Tag Archives: bartender

Palm Springs Pool Party

9 Apr
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Palm Spring party pad

Palm Springs is probably the pool party capital of the world, and there are rental houses all over that town devoted to that. Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was in the house making cocktails for the host’s 40th birthday party at the Palm Springs party pad. This particular home is a six bedroom place with a very nice pool and outdoor bar.

New ordinances in Palm Springs ban outdoor music, which is kind of a buzz kill. Also, after 9pm guests can not make noise in the pool area. The hard partying ways of the old Palm Springs are a thing of the past with these new ordinances. I saw the signs posted near the bar area and I thought, what a bummer – regulations that limit fun? However, as the day went on, I kind of liked it – we are exposed to so much noise pollution all the time, it was kind of nice to just listen to the wind rustling through the trees.

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My bar station

I set up the bar out by the pool, and made several specialty drinks for the guests. I served my Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonics, Moscow Mules, Pimm’s Cup, and Manhattans. I also served different non alcoholic drinks for some of the guests. It was pretty windy, but not too hot. A great day for a pool party. When I bartend pool parties, I don’t just stand behind the bar and wait for guests to come to me. I take drink orders poolside.

Palm Springs Pool Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Use only plastic cups
  • Get some interesting floaties
  • Clothing optional
  • Keep the music inside your head

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    Pool party in progess with balloon arch

Some of the guests surprised the birthday boy with a balloon vendor. Baloony Tunes of Cathedral City came and setup a balloon arch for photo ops. Like I said, it was fairly windy, so that presented a problem for the balloon display, but it lasted long enough for the guests to get some cool photos. As I was finishing up for the day a private chef, Sarena Nelson was preparing the big birthday dinner. She looks very talented and hopefully I will work with her again.

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Strict new rules for Palm Springs

This weekend I get to stay close to home and will be bartending a private event in Westwood. I have other events in the LA area later this month. Next month will be very busy with graduation parties, weddings, and birthday parties. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

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Three Day Wedding Event at the Galvan Estate

4 Apr
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Father walks bride to her wedding at the Galvan Estate

Last weekend I provided bartending services for three days at the Galvan Estate in Palm Springs. I arrived on Thursday night to bartend the rehearsal dinner, showed up again Friday for the wedding, and then wound up the weekend bartending the pool party on Saturday. It was my third time doing an event at the beautiful Galvan estate.

The hosts of the wedding were from Winnipeg, Canada, and most of the guests had either flown in or driven from there. They say it a 33 hour drive from Palm Springs to Winnipeg. Westjet offers direct flights to Palm Springs from various destinations in Canada. As I am learning, Palm Springs is a favorite destination for Canadians. One of the guests at this event flew all the way from Thailand.

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Guests mingle in bar area

The rehearsal dinner was a breeze and I served a lot of red and white wine, beer, and simple mixed drinks. The next day for the wedding, I brought in an extra helper. We made two signature drinks for the arriving wedding guests. So I made 40 drinks in about fifteen minutes before the ceremony. Later we prepared just as many glasses of champagne for the toast. Everything was smooth sailing from then on.

Galvan Estate Wedding

  • Heated pool
  • Large wet bar outside
  • Another bar inside
  • Large area for ceremony
  • Big outside dining area
  • Gas barbecue grill

For the pool party we had a keg, and I served blended margaritas. It was a very nice crowd to serve for three days, and everybody seemed to have a good time. I had another wedding going on in Lake View Terrace that night, and I send another bartender to do that one. Once the pool party was over I drove back to LA and stopped by that wedding to help out a bit.

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Groom and groomsmen share cigars

This weekend I am returning to Palm Springs to bartend an all day pool party. I have events coming up later this month in Westwood, Brentwood, and Stevenson Ranch. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

Santa Monica Showcase and Mountain View Retreat Wedding

26 Mar
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Back to the Future car at Virtual Reality showcase.

Shaken Not Stirred had another busy weekend – first bartending a showcase event in Santa Monica on Friday, and then doing a wedding at the Mountain View Retreat in La Quinta on Saturday. I made hundreds of drinks at the two events and served several cases of alcohol. I guess I got my practice in, because I’m gearing up for a three day wedding event I have this coming weekend in Palm Springs.

