Tag Archives: bar catering

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
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Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

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The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

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Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

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Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

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Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

Burbank Surprise Birthday Party

30 Jan
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Friends and family pose for picture

 

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at a Burbank surprise birthday party. This was no ordinary surprise birthday party – the birthday boy’s wife, family, and friends really made a grand production out of it. The party took place at the place of business belonging to the guest of honor, and I’m sure keeping the whole thing a surprise was no easy task.

These were show biz people and they know how to put on a big production. They had a stage, professional lighting, audio visual, and a professionally done video in honor of the birthday boy’s 60th birthday. The theme was variety show, with trivia questions, and testimonials from friends who could not attend. The guest of honor was pleasantly surprised as he stepped into production, and he quickly stepped right into it and got right into the swing of things, like a true pro.

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Guest of honor mingles with guests

I had my portable bar set up in the corner and made drinks for approximately 80 people. I kept pretty busy for most of the night. I had made a shopping list for the host, and was nervous because we almost ran out of vodka and cups. I guess from now on, I need to double the amount of vodka for every shopping list, because that is what most people request.

Plan a Surprise Birthday Party

  • Hire a Bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Produce a video
  • Have an interactive game
  • Serve great food

They had a food truck outside serving food, and I forgot to get a card from them. They served great food, as so many food trucks in Los Angeles do – you have to be very good to be competitive in this market. One of the family members was a bartender, so he took over for me while I took a quick break to eat. Overall, it was a fantastic surprise birthday party, and I’m sure the guest of honor will cherish it for years to come.

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Fish in a barrel

Next weekend I had two events scheduled and both cancelled. That is the first time that has ever happened to me. That is why I must take deposits for every party. Luckily, I picked up another party for Saturday night in Stevenson Ranch from one of my repeat clients. I still have super Bowl Sunday available, and it is possible that I will pick up something this week. Please follow us on Facebook, if you haven’t done so already.

December Backyard Wedding Party in Northridge

20 Dec
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Bride and her companion

 

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for a backyard wedding party in Northridge. This was my only December wedding this year. It is of course, risky to have a backyard party in December in Los Angeles, because there is always a chance of rain, but luckily that didn’t happen this time. On the same day, there was a terrible freak accident at an outdoor wedding in Whittier – the mother of the bride was killed when a tree fell over and a toddler was severely injured. You just don’t know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.

The Northridge wedding party went off very well. I served Palomas, margaritas, and a few other simple drinks. Cafe N’ Stuff Catering provided the food, and they had some very good beef and mushroom chicken. The DJ was a family friend and he spun some really good old school and latin favorites. The only problem I saw all night was that one of the patio heaters didn’t work. There is always one of those that cause problems.

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Backyard wedding party in Northridge

Backyard Wedding Party Advantages

  • Save lot’s of money
  • Avoid insurance, security and related costs
  • Create an interesting space
  • More intimate setting
  • Hire your own vendors

It was kind of nice to bartend a wedding right in the middle of Christmas party season. I did many holiday parties this season, and will be bartending at a company holiday party in La Canada tomorrow. Then I have a New Year’s Eve party in downtown Los Angeles, and a New Year’s day party in Manhattan Beach scheduled.

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Shots!

Next month is looking kind of light for the bar catering business, and it usually is. I will probably bartend a few birthday parties and a corporate event or two. It has been awhile since I have been out to Palm Springs, so I will probably try to get some parties out there. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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More shots!

Bar Catering at Two Culver City Holiday Parties

19 Dec
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Keg at Culver City holiday party

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at two separate company holiday parties in Culver City. It’s funny that both companies seemed to be closed related as to what they did – all things digital, had similar guests, and were less than a mile from each other. These were the first parties I have bartended at in Culver City since being in business.

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Shots!

On Thursday it was raining throughout Los Angeles, and we all know what that means – horrible traffic and massive delays. In Culver City it was even worse. I got down into the area way early and I worked out at LA Fitness. I finished my workout two hours before I was supposed to arrive at the party. My GPS said I was 2.2 miles away from the location. It took me ONE HOUR to drive 2.2 miles in Culver City traffic. On top of that my phone was about to die and my car charger wasn’t working. I was sweating, thinking that is my phone died, I would not know the address, contacts phone numbers or anything. I finally made it to the location and my phone died minutes later. The moral of this story is that I must keep a printed map of the location, directions, and contact phone numbers on all jobs.

