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Los Angeles Bartender for Hire Services Three Parties During NYE Weekend

2 Jan

Los Angeles bartender for hire Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service at three big Los Angeles parties during the transition period into 2017. I served literally thousands of drinks over the three day period and met hundreds of new people.

Sherman Oaks Surprise Birthday Party

Friday I didn’t have to travel far to bartend a 50th surprise birthday party in Sherman Oaks. It was a potentially cold and rainy night and the rain threatened to ruin the backyard party, but luckily it only sprinkled a bit during the party. The birthday girl was genuinely surprised. I served margaritas and apple martinis to 50 or so guests. They had a taco cart on hand and I’m sorry I can’t find the guys card or I would have included him here, but he served great tacos.

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Taco cart in action at Sherman Oaks

The host commented that this was probably a boring party for me, because they weren’t really a hard drinking crowd. I didn’t mind at all because I knew I was going to work my ass off at the New Year’s Eve party the following night and that turned out to be true. The Sherman Oaks surprise birthday party was a perfect warm up for the whole weekend, and I was very happy to do it.

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Birthday Girl blows out candles

Downtown LA New Year’s Eve Party

The NYE bash that I bartended was held in a warehouse in a gritty section of downton Los Angeles close to Skid Row. I drove through Skid Row on my way to the location and it was raining. The conditions are beyond deplorable down there, and it is hard to believe places like that exist in the USA. I pulled up in front of the warehouse early and there was nobody around. I was curious as to what kind of setup there would be there. It just looked like a produce warehouse on the outside. Finally someone showed up and opened the big doors and I could see curtains hanging inside the warehouse and tables. A taco cart vendor, Tacos Estilo Michoacan, arrived about the same time and started setting up outside.

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Downtown LA warehouse where party was held

I went in a started setting up. They had cases and cases of beer, several handles of vodka, tequila, Jameson, Jack Daniels, and cases and cases of mixers. Shortly, the other bartender, aubrey arrived and it was my first time working with her. We spent two hours setting up and it took us all of that to get ready for 150 guests to arrive.

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Bartender Aubrey waiting for action to start

People started filtering in and soon we were hit with waves and waves of people. We handled it well, and the only mishap of the evening was when a patron bumped into the bar and knocked over several full bottles of liquor. They shattered all over the floor and flooded the back of the bar with booze and broken glass. I scrambled to clean the mess up and was careful not to cut myself and the shards of broken bottles. We got through it, and continued pouring drinks until two in the morning. Santiago y su Groupo, a sixteen piece latin band provided live music and they were fantastic. The taco cart operated until 1am and I had a second helping of tacos around that time, which really hit the spot. We cleaned up the bar area and were out of there by 2:30 am in 2017.

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Happy New Year!

Bartender for Hire in Los Angeles

  • Provides portable bar if needed
  • Knows how to make a myriad of cocktails
  • Helps provide a drink menu and shopping list
  • Can provide multiple bartenders
  • Is ABC certified

Pre Rose Bowl/50th Birthday Party in Manhattan Beach

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Portable bar setup in Manhattan Beach

On Sunday, the Los angeles bartender for hire (me) went to Manhatten Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party/ Pre Rose Bowl party in Manhattan Beach. The birthday girl happened to be an alumni of Penn State, and Penn State happens to be playing against USC in the Rose Bowl this year. She had invited many Penn State alumni who have traveled here for the Rose Bowl. They were in town to party.

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Shots!

This party turned into a rager. DJ Logik provided the tunes, and people were break dancing and singing out loud at the top of their lungs. I was hustling, serving close to 100 people by myself. I served my spicy jalapeno margarita, which was once again, a hit. I heard one woman say, “These margaritas are so much better than the ones we had last night,” which made me feel good. Soho Taco served the food, and I have worked with them before at other events.
January looks pretty light so far for Shaken Not Stirred. I have events scheduled for Redondo Beach and San Marcos later this month, and I am sure I will pick up some more business before it is all over. January is generally a slow month as people are all partied out after the holiday season. There will likely be a few corporate events and birthday parties. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

Private Bartender at La Canada Christmas Party

22 Dec
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Private bartender selfie

 

Last night, for the third year in a row I served as the private bartender for a company Christmas party at a very nice home in La Canada. The host is a very successful real estate agent in the area and has a fantastic home for entertaining. He has a very nice little bar inside the house, and he has a great one outside as well, where we hold parties in the summer.

