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Shaken Not Stirred Gig Bartender Does Events Across SoCal

7 Aug
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Picturesque Simi Valley

Southern California’s traveling gig bartender, Shaken Not Stirred bartended several events in the past two weeks across the region. I have been very busy the past two weeks and have not had time to keep up with this blog. I have done events in Inglewood, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades, Fullerton, Beverly Hills, and Simi Valley. All were successful, and I think my clients were happy with my service – I did pick up some more five star reviews and referrals.

I started off the string of events in Downtown LA at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. SheEO sponsored an fundraising event and I served wine and soft drinks to approximately 50 ladies. SheEO seems like a very worthwhile organization, and should appeal to any female entrepreneurs. I hope to do more events with them in the future.

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SheEo Event in Downtown LA

Next I bartended a party in Inglewood attended largely by a local contingent of Nigerian immigrants. They served traditional Nigerian food, like jerk goat, and mint pies. I served wine, beer, and cocktails. The host invited me to work there every Friday night. I was tempted by the offer of ongoing work, but turned it down. An ongoing weekly gig feels too much like a job to me. I would rather see where the universe takes me.

Types of Events for a Gig Bartender

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Pool parties
  • Class Reuinions

The day after, I went to Pacific Palisades to bartend a summer/company party. A local law firm held the party for employees and friends. I set up my portable bar on the deck next to the pool. It was a hot summer night, and I got bitten several times by mosquitos, which is rare in California. The host had a very nice selection of liquor and mixers and I was able to make some craft cocktails.

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Guests mingle in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, I traveled to Orange County to the Fullerton Community Center to bartend a wedding. It was a my first time working the venue and it had a large ballroom big enough to seat at least two hundred people. Over 100 people attended this wedding and I kept pretty busy making drinks for all of those people. Luckily they were mostly wine drinkers, which makes to easier for me to serve 100 people by myself.

Mid week I bartended a corporate event in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. They have hired me for at least a dozen events, and most of the events are one weekdays, which I really appreciate. I brought another bartender with me and we served cocktails to approximately 75 guests. It was deathly hot and humid that night in Los Angeles, with the humidity hovering at 60 percent.

I finished off the week in beautiful Simi Valley bartending a baby shower on Saturday Night. The humid weather subsided, and it was an extremely pleasant night for August in Simi Valley. It even got a bit chilly after the sun went down. I served cocktails to around 50 guests and finished at 11pm.

This coming weekend I have only one event scheduled for Saturday night, but that could change. I will be bartending a birthday party in Northridge. Later this month I have events in Tujunga, San Diego, Irvine, and Hawthorne. All of my Saturdays are booked through October. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred, the gig bartender on Instagram.

Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

22 Jun
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Tent setup in driveway for Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

Last Saturday I drove to Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner at a private home. It was one of the first hot days of the summer and the temp was 104 when I arrived. The host had tents setup in the yard and driveway. There was a tent for me, another for the DJ, and a big tent for the guests.

My mom was in town visiting, so I asked the host if I could bring her along, and she helped out. I served margaritas, beer, and wine to approximately 70 guests. I used my drink dispenser and premixed margaritas – that makes service faster when I am working large events by myself. My mom helped serve beer, and wine and she helped cut the cake.

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DJ Bryan K in Palmdale

The DJ Bryan K setup in his own tent and spun tunes throughout the night. He just moved here from Maryland and quizzed me on how to get jobs in the LA area. I was happy to help him and I am always happy to help other event professionals, including caterers and photographers get more jobs. I get jobs from caterers I have worked with in the past, and I want to return the favor. The idea is to get a whole network of event vendors working together and helping each other out.

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

  • Do it in your backyard
  • Hire a bartender
  • Provide some form of entertainment
  • Invite people who can’t attend wedding
  • Serve great food

The host did the food herself for this rehearsal dinner. She got a fried chicken, potato salad and other fixins from the local grocery store. Everybody was just fine with that. A rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be fancy. The host told me that this party was mainly for the people who could not attend the actual wedding that will take place in a different location later this summer. Most of the people were family members and everybody seemed to get along well.

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My mom helps me bartend in Palmdale

This weekend I have three events. Tomorrow I will bartend a cocktail party in Pacific Palisades. Saturday I am doing a backyard wedding south of downtown LA. On Sunday I am driving out to Mentone, past Redlands to bartend a baby shower. I have many events already booked in July, including Fourth of July parties, a wedding in San Diego, and many other events throughout the month.