The showcase event was held at a historic building in Santa Monica which is now home to The Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom. They showcase new forms of virtual reality there. I was too busy to check out any of their demonstrations, but it all looked very cool. I brought another bartender with me and we worked two separate bars, serving over 200 people.

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Guests mingle in back lot

Karma Tequila provided the tequila for the event and we also served the new light beer from Corona – Corona Premier, with only 90 calories. Guests said it was pretty good. They had a couple of food trucks pulls into the back parking lot to serve the grub, and they had a DJ on the scene. We served completely out of tequila and most of the beer by the time the night was through.

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Shots!

The next morning I had to get up bright and early and head out to La Quinta, 120 miles away. I was not only bartending a wedding that night, but I had to do all the shopping too. It is an extra service I provide and charge extra for, but in some cases the host wants that convenience. I preordered most of the alcohol from Bevmo, and it was all waiting for me in La Quinta when I got there. The rest of the supplies I bought at Smart and Final, including the ice.

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Wedding ceremony at Mountain View Retreat

The wedding was held at the Mountain View Retreat, where I have bartended before. I set up my portable bar and table under a veranda beside the pool. The ceremony was very nice and then the cocktail hour began. I handled 75 guests by myself just fine, though the line got long at times. I served spicy jalapeno margaritas, and a lot of vodka drinks. We ran out of vodka and bourbon  toward the end and the wedding planner went and bought more.

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Guests mingle by the pool

This coming weekend I am returning the Palm Springs to bartend a three day weddding event. Thursday is the rehearsal dinner, Friday the wedding, and then there is a pool party on Saturday. I will be bartending all three events, so it should be a fun weekend. Please follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already.

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Shots!

Maxwell House Wedding

12 Mar
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Historic Maxwell House in Pasadena

Last month I provided bartending service at a Maxwell House wedding in Pasadena. I am delayed in writing this blog post, but thought that I should because it is such a nice venue. The Maxwell House is a historic building in an old neighborhood in Pasadena, and you couldn’t find a more picturesque setting for a wedding. I hope to return to the Maxwell House many more times in the future.

The groom who hired me was the brother of another client we provided bartending services for. It is always nice to get repeat business.  My son actually bartended the first wedding party, so this was my first time meeting the brothers and the family. I spoke to the groom many times by email and phone planning the bar menu and shopping list.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

I served a variety of drinks including a cucumber gin and tonic, the classic, Fleur di Paradis cocktail, and a rum hot toddy. Surprisingly, the Maxwell House does not have a fixed bar in place, so I set up my portable bar and table in the library of the historic home.

Maxwell House Wedding Pluses

  • Close to the 210 and 134 freeways
  • Picturesque and private setting
  • Large kitchen and dining room
  • Beautiful main room for ceremony
  • Nice courtyard

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    Bride and bridesmaids

I usually like to give props to the caterers, but I misplaced the caterers card and can’t recall their name, but they did a fantastic job. The Maxwell House has a great kitchen and two large dining room areas. They also have a great courtyard, which I’m sure gets utilized more in the summer.

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Maxwell House dining room

I have been remiss in updating this blog, but I have done many events recently including weddings, birthday parties, and rehearsal dinners.  It is the season for many events in the Palm Springs area, and I am doing several weddings out there in the coming weeks. Late this week I am doing a large corporate event in Culver City, a cocktail party in Huntington Beach, and a cocktail party in Palm Desert. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct
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View from Newport Beach Clubhouse

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a post wedding reception at a condo association club house. The couple was married earlier in Hawaii and most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, so they held a reception in Newport Beach for that reason.