About 90 guests were in attendance and I served drinks that had real estate terms for names like the “Pocket Listing,” “Multiple Offers,” and “Just Sold.” I made my spicy jalapeno margarita mix and that was a hit as it usually is. I also served a lot of Johnny Walker Black, and made a holiday cranberry Old Fashioned. As a private bartender I have manned the bar at over 400 events, so by now I am comfortable behind any bar.

I can make a variety of cocktails with a few simple mixers. It is always good to have cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, Coke, Diet Coke, Seven Up, and bitters. For garnishes it is good to have limes, lemons, cherries, and olives. Mint, oranges, cranberries, cucumbers, and other garnishes are usually for specialty drinks. As a private bartender, I consult with hosts about the drink menu and shopping list. I can do all the shopping also, but charge an extra fee for that.

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La Canada on a cloudy day

Advantages of Hiring a Private Bartender

  • The hosts can enjoy themselves at the party
  • Bartender makes consistently good drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Bartender can monitor guests intoxication level
  • Host saves money on shopping list

Unless I book something else next week, this was my last holiday party of the season until New Year’s Eve. I am booked for NYE at a warehouse party in Downtown LA that should be interesting. On New Year’s Day I will return to Manhattan Beach to provide bartending service for a pre Rose Bowl/birthday party. I think 2017 is going to be a record year for Shaken Not Stirred, and look forward to serving many of my repeat customers and gaining a bunch of new ones.

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Shots!

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Hermosa Beach 30th Birthday Party

15 Nov
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Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach

Saturday I returned to my old home, Hermosa Beach to bartend a 30th birthday party. I just love Hermosa Beach and it is by far the best place to live in Los Angeles County- if you can afford to live there and don’t have to commute to the rest of the city. It is a little difficult to get in and out of, if you have to drive back and forth to LA. It is also a fantastic place to live if you are in your twenties, or just turning 30.

The birthday boy’s wife hired me to bartend the party and we came up with a drink menu and shopping list together. I made Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds. I keep making those drinks over and over again at parties, but they are very popular right now. An Old Fashioned is a very strong drink, and maybe that is why it is called an Old Fashioned. Strength is not often in style now days. Anyway, the guests seemed to like them.

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The Taco Guy Catering

I set up my portable bar in the backyard and The Taco Guy Catering set up across from me. This is the way it goes at most of these birthday parties – the hosts hire a bartender and a caterer so that they can enjoy themselves without having to run around serving everyone. I try to be of maximum service at every event I do so that the hosts can actually enjoy themselves and not have to worrry about the bar.

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Friends mingling at 30th birthday party

30th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Throw a backyard party
  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite friends and family
  • Create a theme

This week I have two corporate events at a company in Venice. I did an event for them last year with over two hundred guests and it went very well. I will be serving Pisco sours at one of the events and it is always fun making those. This weekend I will travel to Thousand Oaks to bartend a birthday party. Next week is Thanksgiving week and I had inquires about bartending jobs, but I am spending that day with family. Next month will be very busy with tons of holiday parties and many of them are on the weekdays. Happy holidays!

Villa Park Dinner Party

14 Oct
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Guests mingle for cocktail hour

One of my best clients called me to provide bartending service for a Wednesday night dinner party she and her husband were hosting at their home in Villa Park. Villa Park is a very nice upscale community near the city of Orange in Orange County. The dinner was a business event and 25 guests were invited. I was there to make cocktails before dinner and assist with serving the dinner.