Spring Bartending Business is Picking up for Mobile Bartender

8 May
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Alternate “White Party” in Palm Springs

This is looking to be the busiest Spring season for Shaken Not Stirred since I began as a mobile bartender four years ago. I had three events last week and am doing five this week, and am booked up on Saturdays through June and July.  It takes a lot of work to manage all the events, and so far I have not messed up and forgotten one (knock on wood). Last weekend I bartended a 40th birthday party/pool party in Palm Springs Friday night, and then returned to the San Fernando Valley for two events on Saturday Night: a 60th birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then sent another bartender to do a private school event in Encino.

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Summer Water keg

Palm Springs Alternate White Party

The “White Party” is an annual big deal and gay event in Palm springs and took place last weekend. It is one of many annual events in the area that brings in thousands of people for the weekend. I know, because hotels are expensive and hard to find during these events. Luckily I used my rewards points to get a room this time. The party I worked was an alternate straight “White Party,” and all the guests dressed in white in honor of it.

I made spicy margaritas, and Mezcal drinks. One of the guests was a wine make and he brought a keg of “Summer Water” Rose, that kept many of the guests busy throughout the night. AB’s Tacos provided the food and it was very good. I mixed drinks until 11pm and then left the guests to fend for themselves. I guess the city of Palm Springs has passed some new law that prohibits people from playing music outside after a certain time. Another business killing regulation. Neighboring Cathedral City will just take all of the rental business. I hate California politics that kills business left and right.

San Fernando Valley Events

I live and work in the San Fernando Valley. The “Valley” get a lot of flack from people on the other side of the hill and elsewhere, but the fact is that the valley has some of the nicest properties you will find anywhere. I bartended a party at a home in Sherman Oaks that is utterly fantastic. It is so nice that the host does not want me taking pictures of it. It formerly belonged to a major celebrity. I have been there a few times, because it is just a perfect spot for entertaining. This time it was a 60th birthday party.

I served only beer and wine for this party, but I served up some fantastic cabernet. I served an ultra magnum bottle of 2002 Cabernet, that holds 12 bottles. There were approximately 40 guests and I served up the whole thing. Master chef, Elan Adivi provided the catering and did not disappoint with a barbecue inspired menu. Chris Ellis Photography did the photos, and We Help You Host provided the servers. The birthday boy had a great time and it was his first birthday party in over thirty years. His best friend and sons provided some touching tributes.

At the same time I had another bartender providing beverage service at an Encino estate not far away. I finished my party and checked in on him. He was doing a fantastic job for my repeat clients. This week I have five big events scheduled – then I am off to New Orleans for some much need R&R, and to attend my friend, Jason Ricci’s wedding. On Wednesday, I will be doing an alumni event in Burbank, on Thursday, a pre-bris celebration in Studio City, off to Indian Wells on Friday for a wedding, and then back to Castaic on Saturday for a graduation party, and then finally a mother’s day dinner party in Woodland Hills on Sunday. On Monday morning early, I crawl onto a plane at LAX bound for the Big Easy. Think I will sleep on the plane? Probably not…

Three April Events For Los Angeles Bartending Service

26 Apr

Last week, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartending service did three big events throughout Southern California. On Wednesday, I did a corporate event in Burbank, and then on Saturday I did an afternoon martini party in Rancho Cucamonga, and then hustled back to LA to bartend a Silverlake birthday party.

Burbank Corporate Event

Much planning went into putting on the evening event at the Arri location in Burbank. I arranged for a rental bar and glassware to be delivered. The host wanted an LED bar that illuminated the corporate color blue. I had not used that particular bar before, but it was cool. I think the darker the event space is, the better this bar will look.

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Blue LED Bar Rental

I served beer and wine while the camera professionals at Arri demonstrated some of their new cameras and steady cam gear. Rise and Shine Catering provided the food. The host told me that Arri has more events coming up, so I hope they will call me back for those.

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Camera Demos at Burbank Event

Rancho Cucamonga Martini Party

On Saturday I drove out to Rancho Cucamonga to bartend a ladies only martini party. I helped the host make a cute martini menu with sexy and fun drinks. The lady’s husbands were having a cook off and barbecue contest at another house during the same time. I made variations of the Cosmo, Appletini, Lemon drop and others for the ladies. The most popular was the Rasberry Lemon Drop, which I made with fresh lemon juice. D&B’s Brazillian Soul Food provided the catering, and they had some delicious empanandas, chicken wings, and other goodies on hand.

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Sexy Bar Menu

My job ended when the male stripper arrived, and I had to quickly pack up and head back to LA to bartend a Silverlake birthday party. Luckily, the traffic on the 210 cooperated with me. As a Los Angeles bartending service I must navigate a ribbon of freeways and river of never ending traffic.

