Archive | Birthday Party Bartender RSS feed for this section

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
65b

Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

65a

“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

64e

Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

64d

Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

64b

Shots waiting for drinkers

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
sm3

Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

sm2

Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

sm1

Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

Los Feliz Birthday Party Complete With Bartender

17 Apr
415c

Los Feliz Party Pad

Saturday night a Los Feliz birthday party took place in a hip fourplex just off of Hillhurst and was complete with a pro bartender. That pro bartender was me. Yes, I can call myself a pro because I have literally bartended hundreds of private parties, was a bar manager at a hot Redondo Beach Italian joint, and have bartended at several other Los Angeles establishments. My company, Shaken Not Stirred has 80 five star reviews on Thumbtack, several five star reviews on Yelp and Gig Salad – so put that in your pipe and smoke it! No, just hire me for your next event, party, or wedding.

Seriously, the host of the Los Feliz birthday party told me she had never hired a bartender at her previous parties, so she didn’t know what to expect from me. By the end of the night, she was very happy she had hired me and assured me that she would hire me in the future. Most of my clients who have never hired a bartender before say that they will never go without one again, after hiring me.

415b

Danger ahead!

Why Hire a Pro Bartender?

  • The host can enjoy the party
  • The bar does not become a disaster area
  • The bartender can cut off unruly guests
  • The bartender monitors the liquor
  • Guests are impressed

    415d

    Los Feliz bar crowd

The Los Feliz birthday party had a good mix of people, but invariably there was some drama. Good parties usually have a diverse mix of people, and that makes the party more interesting. Sometimes, people who were not actually invited show up and create drama. I think that happened in this case, but nobody got shot. There were no drivebyes – which was a good thing. Captain Barnacle, the long haired Dachshund was my assistant. 

On Wednesday I will be doing a corporate event in Burbank. The host assured me if I do a good job on this one, she will hire me for several more. I have faith in myself, because I am a pro, and I don’t say that to be bragging. I know what I’m doing. Later this week I will be doing a martini party in Rancho Cucamonga, and then a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Sunday. Next month, I will be slipping away to New Orleans for a few days – maybe I can learn some new tricks from the bartenders over there. I will be attending a wedding at the famous Maple Leaf Bar, so I am excited about that.

Palm Springs Pool Party Season Kicks Off in March

13 Mar
amado5

Palm Springs Pool Party toys

The Palm Springs pool party season has officially kicked off after a rainy winter here in Southern California. Palm Springs looks greener as I have ever seen it and beautiful wild flowers are popping up all over the desert – you had better enjoy them now, because they won’t be around long, as temperatures are already heading into the nineties with winter not even officially over. Last weekend I rolled into the Palm Springs to bartend my first pool party of the season.

Palm Springs is the favorite spot for people from LA to party. There are rental houses all over the Coachella Valley that have pools, that can sleep multiple people and are perfect for partying. Often several people go in on a house together and it is less expensive than staying in a hotel, and much better. For this party, which was a birthday party, the hosts owned their Palm Springs party pad as a second home.

amado4

Guests mingle at Palm Springs Pool Party

I didn’t really consult with the hosts before the party about their shopping list, etc., so I just showed up and did my thing. They had a well stocked bar, so I was able to make a variety of different drinks, from Manhattans, Mai Tais, I brought my spicy jalapeno margarita mix. It is warm enough now to run around in swimming suits after dark in Palm Springs. I’m sure I will be doing many more pool parties out there this year, and bachelorette parties. Palm Springs is the favorite spot for bachelorette parties for women all over Southern California.

amado1

“Deadly”

Palm Springs Pool Party Must Haves

  • Large and crazy pool toys
  • Professional bartender
  • Great food and drink
  • Plenty of sunblock
  • Great friends

The host told me that she and her husband had just recently started hiring bartenders and now they would never have a party without one. She said the party is so much more enjoyable for them, as they don’t have to worry about making drinks for guests. Many people have told me that, and it only makes sense. Guests can spill as much alcohol making their own drinks than what I charge. This week I am doing a cocktail party in San Diego mid week, and then will be bartending another birthday party in Walnut on Saturday. Later this month I will provide bartending service at functions in Glendora, Oak Park, Indian Wells, and Dana Point. If you have not followed Shaken Not Stirred on Facebook, please do.

amado3

Shots!

