Tag Archives: bar mitzvah

Bartender for Hire Does Three More February Events

20 Feb

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire went on the road again and bartended two Orange County Events, and a San Fernando Valley bar mitzva. On Friday, the biggest rainstorm to hit Socal in years rolled in and I left plenty early to bartend a San Juan Capistrano wedding, then on Saturday I stayed in the area to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party. I drove back to the SFV and did a Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah on Sunday.

San Juan Capistrano Wedding

I got hired to do the San Juan Capistrano wedding only a couple of weeks before the event. Weddings are usually planned months in advance. The original bartender cancelled for some reason. The bride said that he had a very good reason – I hope so, because I have never cancelled an event. The bride wanted me to bring the ice, and that is usually not a problem, but the rain storm on Friday made everything very difficult. I looked on the map before I left hoping to find a supermarket nearby to buy the ice. There was nothing around. I was a bit stressed thinking I was going to be late, but I found the ice at a gas station nearby.

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Intimate home wedding

The bride and groom had rented a very nice home on the golf course for the wedding. I set up my portable bar inside the house as the rain storm raged outside. It was a small ceremony with around 50 friends and family members in attendance. They did the ceremony in the living room. I served simple mixed drinks and everything went smoothly.

feb17c

Shots!

Laguna Niguel Surprise 40th Birthday Party

On Saturday I bartended a disco themed 40th surprise birthday party in Laguna Niguel. The host told me it would be a small group and that they would be wearing disco costumes. I guess I wasn’t paying attention, or I would have come up with some kind of costume. When people started arriving it became clear to me that this was a real costume party I was the fool without a costume. Thankfully, the DJ (who didn’t have a card) had an extra wig and pair of retro sunglasses. I had a makeshift costume, but some of the guests went all out. The DJ played all disco themed/70’s music and it was great. It quickly turned into a rip roarin’ party! It was a really good time and a much bigger party than I was expecting.

feb18d

Disco themed 40th birthday party

I always think it is a great thing when an adult gets a party thrown for them. It made me decide to throw a birthday party for my kids which is coming up in April. Life is short, and these things are great highlights of one’s existence.

feb18b

Bartender in disguise

Bartender for Hire Advantages

  • Enjoy the party without worrying about bar
  • Bartender keeps area clean
  • Bartender helps with menu and shopping list
  • Guests are impressed.

Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

On Sunday I went a couple miles from my home to warehouse in Van Nuys where they were holding a Bar Mitzvah for a 13 year olds rite of passage. I have not done too many of these parties, but I am always impressed when I do. I think this is a very important landmark in a young person’s life, and I am sorry I didn’t have one, and my kids didn’t have one. We (non Jews) have nothing like this and we are often left twisting in the wind with no direction at age 13. First of all, it shows the young person that they are very loved by all their friends and family, but also that they have a responsibility for their life and development. The young man at this Bar Mitzvah was very sweet and made a wonderful speech in front of 80 guests and didn’t seem a bit nervous. I’m sure he will go far in life.

feb19d

Wild lights at Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

feb19a

Family members pose for picture

So far the bartender for hire has nothing scheduled for next weekend, but that will surely change. I have several events coming up in March, including a wedding in Palm Springs, birthday party in Hermosa Beach, another in Walnut, and another in Indian Wells. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do.

Calabasas Bar Mitzvah

9 Jun

Last night, I bartended my first Bar Mizvah at the Calabasas/ Agoura Hills Community Center

Rented bar for Bar Mitzvah

Rented bar for Bar Mitzvah

Kids dancing at Bar Mitzvah

Kids dancing at Bar Mitzvah

Ice cream line

Ice cream line

and was pleasantly surprised out how it turned out. I say pleasantly surprised because I was afraid I was going to be dealing with 100 spoiled and obnoxious kids, but the exact opposite was true. The kids were for the most part very polite and respectful. At times I felt like a bartender at the Palace or somewhere like that must feel – every time I looked up there was a wall of people waiting for drinks.

The host and I had made a drink menu of mocktails to serve, but the vast majority of kids wanted Shirley Temples. My hands are stained red today from handling cherries. We also used dry ice, which was the first time I had ever used that. You have to break the dry ice up into chunks and you place one small piece in the cup, along with some real ice. It causes the drinks to bubble up and emit “steam”. The kids were just at that age, where they still have a bit of innocence left and they aren’t too cool for things like that.

There were a few adults in attendance and I served a few Pina Colladas, and I also served virgin Pina Colladas to the kids. The host had rented a very nice bar that I was behind. There were several other vendors at the party, including a custom t-shirt maker, a faux tattoo artist, and an ice cream cart. Catering was provided by Stonefire Grill. The DJ, System 3 Entertainment, at this event did way more than just spin records, and basically ran the whole event with games and an MC.

I think the Bar Mitzvah, the rite of passage, is a very worthwhile event, and is something I did not have growing up. I think that although kids obviously aren’t adults when they turn 13, it provides a good point to start from. I noticed how the host was involving his son in the preparation of his own Bar Mitzvah. I think it is a good point in time for kids to start accepting responsibility for their own lives. The Quincinera is similar event, and I had an inquiry to do one this week, but was already booked.

Next week I am doing a birthday party in Thousand Oaks and am negotiating to do a graduation party in Orange County on Sunday. I still have Saturday, June 14th open and want to book that date.

