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Five Cocktails That Are Popular at Private Events Right Now

16 Mar
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Moscow Mule

5. Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is very popular right now at private events including weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events. Here is the recipe for the Moscow Mule
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1.5 oz Vodka
Splash fresh lime juice
2 oz Ginger beer

There are several different brands and types of ginger beer available at Trader Joe’s or Bevmo.
Cock & Bull, Bunderberg, and Gosling are some of the popular brands. You can also make a Kentucky Mule by substituting Bourbon, or a Mexican Mule by substituting Tequila. I usually garnish with a lime slice.

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Old Fashioned

4. Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is called the Old Fashioned because it is old. As a cocktail, it has been around a long time. It has recently become popular again because of the hit television show, “Mad Men. This is how you prepare an Old Fashioned:

First of all, put a sugar cube, a cherry, and an orange slice into a shaker. Splash some Angostura bitters onto the other ingredients and muddle. Pour 2.5 oz of Bourbon into the shaker and then add ice and shake it. Pour into a glass and top it off with Club soda.

The Old Fashioned is ready to serve.

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Lemon Drop

3. Lemon Drop Martini

The Lemon Drop is a favorite at private events, especially among women. It should have the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Here is how you make the lemon drop:

Place a scoop of ice into a shaker. Pour in 3.5 oz of Vodka, 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, and 1 oz of simple syrup. Shake it vigorously, and then pour it into a martini glass. Sometimes I rim the glass with sugar and add a lemon wheel as a garnish, or a twist.
The secret to this drink is using mostly vodka, and not making it too sweet.

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Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!

2. Paloma

The Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail and is made a few different ways. The way it is often made at Mexican weddings is by mixing Tequila and Squirt. The way I like to make it is a bit different. Here is how I make it:

I pour 1.5 oz Tequila, 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice, and 1 oz of simple syrup into a shaker and shake it up. Pour into a glass and serve. I sometimes use a salt rim and garnish with a lime slice.

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Jalapeno Margarita

1. Jalapeno Margarita

I make my own Jalapeno Margarita mix to make the Jalapeno Margarita. This is by far the most popular cocktail I serve at private parties. The way I make it is by adding 70 percent lime juice, 15 percent water, 15 percent Agave Nectar, and two sliced jalapenos into a blender. I blend it up real good.

I pour 2 oz of tequila and 2 oz Jalapeno Margarita mix into a shaker with ice and shake them up. I pour into a salt rimmed glass and add a lime slice for a garnish.

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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Party Planning in Los Angeles

27 Jan

People planning special events and parties in theLos Angeles area often ask me for ideas for specialty drinks and what they will need to stock their bar. Of course everybody has a different budget. I have posted below some of my specialty drinks and some ideas of what to buy when hosting a party of 40 to 50 guests. This is assuming that the guests will be drinkers and I try to cover most bases. Some hosts prefer to limit the choices and that usually works just fine and keeps the cost down. A good bartender can suggest drinks to guests that they may not of thought of.

There are a few signature drinks I make:

Pomegranate Cosmo – Pom juice, Vodka, Rose’s Lime juice, garnished with a lime

Cadillac Margarita – Tequilla, Margarita mix, Gran Marnier floater


Dirty Martini
 – Vodka, olive juice, dry vermouthMai  Tai – White rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine, Myers rum floater

White Russian – Vodka, Kalua, Milk

Pomegranate Sunrise – Pom juice,

orange juice, Tequilla

Of course, I can make all of the other combinations with those ingredients.

You may want to just keep it simple and go with one or two of those and the usual Jack and Coke, gin and tonic, etc. Margartitas are usually popular.

For 40 to 50 people I would suggest the following:

2  1.75 ltr bottle of tequila

2  1.75 ltr bottles of vodka

1  750mltr bourbon

“           Gin

“           Scotch

“           White Rum

“           Kahlua

“           Dark rum

“           Dry Vermouth

1 large bottle of Margarita mix

1 bottle Rose’s lime

1 bottle sour mix

1 bottle triple sec

1 bottle Pom Juice

1 carton Orange juice

1 carton milk

12 pack Coke

12 pack 7 up

12 pack Diet Coke

48 bottled waters

2  2 liter bottles of club soda
12 limes2  2 liter bottles of tonic

Bar salt

1 jar of olives

2 12 packs beer

2 12 packs light beer

6 bottles white wine

6 bottles red wine

5 20 pound bags of ice

Box cocktail napkins

Box bar straws

Box bar picks

Of course there is probably going to be a lot of liquor left over, but this list should keep everybody happy and you won’t run out of key ingredients in the middle of the party. Also, the types of drinks that are popular tend to coincide with the food that is being served. I have worked parties where Mexican food was catered and in those cases beer and margaritas were the popular thing. Other parties have a majority of wine drinkers. Vodka seems to be the most popular liquor item because it mixes with so many things.

When buying for your party or special even in the L.A. area, BevMo is a good place to go when you are buying a lot of things and you can get a good discount with their card. Ralph’s offers a great discounts when you buy six bottles of wine at a time. Costco and Smart and Final are also good.  Some people want kegs of beer and I can advise them on that too – Vendome Liquor is good for kegs.

Please call me (310) 280-6103 or email me if you have any questions or need help planning your party. I can help you tailor a drink menu that coincides with your food menu.  In any case, don’t get stressed out when planning your party – let the professional bartenders at Shaken Not Stirred help you plan your party in Los Angeles.