Tag Archives: backyard party

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.

Eagle Rock 70th Birthday Party

2 May
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Sunset over Eagle Rock

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred returned to that hilltop Ranchero in Eagle Rock to bartend a 70th birthday party. The ten year milestones are big for birthday celebrations and 70 is certainly a good year to throw a party about. The birthday girl had several children and they were all in attendance at the party.

The host put a lot of work into making the day special for her mother, and spent Friday night setting up the tables, etc. She hired live entertainment for the party and that was provided by Azucar Latin Dance Band (213) 290-1816. They were very good and do all kinds of Latin music from Cumbia, Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue. I talked to the lady that manages the band and she said they also provide Mariachis, and Banda music. This was a very good band and I highly recommend them. The guests and the birthday girl had a great time dancing.

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Guests dance to Azucar Latin Dance Band

70th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Throw a backyard party
  • Hire a Bartender
  • Provide live entertainment
  • Buy a huge cake
  • Honor your elders!

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    Shots!

I served Margaritas, and many other simple drinks. I will be returning to same location next month as the hosts renew their vows in matrimony. I love repeat business, and everybody at Saturday’s party remembered me from when I was there before. The house is on top of a hill in Eagle Rock that overlooks the 2 Freeway. There was a fabulous sunset and you can almost see the lights of downtown LA from there.

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More shots!

This week, I will be doing a fundraiser in Los Angeles on Thursday, and then a birthday party in Burbank on Saturday night. Shaken Not Stirred is now on Instagram , so please follow us for great photos of our events every week.

Studio City Backyard Party

17 Aug

Last night I bartended a backyard party that served both as the host’s birthday party, and to celebrate the recent completion of landscaping to the backyard. It was another hot day in the San Fernando Valley and I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down as I set up my portable bar beside the pool. We were expecting around forty guests and I transferred the host’s liquor from his indoor bar to my portable bar by the pool. He had a pretty well staffed bar and we were able to cover almost all bases in the liquor department.

I made a batch of cucumber/mint syrup to try out at this party and it went over well. Several guests requested cucumber margarita over and over again. The cucumber syrup also mixes well with vodka and rum. It is very concentrated and I only put about an ounce of it into each drink. I can’t wait to try other concoctions, like peach, mango, and melon. Somebody else brought jalapeno syrup and I made her favorite drink with that. The second most popular drink of the night was the Malibu Bay Breeze.

The sun finally went down and there was some relief from the heat. Some of the guests brought their swimming trunks and dove into the pool, turning the backyard party into a pool party.  The host requested that I stay an hour longer than my scheduled time and I was glad to do it. I think it is foolish for a bartender to leave when a party is still going strong. I always stay later when requested and am glad to do so. When I schedule a party on a Saturday night, I have no other pressing business.

It was nice staying in my neighborhood doing parties for the last two weeks, but am going on the road again next weekend to do a wedding in Tehachapi. Then I have two more weddings to do the following weekend in Camarillo and El Monte. The wedding season obviously isn’t over because I have other weddings already booked in September and October.

People ask me how far in advance they should book me, and I say if you agree the price is right – do it now. About a week ago somebody was talking to me about a date in November and they said they would get back to me. The next day I booked a party on that same date and took a deposit. I always book with the first person who pays a deposit. Even if a better deal comes my way – I honor my agreements with those people who have paid me a deposit. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Guests mingling beside pool

Guests mingling beside pool

After sundown

After sundown

Hacienda Heights Baptism Party

9 Feb

The occasion was the celebration of a baptism. The guest of honor was one year old and attended her party along with approximately 100 other guests. I bartended, and it was my first baptism party. It appeared to me that the party was a great success, and we ran out of liquor – two times!

The hostess hired me and we made a shopping list together. I had made a list for 60 people, but I guess 100 ended up showing, so we were a little short of supplies. I have lists already made up for various numbers of people, with the prices, so If you need help with a shopping list, just ask me. We can adjust it for what you want to serve and your budget.

In the past, people have wanted to do Mojitos, and I have discouraged them, because Mojitos are a labor intensive drinks that are troublesome when serving large groups of people. I have a new policy at Shaken Not Stirred – just say yes! Mojitos are made with rum, fresh mint leaves, fresh limes, simple syrup, and club soda. I decided to make large batches in a blender and that worked fine. I served all of the Mojitos within the first two hours of the party.

For the rest of the party, I made Margaritas, Jack and Cokes, Tequilla Sunrises, and Bay Breezes. Someone went to fetch more liquor and beer around 8pm, and by 10 pm we were down to beer and champagne. I hope to do more baptism parties. I have a wedding coming up in Mira Loma next month, and another birthday party in Ontario. I seem to be doing many parties in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. Book your parties and events today, because the spring schedule is filing up fast.

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Back yard party set up

Back yard party set up

DJ heats the crowd up

DJ heats the crowd up

Los Angeles Bartending: Birthday Parties, Company Parties

26 Mar

In Los Angeles, parties and events take place for all kinds of reasons and occasions: birthday parties, corporate events, sports parties, television viewing parties – the list goes on and on. I have done three events in the past two weeks. Two were 40th birthday parties hosted at private homes, and the other event was a client appreciation party held at a post production facility in Burbank.

40th birthday parties seem to be popular because turning the big four-o marks a milestone in one’s life. I bartended at a man’s 40th birthday party at his home inRedondo Beach. The hosts had found a tiki bar on Craigslist that somebody was giving away free. They fixed it up a little bit and it made a fantastic backyard bar – they just needed a bartender, and that’s where I came in. The forty or so guests were very impressed. The drink of the night was the Cadillac Margarita, and there were many beer drinkers in attendance.

I worked another 40th birthday party inWest Los Angeles. They set up a table in the backyard and it made a functional backyard bar. The host made a drink menu and the most popular drink seemed to be the Pomegranate Martini. We used plastic martini glasses and they worked very well. I took a server with me to pass out finger foods and act as a barback. Once again, the guests in attendance were impressed by the service, and the hosts were free to mingle and have a good time.

I assisted another event company with the corporate party inBurbank. It was a fairy large event with over 100 guests. I’m sure the cost of the party was money well spent because the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves. Customers always have choices when choosing a post production facility for instance, and a client appreciation party is a good way to create client loyalty.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to be rich or have a fancy bar set up to hire a bartender for your next party. These backyard parties with Pandora going on the stereo and a table makeshift bar setup can be fantastic and memorable events. The weather is getting nice now in Los Angeles and it will be perfect for many backyard parties and events this summer.