Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for the first time at the beautiful and historic La Chureya Estate close to downtown Palm Springs. Palm Springs is becoming one of the hottest places for destination weddings. For this particular wedding most of the guests traveled thousands of miles from Australia to be there.
I have worked at many fabulous venues throughout Southern California, and I must say La Chureya Estate is one of the most beautiful. The buildings are classic Spanish architecture and the grounds are immaculately groomed and landscaped. The bar area is next to the olympic sized pool, and that is where we pored drinks all night.
The wedding ceremony took place out on the lawn, which is was a perfect backdrop for great photography. We set up a champagne and water stand for the guests as they were arriving. We finished serving all of the arrivals and then moved back to the bar, when the ceremony ended quickly and we were hit with a big line. We served spicy jalapeno margaritas, Moscow Mules, and a variety of other drinks.
La Chureya Estate Venue
Beautiful historic buildings and landscaping
Close to downtown Palm Springs
Ample space for vendors
Views of the mountains from grounds
Most of the guests at this wedding traveled all of the way from Australia and it was fun serving them. They were all dressed to the nines and I’m sure the photographer (also from Australia got some great pictures. There were 75 guests in attendance, and they kept my other bartender and I pretty busy. We completely served out of tequila and most of the vodka.
I will return to Palm Springs tomorrow to do a 200 guest corporate event. The Coachella Music Festival is going on this weekend and next and we have a few events going connected to that. I also have a “Leaving California,” party to do Saturday night in Corona on Saturday night. You may no how I feel about that – “You can check out, but you can never leave…” Please follow us on Instagram.
It was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and it spanned a large territory from Palm Springs, to downtown Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley. I started out on Friday bartending at two different bachelorette parties in Palm Springs, drove back to LA to bartend a 200 guest wedding on Saturday, and then bartended a large birthday party in Panorama City on Sunday night. Needless to say, I served a whole lot of drinks.
Palm Springs is usually pretty hot this time of year, and Friday it was a sweltering 118. When I pulled into town the sky was hazy from the fires burning near Idyllwild. I wondered if that would ruin the bachelorette parties I was scheduled to do. When I arrived at the first house, I could hear ladies hooting and hollering in the backyard. Obviously they weren’t going to let a little smoke ruin their party. I set up my portable bar out by the pool and started serving drinks.
I served a Lavender cocktail that the host wanted, and it was a hit. Vodka, lavender syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. I also made jalapeno margaritas, and a vodka, grapefruit and basil cocktail. Part of the deal of doing bachelorette parties, is that the bartender also has to act as photographer. I don’t mind doing that, and I took many cool pictures with the host’s phone.
The second bachelorette party started at 6pm, and I setup the portable bar inside the house. I was glad because it was still well over 100 in Cathedral City. For this party, I was to do a presentation and make four drinks – a Lemon Drop Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Jalapeno Margarita, and a Watermelon Daiquiri. My phone died and I only got one grainy picture, but it seems the ladies had a good time and were dancing in the living room by the end.
I drove back to LA the next morning and didn’t have much turnaround time and had to start setting up two bars for a 200 guest wedding at 802 Mateo Street in downtown LA. another bartender arrived to help me and we served Mojitos, and various vodka drinks. I was worried about this wedding, because we had been planning it for months, but everything came off without a hitch.
Sunday night I was back in the San Fernando Valley bartending a 100 person birthday party at the Palacio Banquet Hall on Van Nuys Blvd. I served margaritas and various vodka drinks. It was quite a party with live entertainment, costumed dancers, and lots of great food. I served completely out of liquor by the end of the night.
This coming week I have 8 parties scheduled and am sending out multiple bartenders. I have two corporate events, two birthday parties, a going away party, a baby shower, and another bachelorette party. I hope everything goes ok! Follow us on Instagram.
Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred and Goodfella’s Tacos killed it at two wedding events in two fantastic Southern California locations. On Friday we combined our services for a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful San Marino home, and then on Saturday we traveled all the way to Joshua Tree for a memorable wedding. The clients at both events were extremely happy.
I have done several events with Goodfella’s Tacos and I highly recommend them. They have an extensive menu of options that goes way beyond just tacos. Scott is highly professional and has a great crew. I am happy to be associated with him. I only hope I can help him get more business as he has done for me.
The Friday event in San Marino was one part of a three event wedding weekend. The groom was from Holland and many of his friends and relatives flew in from Holland and other global locations. I served pomegranate and citrus margaritas as mariachis performed for approximately 60 guests. I enjoyed talked to the European guests and told them about my friend from Holland, who is a very popular emerging musician there, Big Pete. He fronts a band called the Red Devils, and they toured across Europe last summer with ZZ Top. I was sorry that I was not able to bartend the wedding that was happening on Saturday night, and they had contracted another catering company and bartender.
Goodfella’s Tacos Catering Options
The Joshua Tree event was at an incredible venue just a short distance from the Joshua Tree National Park, called Sacred Sands. It sits atop a hill overlooking the valley and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. If the wedding would have been held in September it probably would have been scorching hot, but in mid October, the weather was just perfect. It even was a bit cold after the sun went down. I served standard mixed drinks to over 100 guests and I had a helper provided by the Goodfellas. The hosts and the venue owners were very happy with our service.
As the holidays approach I have been inundated with calls for corporate events. I have booked several events in November and a few in December. I am doing a corporate event in Woodland Hills today, and have three in West Hollywood next week. I also have an event in Newport Beach this weekend, a Halloween Party in San Bernardino next weekend, and a wedding in Coachella the weekend after that. Please follow us on Instagram.
