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Event Bartender Covers Wide Territory of Southern California

5 Mar
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Guests enjoy view in Hermosa Beach

Friday and Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender covered Southern California from the mountains to the sea. On Friday, I bartended a surprise birthday party on the rooftop of a Hermosa Beach office building with an amazing view and then on Saturday I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend another wedding at the Galvan Estate. I also dispatched another bartender to bartend a fundraiser in Tarzana.

I lived in Hermosa Beach for years and I always love to return there. I was hired to bartend this surprise party by a guest from another party I did recently. The 50th surprise birthday party was held on the rooftop of a new office complex on Pier Avenue just a block from my old apartment. It was a very nice day in Hermosa Beach for a rooftop party. I had limited time to set up, but with the help of the host, made it no problem.

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Hermosa Beach at dusk

Southern California Event Bartender

  • Covers all counties in Southern California
  • Provides bartending for weddings
  • Birthday parties and corporate events
  • Provides portable bar

I poured Cadillac Margaritas and Moscow Mules for approximately 30 guests. The birthday boy was surprised and pleased when he stepped onto the deck and saw his friends and family members waiting with a taco cart, bartender, and photo booth. Guac Taco provided the taco catering. It was a very nice evening and I think a memorable one for the guest of honor to mark his 50th birthday milestone.

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Father escorts bride at Galvan Estate wedding

On Saturday I drove out to Palm Springs to bartend a wedding reception. I was surprised at how green the area was after all the rain. I have never seen it that green before. I thought I recognized the address, and sure enough it was the Galvan Estate, where I have bartended before. It is a great place to throw a wedding. This particular wedding had about 100 guests and I made simple mixed drinks for the crowd and poured a lot of shots for the members of the wedding party.

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Staff from Fusion Flair prepares to serve first course

Fusion Flair of Palm Springs provided the catering, and they served up some excellent sea bass and filets. I will return to Palm Springs again next weekend to bartend a cocktail party, and then have events scheduled for the cities of Walnut, Brea, Oak Park, and Indian Wells later this month. As an event bartender I get to meet all kinds of great people and travel to some beautiful places in Southern California.

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Shots!

Bar Catering at Two Culver City Holiday Parties

19 Dec
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Keg at Culver City holiday party

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at two separate company holiday parties in Culver City. It’s funny that both companies seemed to be closed related as to what they did – all things digital, had similar guests, and were less than a mile from each other. These were the first parties I have bartended at in Culver City since being in business.

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Shots!

On Thursday it was raining throughout Los Angeles, and we all know what that means – horrible traffic and massive delays. In Culver City it was even worse. I got down into the area way early and I worked out at LA Fitness. I finished my workout two hours before I was supposed to arrive at the party. My GPS said I was 2.2 miles away from the location. It took me ONE HOUR to drive 2.2 miles in Culver City traffic. On top of that my phone was about to die and my car charger wasn’t working. I was sweating, thinking that is my phone died, I would not know the address, contacts phone numbers or anything. I finally made it to the location and my phone died minutes later. The moral of this story is that I must keep a printed map of the location, directions, and contact phone numbers on all jobs.

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DJ Randy Rollog and assistant

Randy Rollog (310) 621-3051 provided DJ service for the Thursday night event. He played Christmas music and then slowly switched it up to hip hop. He has a good setup, and I hope I can toss some business his way. I have been looking for a reliable DJ I can work with.

Bar Catering Services

  • Provide a physical portable bar
  • Staff bartenders and cocktail servers
  • Consultation about drink menu and shopping list
  • Create craft cocktails
  • Beer, wine, and non alcoholic beverage service
  • Weddings, corporate events, private parties

The second night, Friday, I had the larger of the two holiday parties in Culver City. I brought another bartender with me and we set up two bars – one outside the location and one inside the kitchen at the facility. I manned the outside bar where they had the stage setup for a live band. The other bartender held down the fort in side. We served over 100 guests. The Goldsoundz provided the live music, including classic and alternative rock. They had two food trucks doing the catering, but I was too busy to get their information

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Digital DJ at Culver City Event

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Shots!

These two holiday parties were some of the last of the holiday season. The next night I provided bar catering at a December wedding in Northridge. I have a Christmas party in LA Canada later this week, and then a New Year’s Eve party, and a New Year’s day party, and then the holiday season will be officially over. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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More Shots!

Five Special Events in SoCal

30 May

Shaken Not Stirred closed out the month of May with five big special events throughout Southern California this week. I am dog tired and sore as I write this, as I served literally hundreds of drinks in the past few days – maybe even thousands. Yesterday alone I served four cases of tequila and a case of whiskey. Today is Memorial Day and I am taking it easy, but if somebody calls me last minute I will probably put on my bartender cape.

