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First Three Holiday Parties in December

6 Dec
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Vine Street in December

I have 25 holiday parties scheduled so far for December, and still have some open dates available. The Christmas decorations are up and Santa even made an appearance at a December 1, company party. So, far, so good for the first three and only 22 more to go and I’m sure I will pick up more. New Year’s eve is still available and I’m holding off trying to book that, and am waiting to see if one of my repeat customers wants to do a party that night.

Woodland Hills Company Party

An engineering firm in Warner Center had their company Christmas party on December first at their company office. They had an island in the center of the office that worked perfectly as a makeshift bar. I provided glassware rentals. I can get any kind of glassware rentals my clients want. One thing that I have found, is that the guests attending parties don’t really care and are perfectly fine drinking out of plastic cups. It is nice to have real wine glasses on occasion and especially real martini glasses.

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Santa sitting on my lap

I made cucumber mint Moscow mules, and cranberry Old Fashioneds for the guests at this party. They hired a taco caterer to come and make tacos, but one thing they didn’t think about is that you can’t make tacos for 40 people inside an enclosed office space. The smoke will set the sprinklers off. They quickly came to a solution and the taco man setup on the roof of the building and brought the finished product down to serve.

Simi Valley Christmas Party

The second of December found me in Simi Valley at the home of a repeat client. They really go all out for Christmas and put up extensive decorations. They have a very nice bar inside their home and it is a pleasure to work from. I served martinis and other holiday themed cocktails to approximately 80 guests. They had a DJ and the hosts and guests danced up a storm. They brought in food from Simi Valley restaurant, Viva La Pasta.

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Christmas decorations on Simi Valley home

The host told me they may have another party before the month if over. I still have the 22cnd of the 23rd available. I am booked on Christmas Eve. December is always my busiest month and it usually slows down considerably in January. All the bartending companies will be competing for morsels until the wedding season starts again in March.

Hollywood Holiday Party

Last night I traveled to Hollywood for the third annual company holiday party of a television production company. This company has a hit television series going on its fourth season, so they have much to celebrate. They usually have over two hundred guests so that keeps two bartenders very busy for four hours.

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Hollywood company party

Pink Taquiza catered the tacos. My son helped me and we served a Pomegranate Moscow Mule. I premixed a big batch to save time serving and that worked out well. The signature cocktail was a hit and we served out of it by the end of the night. Tomorrow I have a corporate holiday event in Culver City. Friday night I am sending multiple bartenders out to locations in Hermosa Beach, and Silverlake, while I bartend a party in San Clemente. One Saturday I return to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a holiday party, and then on Sunday I go to Manhattan Beach to bartend a party for the Christmas fireworks show. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

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Fontana White Wedding

29 Nov
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DJ dancing with kids

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a White Wedding in Fontana. I did much planning with the bride over the past few weeks about the drink menu and the shopping list. This is all a part of my service, and weddings go much smoother when the hosts take advantage of this. Saturday’s wedding went well because it was well planned, and well executed.

The wedding in Fontana was the first “white wedding” I have participated in and the bride requested that I wear all white also. All the guests were dressed in white and the decor was mostly white. This creates a very nice atmosphere, and the bride’s mother said that it represented purity. The bride and groom were of Nigerian heritage, so the customs that apply to that culture were in place.

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Guests dressed in white

I served Margaritas and simple mixed drinks to approximately 60 guests. The DJ played a lot of African music and it was a nice departure from the usual played out tunes that are played at almost every wedding. I swear, I do not want to ever hear “YMCA” played again, but I’m sure I will probably hear it again at the next wedding I do.

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Bride and groom at white wedding

White Wedding Characteristics

  • Bride and groom dress in white
  • Groomsmen and bridesmaids dress in white
  • Guests and vendors are suggested to dress in white
  • Flowers, linens, and decor in white

I do many events in the Inland Empire and this is the fourth time I have been out there in two months. I like going out to the IE and the people are always super friendly. November is almost over and the busiest month of the year for a bartending service is December. So far I have 22 events scheduled for the month of December, and I’m sure I will pick up a few more. I saved the month for my repeat clients, and most of the jobs I have scheduled are for repeat clients and referrals, which make me feel very good.  New Year’s Eve is still available. Please follow us on Instagram, if you haven’t already.

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Guests pose for a picture

Diamond Bar Center Wedding, Part Four

22 Nov
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Outdoor Cocktail area at Diamond Bar Center

Last Friday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at the Diamond Bar Center, and it was the fourth time I have been there. It is a great venue for weddings, or any other kind of large events. The extensive grounds around the Diamond Bar Center are also known as the Diamond Bar Kajukenbo, and it is an excellent place to walk dogs, take photos, or just enjoy nature. Since then, I booked another wedding at the center next summer.