Pasadena Triple Crown Party

8 Jun

Shaken Not Stirred was in Pasadena Saturday to bartend a Triple Crown viewing party and root on California Chrome. The favorite horse didn’t win, but the party guests had a great time it seemed. The house where the party was held was perfect for entertaining and the weather could not have been nicer. Around fifty guests gathered to watch the race, mingle and sip cocktails, and eat fried chicken.

The host told me that it was the first time they had hosted a party in four years, which is surprising because the house just seems built for having parties. They had a great outside bar beneath an overhang beside the pool. I had a refrigerator and sink and all the booze I needed. The drink of the day was the White Russian, followed by the Madras. Bourbon and Vernor’s Ginger ale was a favorite among horse racing aficionados.

They did not have a caterer, but instead served Kentucky Fried Chicken. I didn’t know that was what it was until I asked the host if he had made the chicken. I thought he had a great recipe! I hadn’t had KFC in a long time. The guests seemed to love it and it fit for this party.

The host had hired a server on Craigslist who called and cancelled just before the party. Had I known that they wanted a server I could have provided one. I have several good people who help me from time to time, males and females. It is amazing to me how many people advertise services and contract for services, and then flake out. Showing up is ninety percent of the gig!

Today I have an informal Bar Mitzvah to do in Calabasas. I will be making “mocktails” and using dry ice. I have never put dry ice in drinks before, so it should be interesting. Next week I have a 50th birthday party to do in Thousand Oaks on Friday. I am still open at this point on Saturday the 14th and hope to get an event. I have several more events scheduled for later this month.

Guests arrive in style

Guests arrive in style

Watching the race

Watching the race

Perfect party weather in Pasadena

Perfect party weather in Pasadena

Beverly Hills Cocktail Party

29 May

For the second Wednesday in a row I was the bartender at a cocktail party in Beverly Hills, and neither were related which was a strange coincidence. I must admit, I am not really a “mixologist” but I had to do my best for this party and it was a good experience. The host gave me a fewcocktail recipes and I had to help compile a list of the different items needed. Some of the items on the list were not available, like Cuban Rum for instance, most all of the others we found at Total Wine and More.

I must also admit that I’m an old school bartender, who has always believed that the most important ingredient in a drink was the base alcohol, so I made strong drinks with not a lot of mixer and people were usually happy. For this cocktail party I did things differently and stuck completely to the recipes, and measured each ingredient exactly, which I have never done. One of the guests of the party explained to me why it was important not to put too much sweetening agent in a particular drink, but it was important to put just enough. I can appreciate that.

When I was working at Frascati in Redondo Beach I worked with many Italians and I noticed how important food and beverage was to them. They took such care in simple things like making an espresso or cappuccino. They knew all about the cheeses and different ingredients that were in their dishes. I had a feeling that they felt most of us Americans were lazy and ignorant about these things. Most of the time we were. Those of us in the food and beverage industry should take more time to learn more about everything we are doing.

The drinks we were serving at the cocktail party were classic cocktails including the Singapore Sling, the Centennial, the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Mai Tai (Trader Vic’s Recipe), and the Aviation Cocktail. The Aviation Cocktail is an interesting drink and has an ingredient, Crème de Violet, which gives a lavender tint to the drink and a very unique taste.

Beverly Hills bartender

Beverly Hills bartender

Mixologist station

Mixologist station

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

This weekend Shaken Not Stirred will be doing an anniversary party in Santa Clarita, then next weekend a Triple Crown Party in Pasedena, and an informal Bar Mitzvah, where I will be making “mocktails” for 100 teenagers in Calabasas. Then later on I have parties and weddings booked in Orange County, Camp Pendlelton, Lancaster, and Thousand Oaks. Business is really taking off and I am grateful.

Beverly Hills Corporate Event

21 May

I received the call around 2:30pm – they needed a bartender for a corporate event in Beverly Hills at 4pm. I loaded up my portable bar, cooler, bar kit and some martini glasses and hustled my Mustang over Coldwater Canyon into Beverly Hills. I’ve been around this city long enough in and many different capacities that I know it by the back of my hand. If I have to get somewhere in the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, the West side, the South Bay or Santa Monica – I know it. I now have GPS for everywhere else (though I don’t trust it). I have never been late for a gig.

The gig was a sales appreciation thing for the employees work well done.  We set up the bar on the rooftop of a building overlooking Rodeo Drive. It was a perfect day for it. We had a specialty drink that was a Blue Slushy Martini – which consisted of  Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Portable bar setup in Beverly Hills

Portable bar setup in Beverly Hills

Blue Slushy Martini

Blue Slushy Martini

People mingling

People mingling

, a dash of Limeaid, and a dash of Blue Curacao. We also served Kir Royale’s with Verve Cliquot. They had a spread of cold cuts and cheese.

It was a very nice little event of less than twenty people, and I was done just after 7pm. People, I will do events like this every day during the week. Go ahead and call me last minute – I will go. Most of my events are on Saturday nights, so I am always glad to get one during the week. Next month I do have some Friday and Sunday parties already scheduled.

Shaken Not Stirred will be traveling this weekend. Saturday I have a wedding at a ranch in Fillmore, which is northwest of the city near the mountains. My son, Willie is going with me on that one, and I’m glad to have him along. Then, Sunday morning I have to get up early and be in Palm Springs by 11am for an all day bacherlorette party. Then the following week I have a birthday party in Thousand Oaks, and a casual bar mitzvah in Calabassas, where I will be serving “Mocktails.” I love bartending and meeting all kinds of new people and going to new places. This is much better than staying at one place all the time, and I’m grateful for all the jobs I’m getting.