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Ladies enjoy martinis without husbands

Silverlake 40th Birthday Party

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California Feetwarmers perform in Silverlake

I arrived right on time for the Silverlake 40th birthday party. The house from the street was very unassuming, but they had an incredible backyard that was perfect for entertaining. I set up my portable bar in a corner of the yard, and a full New Orleans jazz band, the California Feetwarmers, set up in another corner. They put on a quite impressive show and was quite different than you usually see in Southern California. Canele’ of Atwater Village provided the catering, including a fantastic selection of appetizers and other goodies.

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Guests mingle in Silverlake backyard

I served Old Fashioneds, Tom Collins and many other drinks to a crowd of fifty or so guests. It was a great party and I’m sure the birthday boy was quite honored.

This coming weekend I will be providing bartending service at an art show/fundraiser at CSUN Northridge and it is my first time going there. I will be pouring beer and wine for 150 people by myself, so I should be busy. Then on Saturday, I will be doing a birthday party in Studio City – so I get to stay close to home in the SFV this weekend. On Cinco De Mayo I will be heading out to Palm Springs to bartend a party,and then back to the 818 on Saturday where I have two events scheduled.

 

Two South Orange County Events

3 Apr

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for two South Orange County events in Dana Point and a few miles away in Laguna Niguel. It is a beautiful area and a great time of the year to visit and experience outdoor events there. On Friday night I bartended a rehearsal dinner and served approximately 80 guests, and then on Saturday I provided service at a birthday party at a fantastic home overlooking the coast in Laguna Niguel.

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Dana Point Harbor

When I arrived to the rehearsal dinner on Friday night there were already many guests self serving themselves at the bar and I immediately got the sinking feeling I had somehow got the time wrong and I was late. I am phobic about being late and am always on time and even way early. I was not late, the party just started early in this case. I scrambled to get prepared, but it was easy because the wedding planner had already prepped the bar for me.

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Friends share a drink at Dana Point Rehearsal Party

They held the event at a rental house from Air B&B that had a very nice back yard perfect for events. Many of the Air B&B rentals allow guests to have parties as long as they pay large deposits and adhere to all of the guidelines. Many of the people at this event traveled from different parts of the country.

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Shots!

South Orange County

  • Laguna Niguel
  • Dana Point
  • San Clemente
  • Mission Viejo
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Laguna Beach

I made margaritas and other simple mixed drinks and served wine and beer. It was a good warm up for the wedding, which was being held at a hotel the following night. I had also helped the bride and groom make a shopping list for supplies for their wedding. I hope that worked out for them.

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Sunset Laguna Niguel

I stayed in the area and the next night I went to a fantastic home up on the hill in Laguna Niguel to bartend a birthday party. The view from the backyard was incredible. To the north you could see Laguna Beach, to the south, Dana Point, and then of course due west was the Pacific Ocean, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Catalina Island. The backyard bar was the perfect perch for all of that.

I brought my jalapeno margarita mix and also made Pisco Sours for the specialty drinks. About thirty guests were in attendance. Diverse DJ Events provided the music, and Taquero Juan Celio (714) 687-6825, provided the tacos. It was a great evening in a killer location. Next weekend I have potential job in Palm Desert on Friday, and then a birthday party in Sherman Oaks on Saturday. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

 

Five Events in Six Days for Los Angeles Mobile Bartending Service

22 Mar

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles Mobile Bartending service just completed a six day tour of Southern California, and made drinks for five different events. The tour started in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego, moved north to Redondo Beach for St. Paddy’s day, then east to the city of Walnut, back to the San Fernando Valley, and then south again to Brea. I personally made thousands of drinks. I had help for the Brea Corporate event.

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Corporate event in Gaslamp District

San Diego Corporate Event

A company in the Gaslamp District in San Diego hosted an event to introduce their company and space to potential new clients. They hired me to make the drinks. I made simple vodka drinks and they had beer and Kombucha on tap. I also served wine. Napizza of San Diego served some excellent authentic Italian Pizzas and some fantastic salads. I highly recommend them if you need unique catering in the San Diego area. Solti provided some very good organic juices that I also highly recommend.  Everything went smoothly and the mellow event was a good primer for what was to come.

Redondo Beach St. Patrick’s Day Party

I drove up to Redondo Beach the next day to bartend a St. Patrick’s Day party. I lived in Hermosa Beach for years and St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal down there. I set up my portable bar outside on the driveway and served drinks to around 80 guests. It was cold in Redondo Beach and I had forgotten how cold the wind can be in the South Bay. I didn’t bring a jackets, so I forgot the boy scout motto of “always be prepared.” Things warmed up however, when I made hundreds of drinks and served 5 handles of Tito’s vodka, among other things. I did not get the caterer’s card, but they served up some great traditional corned beef and cabbage, and many fine desserts. The South Bay crowd did not disappoint – they like to party down there.

