Tag Archives: bar

La Quinta Costume Party and Eagle Rock Wedding

3 Nov

Friday night I worked a small costume party at a private residence in La Quinta. As I do more and more jobs I am starting to know neighborhoods – this place was just across the street from where I did another job. The house had a very nice granite bar, as most of the homes in La Quinta do. The bar was stocked with just about everything. There were probably thirty guests and most were dressed in costume. I dressed as Lloyd the bartender from “The Shining.” I don’t know if everybody from the party got that. I told one lady who I was supposed to be, and she recoiled immediately – “Get away from me! Not THAT creepy bartender!”

It was nice serving drinks in real glassware for a change. Most of the guests drank wine, but I made a few classic martinis and some mixed drinks. The guests had a short cocktail hour and then dined by the pool. It was a very nice and low key party, and I was happy to do it. I like going to the Palm Springs/Indian Wells/La Quinta area and the season is just gearing up out there.  Somebody called me Saturday morning and wanted me to do a last minute day time gig in Palm Springs, but I had to decline because I had to get to the wedding in Eagle Rock that was booked months in advance. Somebody else called me to do a gig in Orange County and I had to decline that one too.  

Saturday night I bartended the wedding in Eagle Rock. It was held at the 20th Century Women’s Club

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

The 20th Century Women's Club back yard

The 20th Century Women’s Club back yard

of Eagle Rock. This was the first time I had ever worked that venue. It is a very cool old building with a nice back yard where the ceremony was held. It seemed like a very nice place to hold a wedding and was a very relaxed atmosphere compared to some of the venues I have worked.

The specialty drinks of the night were the bride’s special, which was El Presidente brandy and Horchata, and the groom’s special which was strawberry lemonade and Tangueray gin. I served a lot of wine and beer also. This party was booked months in advance, which I suppose is the right way to do it. They hired four servers from another company and rented glassware. I can also provide servers and glassware –ask me for a quote. In the end, many of the guests helped break down and clean up the party, which I have never seen before. If you are thinking about having a holiday or birthday party or any other kind of event in November or December book it now!

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.

Party Planning in Los Angeles

27 Jan

People planning special events and parties in theLos Angeles area often ask me for ideas for specialty drinks and what they will need to stock their bar. Of course everybody has a different budget. I have posted below some of my specialty drinks and some ideas of what to buy when hosting a party of 40 to 50 guests. This is assuming that the guests will be drinkers and I try to cover most bases. Some hosts prefer to limit the choices and that usually works just fine and keeps the cost down. A good bartender can suggest drinks to guests that they may not of thought of.

There are a few signature drinks I make:

Pomegranate Cosmo – Pom juice, Vodka, Rose’s Lime juice, garnished with a lime

Cadillac Margarita – Tequilla, Margarita mix, Gran Marnier floater


Dirty Martini
 – Vodka, olive juice, dry vermouthMai  Tai – White rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine, Myers rum floater

White Russian – Vodka, Kalua, Milk

Pomegranate Sunrise – Pom juice,

orange juice, Tequilla

Of course, I can make all of the other combinations with those ingredients.

You may want to just keep it simple and go with one or two of those and the usual Jack and Coke, gin and tonic, etc. Margartitas are usually popular.

For 40 to 50 people I would suggest the following:

2  1.75 ltr bottle of tequila

2  1.75 ltr bottles of vodka

1  750mltr bourbon

“           Gin

“           Scotch

“           White Rum

“           Kahlua

“           Dark rum

“           Dry Vermouth

1 large bottle of Margarita mix

1 bottle Rose’s lime

1 bottle sour mix

1 bottle triple sec

1 bottle Pom Juice

1 carton Orange juice

1 carton milk

12 pack Coke

12 pack 7 up

12 pack Diet Coke

48 bottled waters

2  2 liter bottles of club soda
12 limes2  2 liter bottles of tonic

Bar salt

1 jar of olives

2 12 packs beer

2 12 packs light beer

6 bottles white wine

6 bottles red wine

5 20 pound bags of ice

Box cocktail napkins

Box bar straws

Box bar picks

Of course there is probably going to be a lot of liquor left over, but this list should keep everybody happy and you won’t run out of key ingredients in the middle of the party. Also, the types of drinks that are popular tend to coincide with the food that is being served. I have worked parties where Mexican food was catered and in those cases beer and margaritas were the popular thing. Other parties have a majority of wine drinkers. Vodka seems to be the most popular liquor item because it mixes with so many things.

When buying for your party or special even in the L.A. area, BevMo is a good place to go when you are buying a lot of things and you can get a good discount with their card. Ralph’s offers a great discounts when you buy six bottles of wine at a time. Costco and Smart and Final are also good.  Some people want kegs of beer and I can advise them on that too – Vendome Liquor is good for kegs.

Please call me (310) 280-6103 or email me if you have any questions or need help planning your party. I can help you tailor a drink menu that coincides with your food menu.  In any case, don’t get stressed out when planning your party – let the professional bartenders at Shaken Not Stirred help you plan your party in Los Angeles.