I have said this before, but these clients have the best backyard bar I have ever worked at. It is well stocked with top shelf liquor, and is better equipped than many restaurant bars. It is a real pleasure to work from. I was serving Veuve Clicquot champagne and many of the guests drank that at cocktail hour. It is an exceptional brand of champagne. I made a few cocktails and the catering service, Jillian Fae Chef Services, put out some amazing appetizers, including oysters on the half shell, fresh scallops, and a wonderful spread of cheeses.

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Oysters on the halfshell at Villa Park dinner party

After the cocktail party the guests moved to their tables for a four course dinner. I poured wine and kept the cocktails coming, while a waiter from the catering company started serving the dinner. When I wasn’t busy pouring wine and making drinks, I helped the waiter serve the food and clear the plates. It is something I have quite a bit of experience doing, because I worked in fine dining for years. The chef put out an excellent dinner that included a pear salad, short ribs, and many other goodies.

Dinner Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Find a caterer to go with theme
  • Invite interesting guests

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    No cheap wine served in Villa Park

The dinner party in Villa Park was a big success because it was well planned and executed. Hopefully I will return there many more times. Tomorrow I will travel to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party, and then next weekend I am going to Sylmar to make drinks for a 70th surprise birthday party. Call are starting to come in for the holiday season and I booked two repeat holiday parties in November yesterday. There are still many dates left in December, but they will go fast.

Post Xmas Cocktail Party in Fontana

28 Dec
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Portable bar and table in Fontana

Saturday afternoon, I was sitting home with no bartending jobs scheduled until New Year’s Eve, when I got a call to bartend a cocktail party in Fontana, two days after Christmas. I live in the San Fernando Valley and Fontana (Inland Empire) is about 60 miles away, so I had to jump into action to get to the party on time. I was glad to get the job, because even though I have been very busy this holiday season, January is not looking so hot so far.

I made a quick shopping list for the host and emailed it to her. Most of the events I do involve way more planning than this, but last minute parties can still be successful. We didn’t really have time to plan any elaborate specialty drinks, but I have done enough parties to know what supplies are needed for a specific number of guests. I can guess pretty accurately how much ice, how many cups, how many bottles of wine, etc. will be needed. I have said many times, do not hesitate to call me last minute if you need a bartender.

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Hosts and guests enjoy Fontana cocktail party

I arrived in Fontana on time and set up my portable bar and table in the corner of the kitchen. The portable bar is three feet wide and the table is four feet long, so I roughly need a fifteen feet square foot area for my portable bar. I usually only charge $25 for the portable bar, because it is nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose, and I have used it on rooftops in Beverly Hills, and near the docks in Wilmington.

Cocktail Party Occasions

  • House Warming
    Celebrate a promotion
    Grand Openings
    Going away parties
    Client appreciation

The Fontana cocktail party was slow to get going, but had a big finish. Guests trickled in – after all it was the Saturday after Christmas, and most people in Southern California have at that point been going to various functions all month. The host had a beautiful grand player piano that certainly added a bit of class to the party, rather than the usual Pandora selections. It was if we had a concert pianist on hand for the party. I served wine, a few margaritas, and some vodka drinks. I think everybody had a great time, and it was a successful last minute cocktail party.

My next party scheduled for Shaken Not Stirred is on New Year’s Eve in Sherman Oaks, very close to home. I will be doing several prohibition era cocktails for that party. Last year I bartended a New Year’s Day party, which I got last minute, so maybe I will get another this year. January is pretty open, so please call me if you are planning a birthday party, wedding, or any kind of event in January.

Event Bartender Finishes November

30 Nov
View of Century City at dusk

View of Century City at dusk

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender service, finished the month of November with two big events. The first event was a Monday cocktail party at a luxurious apartment on the 15th floor of a Wilshire Boulevard high rise in Westwood. The second event of the week was a 50th birthday party held at a very nice HOA community building at a housing development in Valencia.

