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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.  

Five Special Events in SoCal

30 May

Shaken Not Stirred closed out the month of May with five big special events throughout Southern California this week. I am dog tired and sore as I write this, as I served literally hundreds of drinks in the past few days – maybe even thousands. Yesterday alone I served four cases of tequila and a case of whiskey. Today is Memorial Day and I am taking it easy, but if somebody calls me last minute I will probably put on my bartender cape.

Brea Corporate Event

The first event of the week was a corporate event in Brea. I am not sure what the occasion was, but we served drinks to 200 people in the back lot of the company headquarters. We used the drink dispensers to pour margaritas, which saves alot of time. Two bartenders are needed to serve 200 people. Mariachi Sabor De Mi Tierra provided the mariachis. They had a three different food trucks serving up the food.My associate, Mia Martini helped me out, and we worked well together as always.

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Cocktail waitress at Brea event

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Guests mingle in makeshift food court

El Segundo Corporate Event

The following night I traveled to El Segundo to help Mia Martini with one of her gigs. Once again it was a corporate event on a weeknight (I love those). The company that hosted the event was a 3D printing company that manufactures parts for the aerospace industry. Their equipment is quite fascinating and I’m sure this company has a bright future. The caterer did not show up and when the host called him, he apparently had the date wrong. The hosts scrambled and ordered pizzas and a local El Segundo restaurant stepped up and delivered 50 pizzas and salads within an hour. This is one of my worst nightmares that I mix up a date and miss an event. That isa why I always confirm a week in advance, and again the day before.

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Mia Martini in El Segundo

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A Hurricane hits El Segundo

Alexandria Ballroom Wedding

On Saturday night my son and I bartended a wedding at the historic Alexandria Ballroom in downtown LA. The ballroom has hosted presidents and dignitaries like Winston Churchill in the past. Once again, we were serving 200 people. The plan was to have a whole bunch of drinks already poured so the people could just grab them when they came out of the wedding ceremony. I poured a bunch of red wines and was waiting to start pouring the cold drinks until fifteen minutes before the end of the ceremony. Well, the ceremony ended 20 minutes early and we were faced with a wall of people wanting drinks. We handled it. Maxim Restaurant provided the catering and they had many delicious Russian specialties.

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My son bartending at Alexandria Ballroom

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Guests mingle at Alexandria Ballroom

Palos Verdes Wine Tasting

On Sunday afternoon, I traveled to my old stomping grounds in Palos Verdes Estates to pour wine for Jaques at Le Rive Gauche. He put out a spread of appetizers and charged people $20 a head to taste several French wines. It was a great deal and I think all of the people attending certainly got their money’s worth. He had two red Bordeaux, a white Bordeaux, a Grenache, a Champagne, and two Cotes Du Rhone reds. The Grenache, a rose wine seemed create the most attention.

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Le Rive Gauche, Palos Verdes Estates

Santa Monica Wrap Party

I had to quickly transition from the wine tasting and hustle over to Santa Monica to bartend a wrap party. I had to buy the ice and supplies and deliver it to the house where the party was taking place. The house was on PCH and had a weird address. The GPS kept directing me to this parking lot by the beach. If I left that parking lot, it took me twenty minutes to turn around and go back on PCH. I was a few minutes late and had to pack all the supplies around the back of the house through the sand. I barely had gotten setup when guests started arriving. I served 120 people by myself for five hours straight. I was so busy I didn’t have time to ask the name of film that they were wrapping or what is is about.  Needless to say, I am tired today after five special events in one week..

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Portable bar at beachside wrap party

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The wrap party just getting started in Santa Monica

Next weekend I will be bartending a birthday party in Stevenson Ranch on Friday, and then have a wedding party in Eagle Rock on Saturday, and my son will be doing a wedding party by himself in Sierra Madre also on that day.