Brea Corporate Event

The first event of the week was a corporate event in Brea. I am not sure what the occasion was, but we served drinks to 200 people in the back lot of the company headquarters. We used the drink dispensers to pour margaritas, which saves alot of time. Two bartenders are needed to serve 200 people. Mariachi Sabor De Mi Tierra provided the mariachis. They had a three different food trucks serving up the food.My associate, Mia Martini helped me out, and we worked well together as always.

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Cocktail waitress at Brea event

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Guests mingle in makeshift food court

El Segundo Corporate Event

The following night I traveled to El Segundo to help Mia Martini with one of her gigs. Once again it was a corporate event on a weeknight (I love those). The company that hosted the event was a 3D printing company that manufactures parts for the aerospace industry. Their equipment is quite fascinating and I’m sure this company has a bright future. The caterer did not show up and when the host called him, he apparently had the date wrong. The hosts scrambled and ordered pizzas and a local El Segundo restaurant stepped up and delivered 50 pizzas and salads within an hour. This is one of my worst nightmares that I mix up a date and miss an event. That isa why I always confirm a week in advance, and again the day before.

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Mia Martini in El Segundo

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A Hurricane hits El Segundo

Alexandria Ballroom Wedding

On Saturday night my son and I bartended a wedding at the historic Alexandria Ballroom in downtown LA. The ballroom has hosted presidents and dignitaries like Winston Churchill in the past. Once again, we were serving 200 people. The plan was to have a whole bunch of drinks already poured so the people could just grab them when they came out of the wedding ceremony. I poured a bunch of red wines and was waiting to start pouring the cold drinks until fifteen minutes before the end of the ceremony. Well, the ceremony ended 20 minutes early and we were faced with a wall of people wanting drinks. We handled it. Maxim Restaurant provided the catering and they had many delicious Russian specialties.

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My son bartending at Alexandria Ballroom

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Guests mingle at Alexandria Ballroom

Palos Verdes Wine Tasting

On Sunday afternoon, I traveled to my old stomping grounds in Palos Verdes Estates to pour wine for Jaques at Le Rive Gauche. He put out a spread of appetizers and charged people $20 a head to taste several French wines. It was a great deal and I think all of the people attending certainly got their money’s worth. He had two red Bordeaux, a white Bordeaux, a Grenache, a Champagne, and two Cotes Du Rhone reds. The Grenache, a rose wine seemed create the most attention.

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Le Rive Gauche, Palos Verdes Estates

Santa Monica Wrap Party

I had to quickly transition from the wine tasting and hustle over to Santa Monica to bartend a wrap party. I had to buy the ice and supplies and deliver it to the house where the party was taking place. The house was on PCH and had a weird address. The GPS kept directing me to this parking lot by the beach. If I left that parking lot, it took me twenty minutes to turn around and go back on PCH. I was a few minutes late and had to pack all the supplies around the back of the house through the sand. I barely had gotten setup when guests started arriving. I served 120 people by myself for five hours straight. I was so busy I didn’t have time to ask the name of film that they were wrapping or what is is about.  Needless to say, I am tired today after five special events in one week..

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Portable bar at beachside wrap party

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The wrap party just getting started in Santa Monica

Next weekend I will be bartending a birthday party in Stevenson Ranch on Friday, and then have a wedding party in Eagle Rock on Saturday, and my son will be doing a wedding party by himself in Sierra Madre also on that day.

 

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.

Team Building in Santa Barbara

25 Apr
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Cruise ship off the Santa Barbara Pier

On Sunday I participated in a team building event at a writer’s retreat in beautiful Santa Barbara. I have done bartending presentations and “classes” on how to make cocktails, but this was my first team building event. It was a great experience for me, and I think for the other participants, and I hope to more of these types of events in the future.

A major literary agency from New York hired me to facilitate the event. The participants, all leading writers with the agency were to create their own special cocktail with my help. I made a shopping list of bar basics and fresh ingredients for the participants to use as building blocks for their new creation. I chose  tequila, rum, vodka, and bourbon as the bases. Simple syrup, bitters, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh pineapple juice, strawberries, cucumbers, and mint leaves made up the rest of the ingredients, along with some club soda and tonic water.

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Ingredients for team building cocktail fest

Purpose of Team Building

  • Bind the group
  • Align goals
  • Establish leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Accomplish goals

I explained that I can make several different types of margaritas, daiquiris, sour drinks, and tropical drinks with just those ingredients. The participants came up with a orange mojito as the ice breaker drink. I made those for all of the participants and that got the ideas flowing. The participants finally agreed on a bourbon sour made with bourbon, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and a dash of bitters with a twist garnish. Everyone agreed it was delish.

