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Shaken Not Stirred Wraps up September with Two Events

2 Oct
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New bartender, Siaka behind double portable bars

The end of September ended with a bang for Shaken Not Stirred as we provided bartending service for two big events. Friday night we returned to Culver City to bartend an end of summer party for a successful tech company. It was the second event I have done there. Then on Saturday, I did a 20 year class reunion at a Burbank private high school. It was a great weekend for Shaken Not Stirred.

Culver City Company Party

The event was held in the parking lot of the company headquarters in Culver City. I arrived early and set up my portable bar in the parking lot. I had another new bartender join me. It was my first time working with him, and he did an excellent job. There were over 100 guests, so we kept pretty busy. We had premixed Margaritas, Pimm’s Cup, and sangria in beverage dispensers. That definitely sped the service up.

The employees at these tech companies tend to be younger, and single, so they are ready to party. We served out of margaritas, and went through a lot of beer and wine. At eleven pm somebody in the neighborhood complained about noise, so we had to pack up the bar and move indoors. The company also hired a band and DJ for the event, but I didn’t get their names.

Burbank 20 Year Class Reunion

I did much planning with one of the organizers of the class reunion, and I purchased all of the alcohol and supplies and delivered them to the event. It is a service I offer for a nominal fee to my clients. Unfortunately, I can only offer that service to my Los Angeles clients, because I don’t have a truck, and sometimes have to make two trips.

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20 year class reunion held at the actual school

For this party, I served margaritas, which I also premixed and served from a beverage dispenser. I served out of red wine quickly, and was embarrassed that recommended four bottles. Red wine is not popular at summer parties, but as soon as the weather starts cooling down, it becomes popular. One of the organizers ran out a bought more.

20 year class reunions are fun, because they often awkward at first, but as soon as the guests loosen up with drinks, everyone has a great time. This was a fairly small class with only 90 in their graduating class, and 60 guests showed up. They played songs from 1997, and it just doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was 20 years. I think everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Rosamond with another bartender to bartend a 150 guest wedding, and then on Sunday will drive to Orange County to do an event in Villa Park. Later this month I have events scheduled in San Marino, Yucca Valley, Newport Beach, and Highland. Follow us on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

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Bar Catering at Two Culver City Holiday Parties

19 Dec
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Keg at Culver City holiday party

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at two separate company holiday parties in Culver City. It’s funny that both companies seemed to be closed related as to what they did – all things digital, had similar guests, and were less than a mile from each other. These were the first parties I have bartended at in Culver City since being in business.

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Shots!

On Thursday it was raining throughout Los Angeles, and we all know what that means – horrible traffic and massive delays. In Culver City it was even worse. I got down into the area way early and I worked out at LA Fitness. I finished my workout two hours before I was supposed to arrive at the party. My GPS said I was 2.2 miles away from the location. It took me ONE HOUR to drive 2.2 miles in Culver City traffic. On top of that my phone was about to die and my car charger wasn’t working. I was sweating, thinking that is my phone died, I would not know the address, contacts phone numbers or anything. I finally made it to the location and my phone died minutes later. The moral of this story is that I must keep a printed map of the location, directions, and contact phone numbers on all jobs.

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DJ Randy Rollog and assistant

Randy Rollog (310) 621-3051 provided DJ service for the Thursday night event. He played Christmas music and then slowly switched it up to hip hop. He has a good setup, and I hope I can toss some business his way. I have been looking for a reliable DJ I can work with.

Bar Catering Services

  • Provide a physical portable bar
  • Staff bartenders and cocktail servers
  • Consultation about drink menu and shopping list
  • Create craft cocktails
  • Beer, wine, and non alcoholic beverage service
  • Weddings, corporate events, private parties

The second night, Friday, I had the larger of the two holiday parties in Culver City. I brought another bartender with me and we set up two bars – one outside the location and one inside the kitchen at the facility. I manned the outside bar where they had the stage setup for a live band. The other bartender held down the fort in side. We served over 100 guests. The Goldsoundz provided the live music, including classic and alternative rock. They had two food trucks doing the catering, but I was too busy to get their information

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Digital DJ at Culver City Event

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Shots!

