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Bartending Service for Downtown Los Angeles Reception

6 Jan
Architectural wonders in downtown LA

Architectural wonders in downtown LA

Monday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a downtown Los Angeles reception and party to celebrate the swearing in of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Teresa Magno. The reception was held in the lobby of luxury condominiums downtown, across from the courthouse. About 100 guests were in attendance, including incoming Los Angeles County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, and several people from the district attorney’s office.

Judge Teresa Magno poses for a shot with me

Judge Teresa Magno poses for a shot with me

The event planner, April Easley, did an excellent job setting the stage for the reception and provided flower arrangements, candles, and all the little details that make for a memorable event. There were finger foods including barbeque beef sliders, tamales, turkey wraps, and various chips and salsa.  Paulina’s Catering brought the taco bar.

I served a standard assortment of drinks including Cape Cods, gin and tonics, margaritas, and Jameson whiskey. I helped the hosts with a shopping menu based on other parties I have done. As usual, there was much left over, that can be used at another party. I think it is better to load for bear, and if bears don’t show up, we were prepared any way. I can develop a drink menu for any budget. I would say the beverage shopping list for this particular was around $300. I always try to save hosts money when I make shopping lists.

January can be a slow month for a mobile bartending service, but it isn’t starting out slow. Sunday I will bartend my third event of 2015, right here in my own neighborhood of Valley Glen. I am providing bartending service for a baby shower/cocktail party. Then on January 17, I will be bartending a fundraiser in Koreatown. I have put bids out on several big weddings in the spring and hope to land some of those. I want to think all of my customers for supporting me in 2014.

Salud!

Salud!

Malibu Canyon Pre-Wedding Cocktail Party

4 Oct

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at a pre-wedding cocktail party in Malibu Canyon on Friday night. Malibu Canyon, also known as Las Virgenes Canyon is one the most beautiful areas in the Los Angeles area, and the party was hosted at a fantastic home south of Mulholland Highway. We served Margaritas, beer and wine to approximately 100 guests. It was a very successful event.

The host didn’t want to use store bought Margarita mix and so I agreed to make home made mix. I had never made Margarita mix before, but was up to the challenge. I have recently made cucumber syrup and mint syrup, so was eager to try Margarita mix. I used limes from the store, lemons from the tree in the backyard which are very juicy, and simple syrup. I made three gallons of the stuff. When I first tried it I felt it was very sour, but after it set in the refrigerator for two days it tasted just right.

The Margarita mix was a big hit at the party. We used all three gallons of the hom made margarita mix and had to break into the store bought mix they had on hand. We also served 805 Ale, which seems to becoming popular, Pacifico, Modelo, and Stella Artois. We served completely out of Pinot Grigio, and
Chardonnay. One nice surprise at the party was that I ran into a couple whom I bartended for at their wedding a few months ago. They were happy to see me and then the host of thise party remembered me from their wedding. The private bartending scene is getting smaller in Los Angeles.

I was a having trouble to get any of my regular helpers to help me on this Friday night job. A girl had sent me her resume out of the blue from my Yelp

Home made Margarita mix

Home made Margarita mix

Guests mingling in Malibu Canyon

Guests mingling in Malibu Canyon

Desiree, my new helper and I in Malibu Canyon

Desiree, my new helper and I in Malibu Canyon

ad. I was nervous using her because I didn’t spend a lot of time interviewing her, but she showed up on time and did a great job. I will definitely use her again. She said that she sent emails out to every Los Angeles bartending company on Yelp. That goes to show you that there are jobs (albeit temporary) for people who actually want them.

Tonight I am bartending by myself at a post-wedding party in Venice, and then tomorrow am bartending a Christening party in Porter Ranch. This is busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and I hope one of many in the near future. Next weekend I am bartending a wedding at a winery in Temecula and it will be my first bartending job out there. So far I don’t have a Halloween party booked for October 31, and hope to get one.

Private Bartender and Server in Beverly Hills

10 Sep

Last night I was the private bartender and server for a small dinner party at a Beverly Hills Estate. 12 people were in attendance. This was my third event for this particular client. I had done two cocktail parties previously where there were many more people in attendance and I had a bar set up in the backyard. This time, the host wanted me to set up my bar in the kitchen and to just ask guests what they wanted.

There were virtually no drinkers in the crowd, and I served several sparkling waters and a couple glasses of wine. I did make one of my special cucumber martinis for the host and she complimented me on it. I was starting to wonder why I was even there, so I switched into my fine dining server mode. I have worked for years as a server in fine dining restaurants, and I put that experience to use. You serve from the right hand side, pick up from the lefts, etc. You keep water and wine glasses refilled and anticipate the needs of the guests.

