had tents set up and a dance floor. A catering company served barbecue. We served out of the Tiger Woods and by the end served out of the other cocktail too. The beer was quite popular, and people were impressed that it was brewed locally.

Hire a Wedding Bartender

  • Plan a specialty drink menu
  • Hire an experienced professional bartender
  • Venues require certified bartenders
  • Get help with shopping list
  • Impress your guests

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    Guests mingle during cocktail hour

I hesitate mentioning this, because I don’t know the cause of it, but I got very sick at the wedding. Shortly after I ate I began feeling nauseous. It got worse as the night went on, and eventually I had to go vomit. Luckily the other bartender was covering me. He ate the same food and didn’t get sick. I felt better after I vomited, but when I was driving home, I felt it coming on again, and I threw up in my car before I could make it to an exit. Needless to say that was fun. I don’t want to implicate the catering company for this, because it could have been something totally unrelated. I was fine the next day and bartended an event in Orange County. I wonder if anyone else at the party got sick. Please follow us on Instagram.

Three End of Summer Events in Southern California

27 Sep
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Instagram stars at West Hollywood promotion

Shaken Not Stirred wrapped up the summer of 2017 with three big events last week. I did a associate appreciation party for a law firm in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, a promotional event at a retail store in West Hollywood on Wednesday, and then traveled to Mission Viejo for a wedding on Saturday. Three more great events under my belt.

I have done many corporate events from 10 to 300 people. The law firm in Woodland Hills just opened their new office there. They invited associate professionals like CPA’s that refer clients to them. Their turnout for this event wasn’t too good, but they plan on having more events like this. I think that having a bartender is a nice touch. I served beer, wine and soft drinks. I like doing events like this one weekdays and will do as many as I can.

The next day I drove to West Hollywood to do a promotional event at a clothing store on Melrose Avenue. They invited 100 Instagram stars and gave away free clothing in exchange for promotion. A good idea, for sure. The young ladies that showed up were definitely fashionistas, and very photogenic. Some had photographers with them continuously taking pictures. I served Veuve Clicquot.  It was a fun event for sure.

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200 plus guests at Norman P. Murray Center

Bartender for Events

  • Corporate Events
  • Birthday Parties
  • Engagement parties and weddings
  • Reunions
  • Grand Openings

On Saturday I picked up a barback at the Artist’s District in Downtown LA and we drove to Mission Viejo, to the Norman P. Murray Senior Center to bartend a wedding. This is a very nice venue. It is situated in a beautiful park that is perfect for photo opportunities. The weather could not have been nicer. We set up a portable bar and served wine, beer, and soft drinks to over 200 guests. We served completely out of beer in the last hour, and were down to a few bottles of wine by the end of service. I got a note from the bride on the next day, congratulating me on my accuracy on the shopping list. They didn’t have much to carry home.

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Barback takes an order

This weekend I am doing a company party in Culver City, and then a 20 year class reunion in Burbank. I am sending another bartender to a wedding in La Verne. The busy holiday season is fast approaching. My Instagram page is gaining momentum, so please follow us.

 

West Hollywood Book Signing Event at Book Soup

24 Jul
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Crowd waits for Adam Novak sighting…

Thursday night I returned to Book Soup in West Hollywood where I held my Los Angeles book signing – this time as a bartender for another writer. Book Soup is one of the few remaining independent bookstores in Los Angeles and they hold weekly book signing events and if you have never been there, it is a must see in LA. The writer, Adam Novak posted a bid request on Thumbtack for a bartender, and he mentioned in the request it would be held at Book Soup. I put in a bid and mentioned that I had also held a book signing there.

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Adam Novak warmly greets his fans

The writer, Adam Novak, called me and asked me if I was “Rob Neighbors, the screen writer”. He said that he worked in the story department at William Morris agency for years and he remembers my name coming through there on screenplays. I told him, that yes, I was said writer. Do I feel bad that I am now a lowly bartender, who once had a promising screenwriting career?  No, I may get another shot at that, but I made some big mistakes along the way that derailed everything. One thing about it, I have never been envious or jealous of other people’s success. If other writers have great success, it means that it is obtainable. I make money as a bartender now, but that doesn’t define me. It is an honest living. Thank God I wasn’t good at raising money for movies, as my friend was, who is now doing 13 years in a Federal pen.