These two holiday parties were some of the last of the holiday season. The next night I provided bar catering at a December wedding in Northridge. I have a Christmas party in LA Canada later this week, and then a New Year’s Eve party, and a New Year’s day party, and then the holiday season will be officially over. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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More Shots!

Valencia Corporate Holiday Party

12 Dec
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Bartender Matt at Valencia Corporate Holiday Party

Saturday Night Shaken Not Stirred was the bar caterer for a corporate holiday party in Valencia at the Bridgeport Clubhouse.  This was an event I booked months ago and did much planning with the host. I also took an upfront deposit for all of the supplies and did all the shopping – this is another service I offer for a fee.

We served 150 guests and I brought another bartender with me. We used the drink dispenser to serve premixed margaritas, and spicy jalapeno margaritas. This makes the service faster when you have large crowds. We also helped serve wine at the dining tables. This was a semi formal affair with a sit down dinner. Hasmik’s Party Service provided the catering and they served some excellent appetizers and their beef medallions were fantastic.

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Guests share a toast

I was very worried about this event, because I had to transport everything, including the ice. I just thought of all the things that could go wrong. Once again, we pulled it off because we arrived early and were prepared. In the end, the hosts were very happy and commented that they would hire us again next year to bartend their corporate holiday party.

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Dining room at Bridgeport Clubhouse

Corporate Holiday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartending service
  • Create a theme
  • Hire a DJ
  • Have a photo booth

Capture It Now provided the photo booth, and that is always fun for the guests and gives them a memento of the event. It was my third successful event of the week and we are now halfway through the holiday season, heading toward the culmination at New Year’s Eve.

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San Clemente Company Christmas Party

12 Dec
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Guests sit around the fire at company Christmas party.

Friday night I drove all the way down to the bottom of Orange County to bartend a company Christmas party in San Clemente. This was the fourth time I have gone to Orange County in the past thirty days. I am finally getting to know my way around OC, and I used to always get lost down there behind the “Orange Curtain”.

San Clemente is a beautiful place indeed and it must be a pleasure to live there. This company Christmas party I did was a referral from another client I had in San Clemente, which is always nice. I worked with the host to come up with a drink menu and shopping list. The host wanted three holiday specialty cocktails and they chose a Gingerbread cocktail, a Candy Kane cocktail and a Pomegranate Margarita. All three drinks were a hit with the guests.

Taquizas Armeria Colima (714) 904-4949 of Orange County provided the catering and they served some great tacos. The host also served some really good homemade eggnog, of course spiked with Maker’s Mark. In the end I served various shots, including a gingerbread shot, and Kamikazes.

Company Christmas Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Secretly videotape and record everyone
  • Fire employees that don’t show up
  • Evaluate employees at party
  • Just kidding…

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    Shots!

The hosts were very happy with my service and said they would hire me again next year. The secret to being successful as a private bartender is showing up early, being prepared, and being of maximum service. Everything seems to fall into place if I consistently do those three things.  So far I have done over 300 events as Shaken Not Stirred and have yet to receive a bad review.

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Hollywood Holiday Party

12 Dec
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Bartender Mia at Hollywood Holiday Party

Wednesday night I returned to Hollywood to provide bartending service for a holiday party of a very successful production company. I did the bar catering last year and was very happy to return. I brought another bartender with me and we served approximately 250 thirsty people. I set up two portable bars side by side and we went to town slinging drinks.

The hosts requested a specialty drink that required rosemary simple syrup. I volunteered to make the simple syrup, because I like the challenge of doing that. I can infuse almost any herb, fruit, or vegetable into simple syrup, and have done cucumber, peppercorn, ginger, and now rosemary. The drink they created was called the 1936 Cocktail and it consisted of Tito’s vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and dash of club soda. The drink was a big hit.

Papa Christo’s of Los Angeles provided the catering and they put out some excellent Greek food for the hungry partiers. We also served four different beers, red and white wines and various mixed drinks. I had helped the host with a shopping list and we went through most of it by the end.