I have been so busy doing the actual work or running a bartending service, I have neglected doing my blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending services at events in Fillmore, San Diego, Bermuda Dunes, Valley Village, and Studio City over the past two weeks. The events included a wedding, a corporate event, a bachelorette party, and two birthday parties. I did some traveling and two of the events were within 10 minutes of my house.
I have done a couple of events in the town of Fillmore in Ventura County. It is always nice going out there and it is a small town of 14,000 people that is not on any major freeway. The wedding was held at the City Hall, just next to the old train station in the center of town. It was a perfect day for a wedding, and the they had the city hall decorated real nice.
I set up my portable bar on the side of the courtyard and served drinks for approximately 150 people. The host rented a margarita machine, which I had never used before. It seemed easy enough, but it presented many problems. First of all, it kept causing the breaker to switch off, because it pulled so much power. Then it started leaking and leaked out half of its contents before I could get it to stop. It takes at least two hours for the liquid to get slushy, and then the drinks don’t taste very good. I wouldn’t recommend. Other than that, it was a very nice wedding in an idyllic setting.
San Diego Corporate Event
I don’t try to get a lot of work in San Diego, because it can be an odyssey getting there and back from the SFV. One of my corporate clients asked me to go down there, and of course I couldn’t refuse. I have done several events for this company in orange county. They are usually product launch events, as was this one. I served drinks for about 100 people. Another successful corporate event.
Bermuda Dunes Bachelorette Party
On Friday I drove to Bermuda Dunes to bartend a bachelorette party. Have you ever tried to spell the word “bachelorette”? The host wanted specialty cocktails that required a bit of preparation. One of the drinks was a watermelon/cucumber margarita. I premade the mix for that using fresh ingredients. We discovered at the party that the drink benefitted from fresh jalapenos. The ladies had six bottles of booze and wondered if that would be enough for nine people. “If you drink all of that booze, you will be in the hospital. Well, they went through 90 percent of it, and they all were still alive when I left. They loved the drinks.
Valley Village Birthday Party
I only had to drive five minutes from my house to do this party. The hosts have a really nice house in Valley Village with a very smartly landscaped yard that is perfect for entertaining. I made my special jalapeno margarita mix, but unfortunately did not bring enough. There were 70 guests and everybody wanted that for their first round. I was out of that in one hour. So the host had to run and get more supplies. I made the French 75, classic champagne cocktail and was surprised how many of those I served. I want to give a shout out to Salinas Churros that were there. They had an incredible churro cart that they built themselves and their churros were delicious. The churro cart was a big hit. I served drinks until 2 am and until almost all of the booze was gone. Went through at least 10 bottles of tequila.
Studio City Surprise Birthday Party
On Sunday I ended the week by bartending a surprise birthday party in the hills of Studio City. This was a referral from another job I did, which I always appreciate. This was a very mellow family event and kids were there swimming. They had a life guard, which is always a good idea. I served margaritas, Moscow mules, and beer. It was a very mellow event, which I was grateful for after the two ragers I did before.
This coming week I have two weekday corporate events in Woodland Hills and West Hollywood. I have three events on Saturday and am sending multiple bartenders out to Mission Viejo, Villa Park, and Silverlake. Shaken Not Stirred has booked 17 events in September and the month is just flying by. I have events in Culver City, Burbank, and La Verne before I close out the month of September 2017. Follow us on Instagram.
Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred went on the road and provided bartending service at a Vista wedding reception and then at a Shady Canyon baby shower the next day. I also had one of my other bartenders do a wedding reception in Tujunga on Saturday night. It is getting to the point where I have much repeat business and am having to send multiple bartenders out each week.
The wedding reception in Vista was held at Thibodo Park , a beautiful little out of the way location operated by the City of Vista Recreation Department. Chef Shawna of Best Mobile Catering of Oceanside hired me and L&S Productions of San Diego did the wedding coordination. It was a pleasure working with both of them, and they obviously are very good at what they do. We were of service to over 100 guests and I think everybody went away happy.
The groom was a decorated member of the Marine Corps and was in full uniform and so were some of the guests. I am always reminded when in San Diego that it is a military town. I once did a wedding reception on the beach at Camp Pendleton, where they have a resort for military members. I served wine and beer at the Vista reception and we used a punch card system, where the guests were limited to three drinks each. That worked well, and nobody got out of control.
The next day I drove up to Irvine to the Shady Canyon Golf Club Golf Club to bartend a baby shower. It was the second party I have done at that location. They have a very nice clubhouse for the residents (apart from golf club house). The host put a lot of work into decorating the event and it looked fabulous.
I set up my portable bar in the corner of courtyard. There were about 100 ladies in attendance and I served mimosas and beer. There were two servers that distributed drinks to ladies as I poured them. I kept pretty busy pouring for at least four hours and emptied over a case of champagne.
This coming weekend I have events in Hidden Hills, Hawthorne, and Mission Viejo, and I am happy to report that is all repeat business. I just got a call this morning from a past customer for two more events – a movie premier and a baby shower. I am not bidding on any jobs in December and believe I will keep busy with repeat business only. The whole December calendar is open at this point, but that is going to change quickly after September 1. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Silverlake 40th Birthday Party
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
South Orange County
San Juan Capistrano
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.
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.