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Adam Novak looking tough

Authors Who Have Done Book Signings at Book Soup

  • Adam Novak
  • Sonny “Bones” Donato
  • Howard Stern
  • Rob Neighbors
  • Ann Margret

Adam Novak was doing the reading and book signing for his newest novel, “Freaks of the Industry.” He gave me a signed copy, and he signed it, “Keep on Protecting and Serving,” referencing my movie, “LAPD – to Protect and Serve.” I can tell Adam has a tremendous memory and pays attention to detail. I gave him a signed copy of my book, “Palm Avenue.” He read passages of his new book at the event and he is hilarious. He is a very skilled wordsmith, and the structure of his novel is different than anything I have seen before. I have started reading it and I am laughing out loud at something on every page. The book I’m sure is full of thinly veiled references to actual people in the industry. Writers walk a tightrope when they do this – Truman Capote wrote a send up of all of his society pals, and they ended up casting him out. He subsequently died a miserable alcoholic death. Hemingway did it too and he ended up blowing his brains out with a 12 gauge.  

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Truman Copote dressed for winter

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Ernest Hemingway with Cat

Anyway, back to bartending. I brought another bartender with me, because Adam wasn’t quite sure how many people would show up. He had a good crowd and we served wine, beer, and soft drinks. I guess they almost sold out of books, which is the goal. Adam was great guy to work for and know. I love Book Soup as a venue and I hope to return there many more times, as a writer, and God forbid a bartender (jk).

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Author Adam Novak and Rob Neighbors

Bartender for Hire Does Three Weekend Events

27 Jun
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Portable bar in Pacific Palisades

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire had a busy weekend and did three fantastic events over the weekend. Friday night I bartended a short cocktail hour at a beautiful home in Pacific Palisades, on Saturday I did a wedding south of downtown Los Angeles, and then on Sunday I drove out to Mentone to bartend a baby shower. I met a lot of great people and served a whole lot of drinks.

Pacific Palisades Cocktail Party

I set up my portable bar and the back deck that had a great view of the Santa Monica Bay and mountains. The host told me that she has regular get togethers with a few of her friends, and this was the perfect place to do it. We were going to serve martinis and margaritas, but the guests only ended up drinking margaritas. For small parties, I make margaritas with tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and Cointreau, with a salt rim. This was a big hit with this crowd, and I didn’t make a single martini. The two hours went quickly, and I was on my way back home.

South Los Angeles Wedding

On Saturday, the bartender for hire drove to South Los Angeles to bartend a wedding, that was booked months ago. Many brides book their weddings up to a year in advance. I usually don’t like to bid on jobs that far in advance, but often book them six months in advance. Then I help plan the drink menu and shopping list. I arrived at the home where the wedding was being held, and they had a tent setup in the back yard. Nobody was around and everybody was at a different location at the ceremony. I guessed where to set up the bar and I started preparing for the wedding.

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Bridesmaids huddle in South LA

The DJ, Ed Deejay Entertainment  arrived and they set up their photo booth, and DJ equipment. Event pros instinctively know what to do, and usually don’t need a lot of instruction from the hosts. In this case we were there a full two hours setting up before the hosts arrived and everything worked out just fine. Finally the party got going and I made Mojitos, Palomas, and other drinks for a full eight hours.

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Shots!

Bartender for Hire Essentials

  • Has a portable bar and table
  • Provides coolers, ice bins, and shakers
  • Is ABC certified
  • Helps with bar menu and shopping list
  • Knows how to make a variety of drinks

Mentone Baby Shower

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Portuguese American Club in Mentone

Sunday I drove to Mentone to bartend a baby shower at the Portuguese American Club. Mentone is a small town north of Redlands in San Bernardino County. The Portuguese American Club is a very nice old style venue with a nice bar. I set up the bar as the host set up several coolers with soft drinks, water and beer. Dad’s Tacos and Burritos did the catering they cooked the meat outside where it was a toasty 108. Instaglam provided the photo booth, and the DJ emceed several fun games for the guests. The host hired me for his Halloween party and gave me a deposit on the spot. I have several events coming up, including Ventura, Chino, San Diego, Sylmar, Villa Park, Rolling Hills, and Thousands Oaks. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do so.