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St. Patrick’s Day party

Walnut 40th Birthday Party

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You only turn 40 once

I spent the night in my own bed and got up the next day to provide mobile bartending service for a 40th birthday party in Walnut. The clients were referred to me from another mobile bartender because she was not available that night. The party was held at a very nice house in the hills above the 60 Freeway. The band that they hired, FlashPants, was setting up the stage when I arrived. The house had a very nice bar in the backyard and the hosts had already prepped it for me, so all I had to do was serve the drinks. I was pretty busy the whole night and most of the guests were members of law enforcement dressed up like Gangsta’ rappers. The theme was 80’s and the band put on a hell of a show. That was one of the best cover bands I have ever seen. I think the birthday boy had one memorable 40th.

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Watch out!

Valley Village Birthday Party

I went back to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a birthday party in Valley Village the next day. It was a Kosher event, so there are special preparation rules that apply. I made the jalapeno margarita mix on site and that was a big hit for the guests. The birthday boy planned the party himself and he and I came of with the drink menu and the crazy names for the drinks. I made Long Island Ice teas for the hard core drinkers in the group. The event was literally five minutes from my house, which was nice and I don’t often get to do. That is why they call it a mobile bartending service, because I have to be mobile – very mobile. I will be doing another kosher event next weekend at a synagogue in Oak Park.

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Chillin’ in the 818

Brea Corporate Event

I got one day to regroup and then drove back to Orange County to bartend a corporate event at Sigler Corporation in Brea. This is the second event I have done for them. Mia Martini, a fellow mobile bartender helped me with this one. About 100 guests showed up to view the new air cooling unit that Sigler has developed. To the guests this unit was like a Ferrari. We served  alot of beer, margaritas, and vodka drinks. It was raining the whole time, but the turnout was good anyway, and the event was a success.

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Mobile bartending service goes to Brea

This coming weekend I go mobile again, and will be driving to Indian Wells to bartend a wedding reception, then I was get up the next morning to get to Oak Park to bartend an engagement party. Another bartender will be doing a fundraiser for me in Glendora. It is the busy Spring season for the Los Angeles mobile bartending service.

Bartender to the Rescue in Studio City

27 Feb
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Amigos!

Saturday night I was sitting at home for the first Saturday night in a long time when a call came out for a “bartender to the rescue” in Studio City. Another bartender cancelled at the last minute and they needed somebody right away. I put on my bartender cape and was at their door in fifteen minutes. Luckily, Studio City is only three miles away. Shaken Not Stirred is located in Valley Glen.

When I walked in the usual chaos was ensuing at the bar as guests fumbled trying to open bottles and pour their own drinks. One guy brought a full drink and set it down in front of me. “I don’t want this – it’s the worst drink I’ve ever had,” he said. One of the guests had made it for him. It took me a few minutes to get acclimated, but had the bar running smoothly in no time. The party was a pajama party of 20 to 30 year olds, and they were playing some kind of trivia game. A food truck outside was serving the food.

I made mostly simple drinks like Jack and Coke, and Tequila Sodas. A lot of the younger people drink either vodka/soda, or tequila/soda with lime, because those drinks have less calories. I have noticed that is the drink of choice among Millennials in LA. It seems that you don’t really need a bartender to make those drinks, but obviously you do, because most people don’t know how much to pour. That is the problem when you don’t hire a bartender – a lot of alcohol gets wasted and thrown away because the drinks are awful, or worse yet – bottles of alcohol “walk away.” I have confronted guests at wedding that I was bartending who tried to steal bottles of alcohol.

Last Minute Bartender to the Rescue

  • Original bartender cancels last minute
  • Bartender no show/no call
  • Bartender shows up drunk or high
  • Host realizes last minute a bartender is needed
  • Bartender doesn’t know what he or she is doing

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    Guests playing trivia game

When I am bartending, I am often not busy making drinks the whole time. That is when I take the time to clean up the area. People leave plates, cups, and napkins on the tables and countertops and I take a moment to clean them up. People are always amazed when I do this. Well, a bartender in a bar or restaurant is expected to keep their area clean, and I take that same philosophy into the homes and venues where I do private parties. Sometimes I am just to busy behind the bar to do it, but I try to keep the area clean when I can. The host of this party was very happy with me and wrote me a nice 5 star review.

This coming weekend I have a surprise birthday party scheduled in Hermosa Beach on Friday, and then a wedding in Palm Springs on Saturday. I will return to Palm Springs the following weekend and then have other events scheduled in the City of Walnut, Tarzana, and Indian Wells later in the month.