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Palm Springs Pool Party

9 Apr
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Palm Spring party pad

Palm Springs is probably the pool party capital of the world, and there are rental houses all over that town devoted to that. Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was in the house making cocktails for the host’s 40th birthday party at the Palm Springs party pad. This particular home is a six bedroom place with a very nice pool and outdoor bar.

New ordinances in Palm Springs ban outdoor music, which is kind of a buzz kill. Also, after 9pm guests can not make noise in the pool area. The hard partying ways of the old Palm Springs are a thing of the past with these new ordinances. I saw the signs posted near the bar area and I thought, what a bummer – regulations that limit fun? However, as the day went on, I kind of liked it – we are exposed to so much noise pollution all the time, it was kind of nice to just listen to the wind rustling through the trees.

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My bar station

I set up the bar out by the pool, and made several specialty drinks for the guests. I served my Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonics, Moscow Mules, Pimm’s Cup, and Manhattans. I also served different non alcoholic drinks for some of the guests. It was pretty windy, but not too hot. A great day for a pool party. When I bartend pool parties, I don’t just stand behind the bar and wait for guests to come to me. I take drink orders poolside.

Palm Springs Pool Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Use only plastic cups
  • Get some interesting floaties
  • Clothing optional
  • Keep the music inside your head

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    Pool party in progess with balloon arch

Some of the guests surprised the birthday boy with a balloon vendor. Baloony Tunes of Cathedral City came and setup a balloon arch for photo ops. Like I said, it was fairly windy, so that presented a problem for the balloon display, but it lasted long enough for the guests to get some cool photos. As I was finishing up for the day a private chef, Sarena Nelson was preparing the big birthday dinner. She looks very talented and hopefully I will work with her again.

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Strict new rules for Palm Springs

This weekend I get to stay close to home and will be bartending a private event in Westwood. I have other events in the LA area later this month. Next month will be very busy with graduation parties, weddings, and birthday parties. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

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Three Day Wedding Event at the Galvan Estate

4 Apr
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Father walks bride to her wedding at the Galvan Estate

Last weekend I provided bartending services for three days at the Galvan Estate in Palm Springs. I arrived on Thursday night to bartend the rehearsal dinner, showed up again Friday for the wedding, and then wound up the weekend bartending the pool party on Saturday. It was my third time doing an event at the beautiful Galvan estate.

The hosts of the wedding were from Winnipeg, Canada, and most of the guests had either flown in or driven from there. They say it a 33 hour drive from Palm Springs to Winnipeg. Westjet offers direct flights to Palm Springs from various destinations in Canada. As I am learning, Palm Springs is a favorite destination for Canadians. One of the guests at this event flew all the way from Thailand.

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Guests mingle in bar area

The rehearsal dinner was a breeze and I served a lot of red and white wine, beer, and simple mixed drinks. The next day for the wedding, I brought in an extra helper. We made two signature drinks for the arriving wedding guests. So I made 40 drinks in about fifteen minutes before the ceremony. Later we prepared just as many glasses of champagne for the toast. Everything was smooth sailing from then on.

Galvan Estate Wedding

  • Heated pool
  • Large wet bar outside
  • Another bar inside
  • Large area for ceremony
  • Big outside dining area
  • Gas barbecue grill

For the pool party we had a keg, and I served blended margaritas. It was a very nice crowd to serve for three days, and everybody seemed to have a good time. I had another wedding going on in Lake View Terrace that night, and I send another bartender to do that one. Once the pool party was over I drove back to LA and stopped by that wedding to help out a bit.

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Groom and groomsmen share cigars

This weekend I am returning to Palm Springs to bartend an all day pool party. I have events coming up later this month in Westwood, Brentwood, and Stevenson Ranch. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

Santa Monica Showcase and Mountain View Retreat Wedding

26 Mar
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Back to the Future car at Virtual Reality showcase.

Shaken Not Stirred had another busy weekend – first bartending a showcase event in Santa Monica on Friday, and then doing a wedding at the Mountain View Retreat in La Quinta on Saturday. I made hundreds of drinks at the two events and served several cases of alcohol. I guess I got my practice in, because I’m gearing up for a three day wedding event I have this coming weekend in Palm Springs.