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Crowd at Hollywood Holiday Party

Holiday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartending service
  • Choose a theme
  • Book it plenty early
  • Keep the music playing
  • Have a raffle

This holiday season I have had to hire more bartenders to help out with the demand. Every year in December there are always parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and more during the week, especially during the first three weeks of the month. Luckily, I have been able to accommodate all of me good customers. So far, I am still available for New Year’s Eve – the last holiday party of the year. Call me today!

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Venice Beach Corporate Events

18 Nov
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Guests gather at the “succulent bar” with Komodo Truck standing by

This week Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at two different corporate events for a tech company in Venice Beach.  I did an event there last year and was delighted that they booked me again this year. This time, I did one smaller event on Wednesday night for around 40 people, and then on Thursday I brought a staff of four to serve cocktails o 250 people.

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“Weekend Celebrity” setting up at Venice corporate event

For the smaller event I worked with the coordinator to come up with unique drink menu. They chose the Pisco Sour and the Paloma as the specialty drinks. I didn’t think about it at the time, but the drinks are kind of similar. Pisco is a grape liqueur, but tastes more similar to tequila than to vodka, for instance. Then, both drinks have a similar sweet/sour thing going on. The Pisco Sour is a classic South American cocktail, that many people haven’t tried, so I always like serving.

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My mom with one of my barbacks, Karen

The company hired a “succulent bar” as part of the event. The succulent bar has different pots, different varieties of live succulents, dirt, and other plants to accentuate the chosen succulent  The coordinator told me how much they paid for the succulent bar and I couldn’t believe it. I guess I am in the wrong business. I also couldn’t believe how excited the guests were about the succulent. I was standing there behind the bar twiddling my thumbs while all the guests were at the succulent bar. These millennials are quite different than my generation, who would have been three drinks in already. The guests eventually made it to the bar. I’m sorry I forget a business card for the succulent bar. Komodo Food brought their truck into the lot and provided the catering.

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Full house at corporate cocktail party

The second night was the big event. Last year we scrambled making the specialty cocktails one at a time. This year I brought my drink dispensers and premixed the cocktails, which maked serving large groups a breeze. The line moves so much faster. My mom was here visiting from Montana and she went to the event with me, as she did last year. She is very outgoing and helped pour wine. The guests seemed to love her, though I was a bit embarrassed, because she tells anyone who will listen her life story…Weekend Celebrity provided the live entertainment, and this is the second time I’ve seen them on a gig, and they are very good. I highly recommend them. Dave’s Catering did the food, which unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to sample, but it looked good.  

This weekend I have one event in Thousand Oaks on Saturday and then next week is Thanksgiving. I could have taken a job on Thanksgiving, but I am done doing that. I own my own business now and I don’t work on Thanksgiving. That is a day for gratitude. Next month there will be plenty of work.    

San Diego Client Appreciation Party

11 Jul
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San Diego Sunset

On Saturday, I traveled to San Diego to provide bartending services for a client appreciation party. The company was celebrating their anniversary and the creation of a new construction division, and they invited 75 guests for cocktails, burgers, and music. The hosts could not have been nicer, and it was a fun night for all involved.

I made margaritas and poured a lot of Jack Daniels. It was an open house type of party where people drifted in and out. I can handle a lot of guests by myself when they all don’t come at once. I kept pretty busy throughout the night. The hosts seemed to be pretty happy with my service and the owner said this was the first time he had hired a bartender. He also said he would bring me back next year. BuzieBurger of San Diego provided the catering – he is just getting started doing events and did a great job.

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Client Appreciation Party in San Diego

Client Appreciation Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite clients and vendors
  • Invite key employees
  • Hire a caterer
  • Provide entertainment

I have done many corporate events and client appreciation parties. Law firms, PR firms, and production companies often host client appreciation parties and mixers. It is good for business and the morale of employees. It helps to promote brand loyalty. In December there will be many such parties, and I am already booking dates in December. It will come fast.

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Shots!

I was just thinking that maybe Shaken Not Stirred should have a client appreciation party. That would be a hoot. What a diverse group of people that would be. Over the past three years I have bartended over 300 parties, and have served drinks to people from all walks of life all over Southern California. I will have to think about hosting some kind of party and where I might be able to have it.