Tag Archives: bar caterer

Encinitas Pool Party

14 Sep
Bar setup in Encinitas

Bar setup in Encinitas

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Encinitas in San Diego County to bartend a pool party.  I don’t normally try to book much work in San Diego because it can be difficult getting in and out of there. Last week I had business in San Marcos, so it made sense to take this pool party in Encinitas. I’m glad I did – it was worth it to me and I hope the clients will call me again. They gave me another 5 star review on Thumbtack, so I guess they were happy as well.

Speaking of Thumbtack, I was chosen the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles by the website, based on my reviews. I’m proud of this accomplishment, and I also realize there are probably more accomplished bartenders than me. I don’t call myself a mixologist, because I believe that bartending is not brain surgery. I make good drinks, and I think the key to good drinks is simplicity. I believe the biggest reason I have gotten all 5 star review is that I show up early every time. That way I have time to prepare properly, which is 90 percent of it. I cannot coast at this point and rest on my laurels – I have to work harder, because the competition in Los Angeles is tough. I think many other people suddenly got the idea that they would start their own bartending business also.

Certificate from Thumbtack

Certificate from Thumbtack

On Saturday, I was making simple drinks. I made blended margaritas and most of the people were drinking those. The client had a very nice blender, the Vita Mix, and it was very simple to use and made excellent blended drinks. I was responsible for bringing the ice and I brought 100 pounds and we used every bit of it. On hot summer days, probably better estimate 2 pounds of ice for each guest.

The client in Encinitas also hired a life guard, which I thought was an excellent idea when there are young children swimming.  Rock star, Tommy Lee, had a child drown in his pool at a party a couple of years ago, and I’m sure that will haunt him forever. Taquizas El Unico of Chula Vista provided the catering and excellent tacos.

Guests mingle at Encinitas pool party

Guests mingle at Encinitas pool party

This weekend I will be bartending a rehearsal dinner in Temecula on Friday night, and then on Saturday I will be bartending a wedding at a clothing optional resort in Desert Hot Springs, which should be interesting.  I asked the host what she wanted me to wear and she said, “Wear anything you want.” Decisions, decisions….

Newport Beach 50th Birthday Party

23 Aug
Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party. This was my third party I have done in Newport Beach, and I am becoming familiar with the area. The birthday boy’s wife hired me and arranged the party.  She wanted real glassware and I supplied white and red wine glasses, and beer glasses. I can provide most glassware rentals for $1 a glass.

I have done several 50th birthday parties. It is obviously an important milestone. I have said this before, any man or woman who has family throw a birthday party for them is truly blessed. This particular gentleman was very blessed and had a large nice group of friends and family surrounding him, and he was fortunate enough to have a great Orange County home to throw the party at.

I arrived early and set up my portable bar and table in the backyard. The host was serving  Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Heineken, Blue moon, and Corona. They didn’t have much for soft drinks, and I was only serving iced tea and water. Many of the kids were upset that there was no soda. I understand that many people believe soda is a horrible thing, but I usually stress to people when I consult with them to have more non alcoholic drink choices. Some lemonade, cranberry juice, or something.  They had nine different choices of alcoholic drinks available, and only 2 choices for non alcoholic drinks.

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

It is nice working with real glassware, but there is always breakage. I dropped one wine glass, and then  had to stop service and clean that up. This is also why I don’t recommend anyone use real glassware in a pool area. If a glass breaks and broken glass gets into the pool it becomes a real problem. Especially now, while the drought is going on. People cannot drain their pools and refill them, even if they want to.  Also, when using real glassware, it is important to have some disposable cups on hand to use when we run out of real glasses.

I got this job at the last minute; otherwise I would have had no event this weekend. I have two bartending events next weekend – one in downtown Los Angeles, and one in West Hollywood. Then I have events coming up in Desert Hot Springs, Temecula, Northridge, Coachella, and close to home in Sherman Oaks.  I will be aggressively seeking to fill any open slots in the coming months. I had some very good news this week – I was notified by Thumbtack that I had been chosen as the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015. I credit that to my habit of showing up early and trying to be of maximum service at all events I do. Also, I quickly respond to all correspondence from my clients. Being a good bar caterer is not brain surgery, but requires common sense.

50 candles put out a lot of heat

50 candles put out a lot of heat

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once