The showcase event was held at a historic building in Santa Monica which is now home to The Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom. They showcase new forms of virtual reality there. I was too busy to check out any of their demonstrations, but it all looked very cool. I brought another bartender with me and we worked two separate bars, serving over 200 people.

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Guests mingle in back lot

Karma Tequila provided the tequila for the event and we also served the new light beer from Corona – Corona Premier, with only 90 calories. Guests said it was pretty good. They had a couple of food trucks pulls into the back parking lot to serve the grub, and they had a DJ on the scene. We served completely out of tequila and most of the beer by the time the night was through.

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Shots!

The next morning I had to get up bright and early and head out to La Quinta, 120 miles away. I was not only bartending a wedding that night, but I had to do all the shopping too. It is an extra service I provide and charge extra for, but in some cases the host wants that convenience. I preordered most of the alcohol from Bevmo, and it was all waiting for me in La Quinta when I got there. The rest of the supplies I bought at Smart and Final, including the ice.

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Wedding ceremony at Mountain View Retreat

The wedding was held at the Mountain View Retreat, where I have bartended before. I set up my portable bar and table under a veranda beside the pool. The ceremony was very nice and then the cocktail hour began. I handled 75 guests by myself just fine, though the line got long at times. I served spicy jalapeno margaritas, and a lot of vodka drinks. We ran out of vodka and bourbon  toward the end and the wedding planner went and bought more.

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Guests mingle by the pool

This coming weekend I am returning the Palm Springs to bartend a three day weddding event. Thursday is the rehearsal dinner, Friday the wedding, and then there is a pool party on Saturday. I will be bartending all three events, so it should be a fun weekend. Please follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already.

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Shots!

Maxwell House Wedding

12 Mar
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Historic Maxwell House in Pasadena

Last month I provided bartending service at a Maxwell House wedding in Pasadena. I am delayed in writing this blog post, but thought that I should because it is such a nice venue. The Maxwell House is a historic building in an old neighborhood in Pasadena, and you couldn’t find a more picturesque setting for a wedding. I hope to return to the Maxwell House many more times in the future.

The groom who hired me was the brother of another client we provided bartending services for. It is always nice to get repeat business.  My son actually bartended the first wedding party, so this was my first time meeting the brothers and the family. I spoke to the groom many times by email and phone planning the bar menu and shopping list.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

I served a variety of drinks including a cucumber gin and tonic, the classic, Fleur di Paradis cocktail, and a rum hot toddy. Surprisingly, the Maxwell House does not have a fixed bar in place, so I set up my portable bar and table in the library of the historic home.

Maxwell House Wedding Pluses

  • Close to the 210 and 134 freeways
  • Picturesque and private setting
  • Large kitchen and dining room
  • Beautiful main room for ceremony
  • Nice courtyard

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    Bride and bridesmaids

I usually like to give props to the caterers, but I misplaced the caterers card and can’t recall their name, but they did a fantastic job. The Maxwell House has a great kitchen and two large dining room areas. They also have a great courtyard, which I’m sure gets utilized more in the summer.

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Maxwell House dining room

I have been remiss in updating this blog, but I have done many events recently including weddings, birthday parties, and rehearsal dinners.  It is the season for many events in the Palm Springs area, and I am doing several weddings out there in the coming weeks. Late this week I am doing a large corporate event in Culver City, a cocktail party in Huntington Beach, and a cocktail party in Palm Desert. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Mission Hills 40th Birthday Party

21 Feb
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A Bay Breeze waits to go out

Saturday night I bartended a 40th birthday party in Mission Hills. This was the third party I have provided bartending service for this large family. It is always nice to have repeat business and referrals. This was just the kind of party I love to do – around 60 guests in the backyard.

I set up my portable bar and table next to the garage. I served Margaritas, Palomas, and the Bay Breeze, and Moscow Mules. We had a good selection of beers, also, including Blue Moon, 805, Stella, Corona, and Pacifico. I think 805 won the battle of the beers at this party. It is always nice to have two or three beer choices.

I didn’t get the name of the taco vendors, but they had a great selection of tacos, tortas, and burritos. Many taco vendors don’t offer the option of tortas, and burritos, so that is always nice. The weather was perfect for a backyard 40th birthday party, and it was the last nice night before this current cold snap.

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Birthday girl and family at 40th Birthday Party

40th Birthday Party Ideas:

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Make a photo backdrop
  • Play great music
  • Invite a cross section of people

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    Shots!