Mobile Bartender Does Three Day Tour of Southern California

13 Feb

Shaken Not Stirred, Los Angeles based mobile bartender did a three day tour of Southern California last weekend, completing gigs in San Diego, Sherman Oaks, and Long Beach. I made hundreds of drinks at three different parties, and met lots of new people. Each party was completely different, as were the drinks that I served.

San Diego Birthday Party

feb10b

Guitarist, Kenny Earnest

I drove to San Diego on Thursday to do some marketing work for Geranium Street USA in Escondido, and I had the birthday party to bartend on Friday, so I killed two birds with one stone.

The birthday party was in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego at a nice home that overlooked the reservoir there. Rain was imminent, so plans changed and I set up my portable bar inside the house. I served Old Fashioneds, Moscow Mules, and lot’s or red wine to the guests – many who came all the way from Minnesota.

They had live entertainment for the party and guitar player/singer Kenny Earnest performed for several hours. He was really good. Phil’s Barbeque of San Diego provided the catering and it was excellent as well. The host said that she had never hired a bartender before and she was really happy with my service. She said it made her time much more enjoyable. Most people I work for say the same.

Sherman Oaks 40th Birthday Party

On Saturday I drove back to my home turf in the San Fernando Valley to bartend a 40th birthday party in Sherman Oaks. The host had attended another party I had done, and hired me because of that. The 40th birthday party is kind of a big deal in a man’s life. I think that is when most of realize we finally have to grow up. Once again, it was supposed to rain, so the hosts had to get a tent to cover their back yard. They had it decorated very nice.

feb11a

Portable bar at Sherman Oaks party

I made Manhattans, Moscow Mules, and my famous Jalapeno Margaritas.  I kept pretty busy and barely had a moment to spare as the line just kept rotating. I would guess there were around 80 guests. They had a Karaoke vendor there and people were singing with various levels of competence. It was a very good time for all. One of the neighbors came over and complained – said that he had a four and half month old child that couldn’t sleep. That was at 8:30. The host offered him a taco and basically told him politely to “deal with it.” I’m glad that she didn’t cave into the neighbor’s ridiculous complaint. People should be allowed to have an occasional party in their backyard on a Saturday night, without having neighbors in an uproar.

Ana’s Food provided the taco cart. At one point I was able to take a break and got some tacos. I went back to the bar and started to eat them, but then accidentally dropped them. I was so mad at myself. Luckily, a guests wents and got me some more. The party ended at midnight, despite the complaining neighbor.   

Long Beach 70th Birthday Party

feb12a

Quail’s Egg Soup with Ceviche and egg rolls

On Sunday, I once again put on my mobile bartender cape and drove to Long Beach. The party was held at an historic old home on Ocean Blvd., right across from the beach. The host rents the front part of the home on AirB&B and it is a very nice spot. They have a tennis court in the back and a bar, and that is where the party was held.

I served Grasshoppers, Pina Colladas, Mai Tais, and Mimosas. They hired a private chef, and his food was excellent. I had a quail’s egg soup that was out of this world – also great ceviche, egg rolls, and lamb chops. It was quite a party and many of the guests took my card and are planning parties in the future.

Next weekend will be another mobile bartender tour of Orange County and Burbank. I have a wedding on Friday night in San Juan Capistrano, a birthday party on Saturday in Laguna Nigel, and a Bar Mitzva on Sunday in Burbank. Follow me on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

feb12b

Photo booth fun

Los Angeles Bar Service at Two January Parties

17 Jan
pch2

Friends and family surprise guest of honor

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bar service provided beverages at two area parties over the weekend. On Saturday I traveled to Redondo Beach to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party, and then on Sunday evening I bartended a lavish dinner party in Beverly Hills. January is typically a slow month in the bar catering business, and it is always nice to get more than one event on the weekend.