Since the wedding party was held on the weekend before Thanksgiving the traffic in the LA area was horrible – way worse than usual. It took me two solid hours to get there, and it is only 35 miles from my home. The bride and groom were even late coming from the church, as were most of the guests. We were supposed to start serving at 5:30, but most of the guests didn’t arrive until six.

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Photo ops at the Diamond Bar Center

There were 200 guests in attendance, and that requires two bartenders. I brought a trainee with me who had no experience bartending with cocktails. She did fantastic. She picked it up very well, and once all the guests finally arrived we were busy for five solid hours. We served out of beer a half hour before last call, and when we were finished we had a half a bottle of vodka left and two bottles of tequila. That was it.

Diamond Bar Center Wedding Parties

  • Sweeping views of the San Gabriel Valley
  • Outdoor space for cocktail hour
  • Large space for wedding ceremonies
  • Large dining room can fit over 300 guests
  • Large kitchen and ice machine

The Diamond Bar Center has a strict protocol on how bartending service must be executed. It is no big deal, really. Basically the alcohol has to be locked up in the kitchen until one half hour before the cocktail hour. Security then unlocks everything and escorts the bartender to the bar. Alcohol service is limited to five hours, at which time security escorts the bartender back to the kitchen with remaining supplies. It’s a good policy I think and then gives some of the guests some time to sober up during the last hour or two of the reception.

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Shots!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m going to spend time with family, rather than do a bartending job. There were inquiries, but declined them. I have spent too many holidays away from my family over the years working. Next month will be extremely busy. I have another wedding party this coming weekend in Fontana, and then after that the December holiday parties start. Please follow us on Instagram.   

 

Southern California Event Business is Booming

8 Nov

The Southern California event business is really taking off as the economy heats up. There are actually more events than there are bartenders. When I first started doing this as my own business – the competition was fierce. I had to scrap for every event that I got. Now, it seems there are way more events coming up than there are bartenders to do them. 

I used to write a blog post about every event that I did. Now, I do so many events that it is hard to keep up with the blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending service recently at corporate events in West Hollywood recently, a fundraiser in Mid City LA, a huge Halloween party in San Bernardino, and a very nice wedding in Coachella. I will recap the bigger events here.

San Bernardino Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28th was probably the biggest party night of the whole year in Southern California. I had so many requests for Halloween parties, but this one I booked months in advance. The hosts of this party do it up big. They literally spend months decorating their workshop into a Halloween extravaganza. Guests come in from all over the country to attend.

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Shots!

This was the first year that the host hired professional bartenders, and I think he was quite pleased with us. We served all kinds of drinks and shots and managed the liquor inventory. Guests self served themselves beer and frozen margaritas, but we kept busy from 9pm until 4:30 am. Great party and I hope we are asked to return next year.

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Fellow bartender, Thomas

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More shots

Mid City LA Fundraiser

I was referred to the hosts of this event from another client, which is always nice. They wanted me to purchase all of the alcohol, and that is a service I provide in some cases. They were expecting 125 guests, so I recommended they have two bartenders, and I made a list of alcohol and supplies they would need.

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Live music at Gallery 38

The event was held at Gallery 38 on West Adams Boulevard, mid city. Gallery 38 is a somewhat small space and will not really accommodate 125 people. So, only about 75 showed up and that was just right. I felt bad that there was so much alcohol left over, but they can use that at another event.

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Friends gather for a drink

The fundraiser was to benefit Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps former gang members transition back into society after serving time in prison. Artists donated art works to the cause and they were on display on the walls of Gallery 38. They also had poetry readings and live music. It was a fantastic event and I was happy to be present for it.

Coachella Wedding

This was my third wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in Coachella. It is a great venue on a secluded ranch just south of the ten freeway. This venue has everything a couple could want for a private wedding. The photo opportunities alone at the venue make it worthwhile.

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The wedding party

For this wedding, they had us set up a bar on the lawn near the ceremony for the cocktail hour. We served beer and wine to the guests for an hour or so, and then moved it to the main bar where we served cocktails for the rest of the night. I hired a bartender local to the area, and he worked out great helping me, and I will be sure to use him again.

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Newly married couple

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shots!

This weekend so far I have an eighties themed party in Studio City, and a birthday party in Porter Ranch scheduled. Please follow us on Instagram.

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct
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View from Newport Beach Clubhouse

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a post wedding reception at a condo association club house. The couple was married earlier in Hawaii and most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, so they held a reception in Newport Beach for that reason.

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8 year old bar flies

Many of these condo communities and apartment complexes have club houses where the residents can hold parties. This particular club house was very nice and it overlooked Newport Beach with an ocean view. It had a kitchen and a built in bar. The reception was Hawaiian themed and I served Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. They catered in Hawaiian food.  