February has been somewhat slow for Shaken Not Stirred, as it usually is, so I am glad that March is looking to be very busy. Wedding season kicks into high gear and I already have three weddings scheduled in March. This weekend I’m going to Palm Springs on Friday for a cocktail party, return to Redondo Beach on Saturday for a birthday party, and then to Tarzana on Sunday for another birthday party. If you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do.

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Sisters and friends

 

West Hills Surprise Birthday Party

13 Feb
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West Hills, CA

Saturday night I traveled across the San Fernando Valley to bartend a surprise birthday party in West Hills. A proud father planned the event for his son’s 25th birthday party, and I think the event went off exactly as planned – the son was genuinely surprised and touched, and everybody had a great time. I always like doing surprise parties, and as I have said before anybody who gets one thrown for them, is truly blessed.

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Guests anxiously waiting

I have been neglecting this blog since the busy holiday season, and it’s time to get back to basics. I built my business up with internet marketing and now that I am getting many referrals and much repeat business, I have gotten lazy about doing the things that made my business successful in the first place. Since I started Shaken Not Stirred, I have completed close to 500 private events.

This surprise birthday party was held at the family’s brand new home in West Hills at the far northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. The house was located at the end of a cul de sac and my first comment to the host was, “He’s going to see all these cars here and will immediately know what’s going on.” Naturally the host had already thought of that. I unloaded my portable and bar and moved my car back up the street, as all the guests were instructed to do.

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Don Julio 1942

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

  • Plan a diversion to fool the guest of honor
  • Invite a wide range of people
  • Hire a bartender
  • Serve great food
  • Play great music

I set up my portable bar in the backyard and the guests started arriving about 5pm. The guest of honor was due to arrive at 5:30. He was told they were going to dinner in Beverly Hills. Everyone got into place and the birthday boy arrived right on time and got the surprise of his life. By the way, the guest of honor is a pro football player for the Arizona Cardinals. He was truly touched, and his father was so proud. I served simple mixed drinks to around fifty drinks and everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

February tends to be my slowest month of the year.  So far I only have one event scheduled for this week on Saturday in Mission Hills. Next week I will go to Palm Springs on Friday, and then turn right around to do a birthday party in Redondo Beach on Saturday. March is very busy with several weddings already scheduled all over the place. I will be doing a lot of traveling in March. Please follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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Venice Corporate Event

Shaken Not Stirred had its best holiday season to date and so far in December we have completed 21 events, with two parties still to go. When I first started doing this blog, I would write one blog post for every event I did and that has gotten harder and harder to do as I do multiple events in one week. It has a been a hectic season, and I am a little relieved that it is over, but as far as I know, all of our clients were happy and there were no major problems.

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My son bartending in Hollywood

My goal this year for the month of December was that I would save as many dates as possible for repeat customers and referrals. For the most part I did that. I had great repeat customers book parties in Valley Village, Hollywood, Venice, San Clemente, Silver Lake, Van Nuys, Reseda, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley. I didn’t have to travel too far, with San Clemente being the furthest I went during the month of December. I picked up some great new clients in Simi Valley, Hermosa Beach, Santa Clarita, and Moorpark. I am probably forgetting someone, but will remember them later.

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Casino themed holiday party 

I had multiple bartenders, including, Tanner, Edie, Matt, Melanie, Thomas, and Will helping me. Some of the bartenders went out and completed gigs on their own and I got great feedback from all of my clients. We literally served thousands of cocktails over the course of the month. We went through gallons and gallons of vodka, whiskey, and tequila. We emptied cases and cases of wine and beer.

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Reseda Christmas party

Highlights included the big casino night in Venice, the annual Christmas party in Hollywood for the Better Call Saul production company, the Spacex launch, and numerous wonderful home parties, food, drink, and music. I sampled all kinds of fantastic food, from tacos, prime rib, pork belly, steaks, and many ethnic delicacies.

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Venice Christmas Party

This weekend marks the final chapter for Shaken Not Stirred in 2017. Saturday I will drive to Huntington Beach to bartend a 40th birthday party/whiskey tasting. On Sunday, I get to stay in the San Fernando Valley for New Year’s Eve – I will be doing a NYE party in Sherman Oaks. Looking forward to a great New Year and already have several dates booked in January, February, and March.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark