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Bartender for Hire Does Three Weekend Events

27 Jun
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Portable bar in Pacific Palisades

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire had a busy weekend and did three fantastic events over the weekend. Friday night I bartended a short cocktail hour at a beautiful home in Pacific Palisades, on Saturday I did a wedding south of downtown Los Angeles, and then on Sunday I drove out to Mentone to bartend a baby shower. I met a lot of great people and served a whole lot of drinks.

Pacific Palisades Cocktail Party

I set up my portable bar and the back deck that had a great view of the Santa Monica Bay and mountains. The host told me that she has regular get togethers with a few of her friends, and this was the perfect place to do it. We were going to serve martinis and margaritas, but the guests only ended up drinking margaritas. For small parties, I make margaritas with tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and Cointreau, with a salt rim. This was a big hit with this crowd, and I didn’t make a single martini. The two hours went quickly, and I was on my way back home.

South Los Angeles Wedding

On Saturday, the bartender for hire drove to South Los Angeles to bartend a wedding, that was booked months ago. Many brides book their weddings up to a year in advance. I usually don’t like to bid on jobs that far in advance, but often book them six months in advance. Then I help plan the drink menu and shopping list. I arrived at the home where the wedding was being held, and they had a tent setup in the back yard. Nobody was around and everybody was at a different location at the ceremony. I guessed where to set up the bar and I started preparing for the wedding.

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Bridesmaids huddle in South LA

The DJ, Ed Deejay Entertainment  arrived and they set up their photo booth, and DJ equipment. Event pros instinctively know what to do, and usually don’t need a lot of instruction from the hosts. In this case we were there a full two hours setting up before the hosts arrived and everything worked out just fine. Finally the party got going and I made Mojitos, Palomas, and other drinks for a full eight hours.

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Shots!

Bartender for Hire Essentials

  • Has a portable bar and table
  • Provides coolers, ice bins, and shakers
  • Is ABC certified
  • Helps with bar menu and shopping list
  • Knows how to make a variety of drinks

Mentone Baby Shower

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Portuguese American Club in Mentone

Sunday I drove to Mentone to bartend a baby shower at the Portuguese American Club. Mentone is a small town north of Redlands in San Bernardino County. The Portuguese American Club is a very nice old style venue with a nice bar. I set up the bar as the host set up several coolers with soft drinks, water and beer. Dad’s Tacos and Burritos did the catering they cooked the meat outside where it was a toasty 108. Instaglam provided the photo booth, and the DJ emceed several fun games for the guests. The host hired me for his Halloween party and gave me a deposit on the spot. I have several events coming up, including Ventura, Chino, San Diego, Sylmar, Villa Park, Rolling Hills, and Thousands Oaks. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do so.

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.

Rolling Hills Estates High School Graduation Party

13 Jun
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Scenic Rolling Hills Estates

Last Saturday I drove to the South Bay to bartend a high school graduation party in scenic Rolling Hills Estates. Of course, high school graduates are not yet of drinking age, but I served the graduates soft drinks, and mixed harder stuff for their parents and older siblings. The party took place at a very nice property, with a well stocked home bar.

I made Old Fashioneds, Dry Martinis, Margaritas, and Mojitos for approximately sixty guests. This was a much different party than the one I attended when I graduated high school. Ours was in a garage and we had a keg of beer and we all got really drunk. That was a different time and place over thirty years ago. These high school graduates are going off the universities like Tulane, and USC next year.

The host makes his own wine from grapes he grows himself on his property. I forget the name of the grape he uses, but I had never heard of it before. I decanted a couple of bottles and the guests loved it. He even has his own stylish labels on the bottles. He also makes Grappa, and limoncello.

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Home made wine from Rolling Hills

Graduation Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Invite the parents
  • Play great music

The party went on until midnight and they had a dance floor setup in the living room. It was a very nice graduation party, and I’m sure the graduates will always have fond memories of it. I met some good people who took my card and I hope they will call me for future jobs. I have a long history in the South Bay and I always enjoying back there.

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Home bar at Rolling Hills

Tomorrow I am doing a junior high graduation party in Encino. I will make virgin drinks for approximately 40 kids. I have done a few non alcoholic events. This coming Saturday I will drive out the Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal party. I have other events later this month in Los Angeles and in Oxnard. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
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Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

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“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

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Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

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Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

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Shots waiting for drinkers

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
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Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

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Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

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Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

A Bunch of Events, New Orleans, and Fractured Ribs

27 May
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Famous Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans

Today is the first day I have felt like sitting at a desk and writing since returning from my trip from New Orleans and recovering from fractured ribs. I visited New Orleans for the first time last week and had an accident falling out of the hotel shower where I fractured my ribs. I returned to LA and have been laid up in severe pain this entire week – I finally feel much better today, but am not 100 percent. Shaken Not Stirred was very busy the week before I left on my trip, and I have even done a couple events since I’ve been back and haven’t written about any of them on this blog.

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Interior, Maple Leaf Bar

The week before I left on my trip I did five big events. I bartended an alumni event in Burbank, did a bris celebration in Studio City, traveled to Indian Wells to bartend a rehearsal dinner for Goodfella’s Tacos, drove back to Castaic to bartend a graduation party, and then on Sunday bartended a Mother’s Day party in Woodland Hills. I left for New Orleans the next morning. That was one of my busiest weeks since I started the company.

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Alumni event, Burbank

I went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my friend, Jason Ricci. He is one of the best harmonica players in the world today. My accident happened on the day before the wedding. I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, but was in so much pain, had to leave shortly after and missed the big jam session at the famous Maple Leaf Bar where the wedding party was held. I was very disappointed about that. Despite my accident, I loved the city and people of New Orleans, and will return for sure. The food is incredible, and we Yankees could all learn a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

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Indian Wells Rehearsal Dinner 

The flight back was excruciating with broken ribs, and had not the nice lady sitting next to me given me a Vicodin, I can imagine the plane having to land in Nashville or somewhere because I was moaning so much. I returned on Thursday and had two upcoming gigs on Saturday and Sunday that I had no idea how I was going to complete. I could not bend down, turn my body, or lift anything above four pounds without wincing in pain.

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Mariachis perform at Castaic graduation party

I called some other bartenders and tried to get somebody to take my gigs, but could not find anybody on short notice. I decided to get a friend to help me and I could sit on a stool and mix drinks. I will never cancel a gig I have taken a deposit for, and will to the best of my ability get the job done. My friend drove me to Fontana and we got the job done and I bartended a birthday party for 60 people. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

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Shots!

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Irvine Graduation Party 

The next day we turned around and drove to Irvine to bartend a graduation party of 100 people. Once again, we got the job done, and I couldn’t have done it without my friend, Steve, who had no previous bartending experience. While we were doing that gig, I had three other bartenders doing a fundraiser event in Beverly Hills, which came off very well I have heard.

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Guests enjoy cigars at Fontana birthday party

I spend all of last week laying around letter my ribs heal. I went to the doctor and got xrays and at least three ribs are fractured. I have several events already scheduled for this month, but am not taking on any new ones until I am completely healed. Tonight I am bartending a birthday party in Santa Monica, and my friend is coming along to help me. Next week I am doing a birthday party close to home in Van Nuys. Hopefully, by next month I will be fully recovered and ready to roll for the summer party and wedding season.

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Injured bartender in Fontana

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…