My point is that there is so much more to being a private bartender than just making drinks. I have had people ask me to hire them, and then it became clear talking to them, that they only wanted to make drinks a collect tips. That is such a short sighted attitude that many bartenders have. My philosophy is to be of maximum service and chances are I will be asked back time and time again.

Ella Freyinger was the private chef for this dinner party and she served up a great meal. She made an excellent mixed green salad and then served rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower cous-cous with pomegranate and pine nuts, and then had pasta with kale pesto. An apple tart was the dessert, along with expresso. Ella said she has several private clients and also does catering for parties as big as 500 people. You can contact her at ebelle2385@gmail.com.

This weekend I will bartend a wedding in Westlake Village and am taking my son to help me. I have people contacting me every day to do parties and I am already booked two months in advance. I still have October 18th available and most Fridays and Sundays in October. I still have Friday October 31st available for a Halloween Party. I will dress up as Lloyd the Bartender again and still have the costume.

 

Wine bottles at Beverly  Hills dinner party

Wine bottles at Beverly
Hills dinner party

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Cocktail Party

29 May

For the second Wednesday in a row I was the bartender at a cocktail party in Beverly Hills, and neither were related which was a strange coincidence. I must admit, I am not really a “mixologist” but I had to do my best for this party and it was a good experience. The host gave me a fewcocktail recipes and I had to help compile a list of the different items needed. Some of the items on the list were not available, like Cuban Rum for instance, most all of the others we found at Total Wine and More.

I must also admit that I’m an old school bartender, who has always believed that the most important ingredient in a drink was the base alcohol, so I made strong drinks with not a lot of mixer and people were usually happy. For this cocktail party I did things differently and stuck completely to the recipes, and measured each ingredient exactly, which I have never done. One of the guests of the party explained to me why it was important not to put too much sweetening agent in a particular drink, but it was important to put just enough. I can appreciate that.

When I was working at Frascati in Redondo Beach I worked with many Italians and I noticed how important food and beverage was to them. They took such care in simple things like making an espresso or cappuccino. They knew all about the cheeses and different ingredients that were in their dishes. I had a feeling that they felt most of us Americans were lazy and ignorant about these things. Most of the time we were. Those of us in the food and beverage industry should take more time to learn more about everything we are doing.

The drinks we were serving at the cocktail party were classic cocktails including the Singapore Sling, the Centennial, the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s Recipe), and the Aviation Cocktail. The Aviation Cocktail is an interesting drink and has an ingredient, Crème de Violet, which gives a lavender tint to the drink and a very unique taste.

Beverly Hills bartender

Beverly Hills bartender

Mixologist station

Mixologist station

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

This weekend Shaken Not Stirred will be doing an anniversary party in Santa Clarita, then next weekend a Triple Crown Party in Pasedena, and an informal Bar Mitzvah, where I will be making “mocktails” for 100 teenagers in Calabasas. Then later on I have parties and weddings booked in Orange County, Camp Pendlelton, Lancaster, and Thousand Oaks. Business is really taking off and I am grateful.

Beverly Hills Corporate Event

21 May

I received the call around 2:30pm – they needed a bartender for a corporate event in Beverly Hills at 4pm. I loaded up my portable bar, cooler, bar kit and some martini glasses and hustled my Mustang over Coldwater Canyon into Beverly Hills. I’ve been around this city long enough in and many different capacities that I know it by the back of my hand. If I have to get somewhere in the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, the West side, the South Bay or Santa Monica – I know it. I now have GPS for everywhere else (though I don’t trust it). I have never been late for a gig.

The gig was a sales appreciation thing for the employees work well done.  We set up the bar on the rooftop of a building overlooking Rodeo Drive. It was a perfect day for it. We had a specialty drink that was a Blue Slushy Martini – which consisted of  Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Portable bar setup in Beverly Hills

Portable bar setup in Beverly Hills

Blue Slushy Martini

Blue Slushy Martini

People mingling

People mingling

, a dash of Limeaid, and a dash of Blue Curacao. We also served Kir Royale’s with Verve Cliquot. They had a spread of cold cuts and cheese.

It was a very nice little event of less than twenty people, and I was done just after 7pm. People, I will do events like this every day during the week. Go ahead and call me last minute – I will go. Most of my events are on Saturday nights, so I am always glad to get one during the week. Next month I do have some Friday and Sunday parties already scheduled.

Shaken Not Stirred will be traveling this weekend. Saturday I have a wedding at a ranch in Fillmore, which is northwest of the city near the mountains. My son, Willie is going with me on that one, and I’m glad to have him along. Then, Sunday morning I have to get up early and be in Palm Springs by 11am for an all day bacherlorette party. Then the following week I have a birthday party in Thousand Oaks, and a casual bar mitzvah in Calabassas, where I will be serving “Mocktails.” I love bartending and meeting all kinds of new people and going to new places. This is much better than staying at one place all the time, and I’m grateful for all the jobs I’m getting.