I arrived at 10 am in Redondo Beach to set up my portable bar. It was a beautiful sunny day after all the rainy days we’ve been having. It is always a gamble to schedule an outdoor party in January in LA, but this time the host lucked out. The party was held a an iconic Redondo Beach house that I have passed many times and always wondered what it was. It is home to an accounting office, but it has a wonderful backyard that is perfect for having parties.

pch3

Beautiful day and ice sculpture at surprise party 

The host went to great lengths the plan the party and conceal it from his wife. He hired a caterer, Chef Mumsie, a photo booth, Nina Gallery, and a guitar player/singer (I didn’t get his card). The birthday girl was truly surprised and touched when she arrived. Surprise parties are usually great and I’m sure they last as precious memories in a person’s life. I have provided bartending service at many surprise birthday parties, and they always require coordination between the various family members and vendors.

Hire a Los Angeles Bar Service

  • Don’t let your guests pour their own drinks
  • Enjoy the party
  • Get help with drink menu and shopping list
  • Get a portable bar
  • Impress your guests
    bh1

    Bar setup in Beverly Hills

    On Sunday I returned to the home of one of my best clients to bartend a very nice dinner party. Jon and Vinny’s of Hollywood catered the event and they offered to bring their own bartender, but my clients wanted me. I was very appreciative of that. I worked well with the catering crew, and they took most of the drink orders and did the cocktailing for me. I brought my Jalapeno margarita mix and mixed it with mescal, which also works very good. I must say that the food from Jon and Vinny’s was excellent, and I cleaned every morsel off of my plate.

    bh2

    Dinner party in Beverly Hills

    This weekend I am traveling all the way to San Marcos in North County, San Diego to bartend a martini party. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend, so I hope that does not ruin the party. I know I am bringing the portable bar and we usually set that up outside. Next month is shaping up to be very busy for the Los Angeles bar service, Shaken Not Stirred and I will be doing parties in Sherman Oaks, Glendora, Studio City, and Palm Springs so far. I still have Super Bowl Sunday open, so hope that I get a party there somewhere along the way.

Hollywood Hills Birthday Party

5 Dec
hh1

Guests dancing at Hollywood Hills birthday party

Friday night Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a Hollywood Hills birthday party for approximately 50 guests. The event was originally supposed to be at a rented Beverly Hills mansion, but circumstances changed, and it was moved to the Hollywood Hills. That was fine for me because it was closer to my house, but the host was bummed because the Hollywood Hills place on Mulholland Drive was much smaller than what he wanted.

The host and birthday boy rented the house through AirB&B, and I guess it is possible to have a party at some of those rentals, providing that you pay a large deposit. The house where this party was held was on Mulholland drive, not far from where some of LA’s most famous citizens reside, including Jack Nicholson, and formerly, Marlon Brando. All kinds of movies have been shot on the winding road that moves through the hills that separate Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  

hh2

The birthday boy and friends

Hollywood Hills Parties

  • Infamous celebrity party location
  • Laurel Canyon
  • Mulholland Drive
  • Hollywood and SFV valley views
  • The Hollywood sign

    hh3

    Birthday cake time

The host wanted to keep the liquor budget down and I was able to help him with a shopping list that came in at under $300, including all beverages, cups, ice, and garnishes. We ran out of beer, but there was plenty of other alcohol left over. All of the guests were in their early 20’s and I was thinking what a well behaved group they were. I remember my friends and I at that age and we would have probably burned the house down. Maybe they did after I left…

I served Moscow Mules, pineapple margaritas, and a few other simple drinks. It was great little Friday night party and I think everyone had a good time. It was my first party for the month of December, kicking off the official Christmas season.