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DJ Randy Rollog and assistant

Randy Rollog (310) 621-3051 provided DJ service for the Thursday night event. He played Christmas music and then slowly switched it up to hip hop. He has a good setup, and I hope I can toss some business his way. I have been looking for a reliable DJ I can work with.

Bar Catering Services

  • Provide a physical portable bar
  • Staff bartenders and cocktail servers
  • Consultation about drink menu and shopping list
  • Create craft cocktails
  • Beer, wine, and non alcoholic beverage service
  • Weddings, corporate events, private parties

The second night, Friday, I had the larger of the two holiday parties in Culver City. I brought another bartender with me and we set up two bars – one outside the location and one inside the kitchen at the facility. I manned the outside bar where they had the stage setup for a live band. The other bartender held down the fort in side. We served over 100 guests. The Goldsoundz provided the live music, including classic and alternative rock. They had two food trucks doing the catering, but I was too busy to get their information

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Digital DJ at Culver City Event

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Shots!

These two holiday parties were some of the last of the holiday season. The next night I provided bar catering at a December wedding in Northridge. I have a Christmas party in LA Canada later this week, and then a New Year’s Eve party, and a New Year’s day party, and then the holiday season will be officially over. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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More Shots!

Hollywood Holiday Party

12 Dec
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Bartender Mia at Hollywood Holiday Party

Wednesday night I returned to Hollywood to provide bartending service for a holiday party of a very successful production company. I did the bar catering last year and was very happy to return. I brought another bartender with me and we served approximately 250 thirsty people. I set up two portable bars side by side and we went to town slinging drinks.

The hosts requested a specialty drink that required rosemary simple syrup. I volunteered to make the simple syrup, because I like the challenge of doing that. I can infuse almost any herb, fruit, or vegetable into simple syrup, and have done cucumber, peppercorn, ginger, and now rosemary. The drink they created was called the 1936 Cocktail and it consisted of Tito’s vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and dash of club soda. The drink was a big hit.

Papa Christo’s of Los Angeles provided the catering and they put out some excellent Greek food for the hungry partiers. We also served four different beers, red and white wines and various mixed drinks. I had helped the host with a shopping list and we went through most of it by the end.

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Crowd at Hollywood Holiday Party

Holiday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartending service
  • Choose a theme
  • Book it plenty early
  • Keep the music playing
  • Have a raffle

This holiday season I have had to hire more bartenders to help out with the demand. Every year in December there are always parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and more during the week, especially during the first three weeks of the month. Luckily, I have been able to accommodate all of me good customers. So far, I am still available for New Year’s Eve – the last holiday party of the year. Call me today!

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December Bar Catering Begins

8 Dec
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Pastel sky above Rancho Mirage

December bar catering kicked of for Shaken Not Stirred last month with two big events in Rancho Mirage and Valley Village. On Thursday I traveled to one of my favorite places – Rancho Mirage to bartend a company holiday party at Desert Periodontics, and then on Saturday, I bartended a holiday party at a private home in Valley Village, only a mile and a half from my home. These were both repeat clients, which I love getting because I don’t have to work so hard to generate new business.

I have done several events for Desert Peridontics. They have ongoing education for other dentists in the area, and host events for dental products suppliers. They usually have food and host a bar. I set up my portable bar and table for a cocktail hour before the presentation. For this party I served spiked eggnog, White Russians, and Jalapeno Margaritas. It was a very mellow party and there were approximately 50 guests.

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Spiked eggnog

Bar Catering Duties

  • Plan drink menu and shopping list
    Develop cocktail ideas
    Setup and breakdown
    Portable bar
    Cleanup
    Light food service
    Make and serve cocktails
    Beer and wine service
    Non alcoholic drinks

On Saturday, I returned to a San Fernando Valley home in Valley Village for a repeat holiday party. I set up my portable bar and table in the back yard, just as I had a year prior. I remember last year it was much colder. This year, I served two specialty drinks, the Cranberry Old Fashioned, and the Moscow Mule. Those two drinks are perfect for Christmas parties. There 80 guests at the party, and everyone seemed to enjoy the drinks.

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Bar Supplies in Valley Village

Tomorrow, I will bartend a company holiday party in Hollywood for a television production company. This is another repeat client. I will be taking my daughter with me to help out, as there are supposed to be over 100 guests. This weekend I have two more parties scheduled – one in San Gabriel, and one in the Hollywood Hills. I still have Saturday, December 26th available, and several weekdays open for parties, if you have not yet booked someone.

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Guests mingle in Valley Village