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Gingerbread Boutique and Silverlake Birthday Party

11 Nov
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View of dry Silverlake Reservoir

Last week I provided bartending service at the annual Gingerbread Boutique in Oak Park, and then on Friday bartended a birthday party in Silverlake. Both of these were repeat clients and it certainly nice to not have to work so hard drumming up business. So far I have several parties booked this month and next month and nearly all of them are repeat clients or referrals.  Shaken Not Stirred must be doing something right.

This was my third time bartending at the Gingerbread Boutique. The Westlake Village Junior Women’s Club hosts the event every year and it is kind of a pre-Christmas season bazaar, and is usually quite busy. I brought another bartender to the event as I always do, and this year we served only champagne. We went through five cases of champagne by the end of the night.

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Guests mingle in Silverlake

On Friday, I drove to Silverlake to bartend a 75th birthday party at a hilltop home overlooking the now empty Silverlake reservoir. The weather has been fantastic for November in Los Angeles, so we were able to set up the bar outside this year. I served many martinis in real martini glasses and I think everyone had a great time.

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Bar setup in Silverlake

Tomorrow I am going to my old stomping grounds in Hermosa Beach to bartend a birthday party. They really like to party in Hermosa, I can attest to that, so I expect a hard drinking crowd. Next week I am doing two corporate events in Venice (repeat business) and then a referral job in Thousand Oaks. I will have my first job in the city of Bell later this month and then the real Holiday season begins.

Cheviot Hills Fundraiser

6 May
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Dark skies looming over backyard grapefruit tree

Thursday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a fundraiser in Cheviot Hills. Cheviot Hills is a very nice neighborhood tucked away between Century City and Culver City. There are many nice neighborhoods in Los Angeles that seem to be sanctuaries from the urban jungles that border them, and Cheviot Hills is one of those.

I love doing fundraisers and get-togethers on week nights. This fundraiser in Cheviot Hills was for a charity that helps underprivileged students further their education. One of the students that benefited from the program gave a talk about how he was able to lift himself out of a desperate and hopeless situation in South Central and complete his college education. He made a compelling case for the program.

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Garnishes and mixers

I  set up my portable bar in the backyard and served some tasty tequila drinks. The hosts had a nice grapefruit tree in their backyard and I made Palomas. I have been doing a lot of that lately, because grapefruits are plentiful in California and are excellent for making cocktails. The host developed a drink he called the Mexican Old Fashioned and it is part Mezcal, part Casamigos Tequila, a dash of Peychaud’s bitters, and an orange peel. That is a strong drink for those with acquired tastes. Amateurs need not apply. I also made margaritas with tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. That is a really good way to make them, if no Cointreau, used triple sec, or Gran Marnier.

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Guests mingle at Cheviot Hills fundraiser

Tu Tacos provided the catering. There are of course, many taco caterers in Los Angeles, and most provide their own twist on tacos. This caterer put cucumbers on tacos and I have never seen that done before. They were delicious. Really adds something unique to the tacos.

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After sundown

Fundraiser Occasions

  • School functions
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Alumni Associations
  • Mixers
  • Charities
  • Political groups

Tomorrow night I will be bartending a birthday party in Burbank and then next week the graduation season starts. We will be doing graduation parties in Castaic and Chino Hills, and a wedding in Perris. Later this month we have a baptism celebration in La Canada, a bachelorette party in Palm Springs, and a Wedding in downtown Los Angeles.

Venice Art Gallery Event

30 Apr
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“Showmance” at Parallax Art Fair

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at a Venice Beach art gallery event. The Parallax Art Fair originally started in London, and they held the special Venice version of the art fair at Venice Arts on Lincoln Boulevard. About 200 guests mingled and drank wine as they viewed interesting works of all medias and talked with the artists. My son worked with me and we had a great time talking to the guests and the artists as well.

We set up a portable bar in the corner of the gallery and did our thing. We passed out glasses of wine on trays and got the party rolling. Showmance provided the live entertainment. We served cabernet and chardonnay from boxes and that was fine. People are not so discriminating when they are drinking free wine.

There were all kinds of fantastic pieces on display, including paintings, sculptures, pottery, and photography. This was the opening night of the art fair and it will be ongoing today, 4/30 and tomorrow, though we won’t be serving wine. I hope to be doing more of these events in the future. Afterward, my son and I had a late dinner at Leona

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My son behind bar at Venice Beach art fair

on Washington Boulevard where my daughter is a sous chef. The restaurant is fantastic and I highly recommend.