An event bartender has many different types of jobs, and I have experience doing all kinds of different parties, in all kinds of situations. The cocktail party in Westwood, was more about being a waiter than mixing drinks. The event was held in a stunning apartment full of amazing artwork, with a 180 degree view of West LA, Century City, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina. There were only 12 guests and my job was to keep their drinks full, mostly wine, hand out appetizers and clean up. Invisible service is called for in these situations. Some clients want the bartender to be the entertainment, and this was not one of those situations. The host asked me if I could also be a waiter at dinner parties, and I told him I can, because I have many years of fine dining experience. Some event bartenders don’t want to do food serving gigs, but I will do them, especially on weekdays.

West LA sunset

West LA sunset

Duties of an Event Bartender

  • Help host plan drink menu and shopping list
    Prepare garnishes, special mixers, etc.
    Setup and maintain bar
    Keep drinks iced and at proper temperatures
    Suggest drinks for guests
    Continuous cleanup of bar and surrounding areas
    Leave bar area as it was before

By Wednesday of last week I had nothing scheduled for Saturday night after Thanksgiving, but picked a party up Thursday morning. I spent Thanksgiving with family in Bakersfield, and then returned to Los Angeles to bartend the Saturday night party in Valencia. The host did not consult with me at all about a shopping list and drink menu, so I showed up not knowing really anything about the party or what they wanted to serve.

Hippie backdrop at 50th birthday party

Hippie backdrop at 50th birthday party

I set up my portable bar and saw what they had to serve and acted accordingly. They had rum and Pina Collada mix, and tequila with various margarita mixes. So, it was a blended drink night. I had my blender and made many blended drinks for the 50th birthday party. It was not a hard drinking crowd, but I think a good time was had by all.

Guests pose for a picture in Valencia

Guests pose for a picture in Valencia

This week starts off the December season of holiday parties. On Thursday I will bartend for a good repeat client at their office in Rancho Mirage. On Saturday I will bartend a holiday party close to home in Valley Village, which is also a repeat customer. I have many more holiday parties scheduled and during one week of December have five in a row. I do still have some dates open, so please call me if you need a bartender.

Newport Beach 50th Birthday Party

23 Aug
Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party. This was my third party I have done in Newport Beach, and I am becoming familiar with the area. The birthday boy’s wife hired me and arranged the party.  She wanted real glassware and I supplied white and red wine glasses, and beer glasses. I can provide most glassware rentals for $1 a glass.

I have done several 50th birthday parties. It is obviously an important milestone. I have said this before, any man or woman who has family throw a birthday party for them is truly blessed. This particular gentleman was very blessed and had a large nice group of friends and family surrounding him, and he was fortunate enough to have a great Orange County home to throw the party at.

I arrived early and set up my portable bar and table in the backyard. The host was serving  Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Heineken, Blue moon, and Corona. They didn’t have much for soft drinks, and I was only serving iced tea and water. Many of the kids were upset that there was no soda. I understand that many people believe soda is a horrible thing, but I usually stress to people when I consult with them to have more non alcoholic drink choices. Some lemonade, cranberry juice, or something.  They had nine different choices of alcoholic drinks available, and only 2 choices for non alcoholic drinks.

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

It is nice working with real glassware, but there is always breakage. I dropped one wine glass, and then  had to stop service and clean that up. This is also why I don’t recommend anyone use real glassware in a pool area. If a glass breaks and broken glass gets into the pool it becomes a real problem. Especially now, while the drought is going on. People cannot drain their pools and refill them, even if they want to.  Also, when using real glassware, it is important to have some disposable cups on hand to use when we run out of real glasses.

I got this job at the last minute; otherwise I would have had no event this weekend. I have two bartending events next weekend – one in downtown Los Angeles, and one in West Hollywood. Then I have events coming up in Desert Hot Springs, Temecula, Northridge, Coachella, and close to home in Sherman Oaks.  I will be aggressively seeking to fill any open slots in the coming months. I had some very good news this week – I was notified by Thumbtack that I had been chosen as the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015. I credit that to my habit of showing up early and trying to be of maximum service at all events I do. Also, I quickly respond to all correspondence from my clients. Being a good bar caterer is not brain surgery, but requires common sense.

50 candles put out a lot of heat

50 candles put out a lot of heat

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once