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Team building facilitators at Los Arboles Ranch

I notice when I do these types of things, certain participants quickly establish dominance. Just like with jury duty, a leader usually self appoints. Those participants who don’t speak up will end up going along with whatever the others decide. Maybe that is part of the reason companies do these type of things, to quickly see who the leaders and followers are. I doubt that was the case here, since we were only doing cocktails. As I always say, it’s not brain surgery

The event was held at Los Aboles Ranch in Santa Barbara. This was a fantastic location for a retreat, in a great area. It doesn’t look like much from the front, but wait until you get back into the compound – a perfect mix of privacy and luxury. Vallefresh of Santa Barbara provided the catering. I hope to return again.

 

Hancock Park School Event

25 Apr
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Bahama Mama at Hancock Park School Event

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services for a school event Saturday night at a private home in Hancock Park. The function was an annual event parents and faculty members of a well known private school in Los Angeles. There were about fifty guests in attendance, and I served drinks as a full moon rose above Los Angeles. Schools organizations often hold events like this so that parents and faculty members can get to know one another, and as fundraisers.

I worked with one of the hosts to make a drink menu and shopping list. I served Bahama Mamas and margaritas. Bahama Mamas are similar to a Mai Tai, and are often served on cruise ships. I remember first trying that drink abord a day cruise from Miami to Freeport, Bahamas. Let me tell you – the drinks go down way too easy and they sneak up on you.

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Friends stop for photo in Hancock Park

The catering was provided by Bamboo and they served up some excellent Yukatan chicken, fried plantains and other Caribbean goodies. I love tacos, but they serve them at almost every party I do, and it is nice to see some variety of cuisine at the private events in Los Angeles. There is so much to choose from, when it comes to food in this city.

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Parents and faculty members at Hancock Park School Event

School Event in Los Angeles

  • Alumni events
  • Fundraisers
  • Mixers
  • Awards ceremonies

Once I finished the Hancock Park school event, I had to prepare for a team building event I had in Santa Barbara on Sunday. This week I will be bartending at an art fair in Venice on Friday, and then will be doing a repeat performance in Eagle Rock, for a birthday party. May 7th is still open, and then it gets busy with many graduation parties and weddings in May and June.

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Full moon over Los Angeles

Two Coachella Valley Events

28 Feb
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Beautiful Day in the Coachella Valley

 

This weekend, Shaken not Stirred provided bartending services at two Coachella Valley events. On Friday night, I traveled to Indio to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner, and then on Saturday I bartended a backyard wedding in Palm Springs. I really like doing these parties in the Palm Springs area, because many of these rental houses have very nice backyard bars, and that was the case at both of these events.

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Guests mingling in Indio

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Self Serve Margarita station

The house in Indio was just blocks away from where the annual music festival at Coachella is held. It had a very nice backyard bar. I was serving to 150 people by myself. The way that was done is that I made a big batch of margaritas and set it out in a beverage dispenser, along with ice, limes, cups and oranges, and the guests self served. They also self served beer. I made a few other cocktails and it worked out great. I will remember that, when somebody wants one bartender for a large group like that.

The future groom was from Maine, and many of his family members had traveled all the way across the country to attend the wedding. For them, the weather in Palm Springs was a treat. It is always nice meeting people from different parts of the world and country. Everyone has their different tradtions when it comes to cocktails. In this case – the Maine Margarita featured tequila, margarita mix, fresh oranges, and Coors Light.

Coachella Valley Events

  • Palm Springs
  • Indio
  • Palm Desert
  • La Quinta
  • Indian Wells
  • Coachella
  • Cathedral City
  • Rancho Mirage

On Saturday, I went to a house in Palm Springs to bartend the backyard wedding. Many of these guests had either traveled from Phoenix or Oregon to attend. This was a smaller group of 60 people , which is the perfect size for one bartender. I made Moscow Mules, and Old Fashioneds.  Goodfella’s Tacos provided catering, and that was the second time in a month I ran in top them. I must say, their fish tacos are out of this world.  I have a new Palm Springs Yelp page and I need to get some reviews on there from my Coachella Valley events.

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Backyard wedding in Palm Springs

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Goodfella’s Tacos doing their thing

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The bride displays food and drink

Today the Academy Awards take place in Hollywood. I have bartended Oscar parties before, but have nothing booked for today. If something comes up last minute, I will do it. Next weekend I am going to Santa Clarita to bartend a 60th birthday party with a James Bond them, and then the following weekend will be doing two events in Santa Barbara.