Host an Art Gallery Event

  • Hire a bartender
  • Serve free wine and soft drinks
  • Hire entertainment
  • Utilize social media
  • Get great artists to display

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    Guests mingle at Venice Arts

Today, I am preparing to do a party in Eagle Rock. A couple is renewing their vows and having a celebration. This month, Shaken Not Stirred will be very busy with graduation parties, birthday parties, Christenings, bachelorette parties, and weddings. We will be traveling all over the place, including the Inland Empire, Palm Springs, and all over LA. Saturdays are booked solid throughout May and June, but many Fridays, Sundays, and weekdays are still open.

Greek Night at Huffington Center

19 Jan
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The Huffington Center in Los Angeles

Shaken Not Stirred bartending service was on hand for the second annual Greek Night at the Huffington Center in Los Angeles hosted by the Sons of Pericles.  I bartended the event last year and was very pleased that they called me back again. The event was held at the Huffington Center, which is connected to the St. Sofia Cathedral near downtown Los Angeles.

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Traditional Greek dance

I panicked a little when I showed up, because the parking lot was full and people were overflowing from a party already in progress in the banquet room where last year’s event was held. I walked inside and there was another bartending company with two bartenders busy making drinks for the party.  I wondered if I had the date wrong and immediately called my contact. He informed me that we would be doing the party in a different room.  They were having a wedding in the large banquet room.  The Huffington Center is World Class facility and has basketball courts, a theatre donated by Tom Hanks and his wife, banquet facilities, and a professional kitchen.

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Keeping the tradition alive

They were using the facility’s only portable bar for the wedding, so luckily I had my portable bar in the car. I always carry it for that reason. I can set up my portable bar in a matter of minutes and be ready to go. The host was worried that they would run out of booze, but I assured them that they had plenty for 100 guests. The event was a fundraiser, and the guests had to buy tickets for drinks.

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Friends unite in Los Angeles

I made standard mixed drinks for the party, including screwdrivers, Cuba Libres, Jack and Coke, and Cape Cods. Last year we had Ouzo which was quite popular. The Sons of Pericles is a fraternal organization connected to the Greek Orthodox church, and this event was represented by chapters all over the United States and even Canada. I talked to guests from Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and Canada. A very nice group of people and they keep up their cultural traditions with traditional Greek music and dancing.

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Shots!

This weekend I will travel to Fullerton in Orange County to bartend a baby shower. I have done a few of these and usually serve a lot of champagne. I have received many inquiries for weddings in the spring, and have booked a few of them as far away as August. Next month I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a birthday party and then am bartending a repeat super Bowl party in Glendora.

Five Holiday Parties in Five Days

22 Dec
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Tending bar in La Canada

Tis’ the season, and Shaken Not Stirred was busy last week bartending at five different holiday parties in five days. The holiday party season took me all over the San Fernando Valley, and to La Canada. On Tuesday I was called to do a last minute party in Encino when another bartender canceled, then on Wednesday and Thursday I bartended two back to back parties in La Canada, on Friday I bartended a party in Studio City, and then on Saturday I rounded out the week at a party in Porter Ranch. Needless to say, I made a lot of drinks.

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Martini waiting to go out

On Monday, I received a call from an associate of mine and she said someone she knew needed a bartender on Tuesday, because theirs cancelled last minute. I was happy to get the job, and so far in two years of business I have never cancelled a gig. The party was at a nice home in the hills of Encino and it was a company office party of around 16 people. I very mellow gig and I was very glad to help them. I made some Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and poured a few glasses of wine.

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School fundraiser in La Canada

Holiday Parties

  • Office Parties
    Fundraisers
    Christmas Parties
    Holiday cocktails
    Client appreciation parties

On Wednesday and Thursday I traveled to La Canada to the fabulous home of one of my best clients. He has his annual office Christmas party, and then his wife hosts a fundraiser for her children’s school the following night. Again, I served Moscow Mules, which are very popular right now. Some of the ladies requested a Mexican Mule, also known as a “Burro”, which substitutes tequila for vodka.

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Gamblers in Porter Ranch

On Friday, I went to Studio City to bartend a holiday party for a friend of mine. He had around sixty guests and I made Cranberry Old Fashioneds, and Moscow Mules. Red wine is also very popular as the weather turns colder, and I served several bottles of that. Many in the crowd were professional comedians, so it was a very fun group.