Like any wedding reception, family member and friends made speeches. One of the groom’s sons made a memorable speech when he said something to the effect that “his dad seems much happier since he met his new wife.” I talked to the groom and he said he had been single for 15 years since his last divorce, and never thought he would be married again. I guess there is hope for me too. I think everyone had fun at the reception and I served a bunch of shots.

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Shots!

Corporate Events

I have done a bunch of corporate events recently. I did a grand opening at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs where they demonstrated new new products. I served beer and they hired a caterer to grill steaks. I talked quite a bit to the caterer and hope to work with him again. He has lived and worked all over the world and is a master at many different cuisines. I hope to work with him again. He is Christopher at First Place Cuisine.

Tomorrow I will be doing two corporate events at retail stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and then again on Friday. On Saturday I will be bartending an all night Halloween party in San Bernardino. Next week I have events scheduled in mid city Los Angeles, Westlake Village, and Coachella. Follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Teams With Goodfella’s Tacos for Two October Events

18 Oct
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Tables set up for dinner at Sacred Sands

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred and Goodfella’s Tacos killed it at two wedding events in two fantastic Southern California locations. On Friday we combined our services for a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful San Marino home, and then on Saturday we traveled all the way to Joshua Tree for a memorable wedding. The clients at both events were extremely happy.

I have done several events with Goodfella’s Tacos and I highly recommend them. They have an extensive menu of options that goes way beyond just tacos. Scott is highly professional and has a great crew. I am happy to be associated with him. I only hope I can help him get more business as he has done for me.

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Desert flora at Sacred Sands

The Friday event in San Marino was one part of a three event wedding weekend. The groom was from Holland and many of his friends and relatives flew in from Holland and other global locations. I served pomegranate and citrus margaritas as mariachis performed for approximately 60 guests. I enjoyed talked to the European guests and told them about my friend from Holland, who is a very popular emerging musician there, Big Pete. He fronts a band called the Red Devils, and they toured across Europe last summer with ZZ Top. I was sorry that I was not able to bartend the wedding that was happening on Saturday night, and they had contracted another catering company and bartender.

Goodfella’s Tacos Catering Options

  • Tacos
  • Kabobs
  • Burgers
  • Breakfast
  • Taco Cart

The Joshua Tree event was at an incredible venue just a short distance from the Joshua Tree National Park, called Sacred Sands. It sits atop a hill overlooking the valley and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. If the wedding would have been held in September it probably would have been scorching hot, but in mid October, the weather was just perfect. It even was a bit cold after the sun went down. I served standard mixed drinks to over 100 guests and I had a helper provided by the Goodfellas. The hosts and the venue owners were very happy with our service.

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Shots!

As the holidays approach I have been inundated with calls for corporate events. I have booked several events in November and a few in December. I am doing a corporate event in Woodland Hills today, and have three in West Hollywood next week. I also have an event in Newport Beach this weekend, a Halloween Party in San Bernardino next weekend, and a wedding in Coachella the weekend after that. Please follow us on Instagram.

Rosamond Wedding in the High Desert

12 Oct
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Groom and groomsmen at Rosamond wedding

Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a wedding in the high desert near the city of Rosamond. It was my first time doing a wedding in Rosamond and the wedding took place in an orange grove adjacent to the rolling hills nearby. I had another bartender with me and we served approximately 130 guests.

I set up my portable bar near a little guest house where the cocktail hour was to be held. The ceremony took place around 4pm and the cocktail hour was right after that. We served “Sex on the Beach,” cocktails and another drink made with Hennessy, lemonade, and Popeye’s sweet tea, which I coined the “Tiger Woods.” I premade the drinks in my beverage dispenser for faster service. We also served locally brewed keg beer from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster. We had two different types of brew, including an IPA and a Blonde ale.

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Kegs from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster

After the cocktail hour concluded, we moved the bar to the dining area where we continued service for the rest of the evening. They had tents set up and a dance floor. A catering company served barbecue. We served out of the Tiger Woods and by the end served out of the other cocktail too. The beer was quite popular, and people were impressed that it was brewed locally.

Hire a Wedding Bartender

  • Plan a specialty drink menu
  • Hire an experienced professional bartender
  • Venues require certified bartenders
  • Get help with shopping list
  • Impress your guests

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    Guests mingle during cocktail hour

I hesitate mentioning this, because I don’t know the cause of it, but I got very sick at the wedding. Shortly after I ate I began feeling nauseous. It got worse as the night went on, and eventually I had to go vomit. Luckily the other bartender was covering me. He ate the same food and didn’t get sick. I felt better after I vomited, but when I was driving home, I felt it coming on again, and I threw up in my car before I could make it to an exit. Needless to say that was fun. I don’t want to implicate the catering company for this, because it could have been something totally unrelated. I was fine the next day and bartended an event in Orange County. I wonder if anyone else at the party got sick. Please follow us on Instagram.