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Partiers in Studio City

On Saturday, I returned to Porter Ranch, to bartend for the third client in the same housing development. He had a real elaborate Christmas party planned, and he had a party planner, a caterer, servers, and casino tables. I poured martinis, Moscow Mules, and many scotch drinks. We used real glassware, which is always nice.

My next event so far is a New Year’s Eve party in Sherman Oaks, so not too far away. My daughter will be working that one with me, and I’ll be making some prohibition era cocktails, like The Last Word, Fleur di Paradis, Whiskey Sour, and Mint Juleps. It should be fun. I still have Christmas Eve open, and Saturday the 26th, if you need a bartender on those dates.

Two Vegas Style Parties Back to Back

3 May
Outdoor bar at La Canada home

Outdoor bar at La Canada home

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred – Friday night I bartended at a fundraiser/poker tournament at a private home in La Canada, and then on Saturday night was the hired mixologist at a Vegas themed birthday party in Porter Ranch. Two nights, two very fun and successful events.  The event industry is thriving in Los Angeles, and there are so many great services that make parties really spectacular.

The Friday night poker tournament in La Canada was hosted by one of my best client’s at his fantastic home.  Casinos in Motion had at least ten poker tables there and dealers. The money that was raised benefitted a private school. The tournament didn’t end until one am. We served completely out of Grey Goose, Patron, and Johnny Walker Black.

Saturday night, the party was a birthday party/fight night event. It was a joint 40th birthday party bash for the husband and wife who were hosting the party and it just happened to fall on the Mayweather/Paciao fight night. I must say, they did an excellent job preparing for this party. They had red carpets, velvet ropes, and elaborate lighting set up in the backyard overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  Aces N Eights provided the Blackjack Table and dealer for the event.

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

I was bartending by myself for approximately ninety guests and was very busy. I made my special Jalapeno Margaritas that were a big hit, Mai Tais, Moscow Mules, Dark and Stormys, and Lemon Drops.  I also served Stella Artois and Modelo Especial, prosseco, and wine. It seems that Modelo is becoming the most popular beer in LA, overtaking Corona. I think all the Mexican beers are made by the same company, and beer is one of Mexico’s number one export products.

Next weekend will be busy also, as I have a company party scheduled in Mission Viejo for Friday, and then a wedding reception in Santa Clarita the following night. I was bartending in my sleep last night I have poured so many drinks this week. I still have a couple of open dates later this month, which I’m sure I will fill quickly. It is the season for graduation parties, and I have seen  many inquiries for such parties this month.

Shots!

Shots!

Huffington Center Fundraiser in Los Angeles

18 Jan
The Huffington Center and St. Sofia Cathedral

The Huffington Center and St. Sofia Cathedral

Last night Shaken Not Stirred contracted to bartend an event at the Huffington Center in Los Angeles for the annual Sons of Pericles, Greeks in LA event. The Huffington Center is a fantastic facility on the grounds of the St. Sofia Greek Orthodox Cathedral south of Koreatown in Los Angeles. There were about 100 guests in attendance from all over the country. Many of the young men played in the annual basketball tournament earlier in the day at the Huffington Center.

I had been in contact for months with the organizer of the event, who flew in from Brooklyn.  The event was a fundraiser and they charged for drinks. They used different colored tickets for shots, beers, wine, or mixed drinks. It was a pretty good system, and guests were carded at the door and given wrist bands, so I didn’t have to card people. The event was supposed to start at 9pm, but people didn’t really start trickling in until 10pm, and then I got slammed.

Men...

Men…

I served out of Jack Daniels, rum, and Ouzo. I also served a lot of vodka, gin, and tequila. It was the kind of event where it would have been nice to have a barback, but I handled it ok. The Huffington Center is set up nicely for events. They have a big ballroom, and a huge, very well designed kitchen that is equipped to serve hundreds. A very nice facility, and which I hope to return to.

Women...

Women…

Next weekend I will bartend another birthday party in my own neighborhood of Valley Glen, and an event at the Reef in downtown Los Angeles. I do not have a Super Bowl party booked yet, and I hope to pick up one. I have another birthday party booked the first week in February in Glendora, and then the rest of February is pretty open. March is filling up fast, however, and I have several weddings booked all over Southern California, from Palm Springs to Santa Ynez. Book your bartender now!

Shots!

Shots!