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8 year old bar flies

Many of these condo communities and apartment complexes have club houses where the residents can hold parties. This particular club house was very nice and it overlooked Newport Beach with an ocean view. It had a kitchen and a built in bar. The reception was Hawaiian themed and I served Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. They catered in Hawaiian food.  

Like any wedding reception, family member and friends made speeches. One of the groom’s sons made a memorable speech when he said something to the effect that “his dad seems much happier since he met his new wife.” I talked to the groom and he said he had been single for 15 years since his last divorce, and never thought he would be married again. I guess there is hope for me too. I think everyone had fun at the reception and I served a bunch of shots.

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Shots!

Corporate Events

I have done a bunch of corporate events recently. I did a grand opening at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs where they demonstrated new new products. I served beer and they hired a caterer to grill steaks. I talked quite a bit to the caterer and hope to work with him again. He has lived and worked all over the world and is a master at many different cuisines. I hope to work with him again. He is Christopher at First Place Cuisine.

Tomorrow I will be doing two corporate events at retail stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and then again on Friday. On Saturday I will be bartending an all night Halloween party in San Bernardino. Next week I have events scheduled in mid city Los Angeles, Westlake Village, and Coachella. Follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Wraps up September with Two Events

2 Oct
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New bartender, Siaka behind double portable bars

The end of September ended with a bang for Shaken Not Stirred as we provided bartending service for two big events. Friday night we returned to Culver City to bartend an end of summer party for a successful tech company. It was the second event I have done there. Then on Saturday, I did a 20 year class reunion at a Burbank private high school. It was a great weekend for Shaken Not Stirred.

Culver City Company Party

The event was held in the parking lot of the company headquarters in Culver City. I arrived early and set up my portable bar in the parking lot. I had another new bartender join me. It was my first time working with him, and he did an excellent job. There were over 100 guests, so we kept pretty busy. We had premixed Margaritas, Pimm’s Cup, and sangria in beverage dispensers. That definitely sped the service up.

The employees at these tech companies tend to be younger, and single, so they are ready to party. We served out of margaritas, and went through a lot of beer and wine. At eleven pm somebody in the neighborhood complained about noise, so we had to pack up the bar and move indoors. The company also hired a band and DJ for the event, but I didn’t get their names.

Burbank 20 Year Class Reunion

I did much planning with one of the organizers of the class reunion, and I purchased all of the alcohol and supplies and delivered them to the event. It is a service I offer for a nominal fee to my clients. Unfortunately, I can only offer that service to my Los Angeles clients, because I don’t have a truck, and sometimes have to make two trips.

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20 year class reunion held at the actual school

For this party, I served margaritas, which I also premixed and served from a beverage dispenser. I served out of red wine quickly, and was embarrassed that recommended four bottles. Red wine is not popular at summer parties, but as soon as the weather starts cooling down, it becomes popular. One of the organizers ran out a bought more.

20 year class reunions are fun, because they often awkward at first, but as soon as the guests loosen up with drinks, everyone has a great time. This was a fairly small class with only 90 in their graduating class, and 60 guests showed up. They played songs from 1997, and it just doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was 20 years. I think everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Rosamond with another bartender to bartend a 150 guest wedding, and then on Sunday will drive to Orange County to do an event in Villa Park. Later this month I have events scheduled in San Marino, Yucca Valley, Newport Beach, and Highland. Follow us on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Five Events in Two Weeks: From the Mountains to the Sea

19 Sep

I have been so busy doing the actual work or running a bartending service, I have neglected doing my blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending services at events in Fillmore, San Diego, Bermuda Dunes, Valley Village, and Studio City over the past two weeks. The events included a wedding, a corporate event, a bachelorette party, and two birthday parties. I did some traveling and two of the events were within 10 minutes of my house.

Fillmore Wedding

I have done a couple of events in the town of Fillmore in Ventura County. It is always nice going out there and it is a small town of 14,000 people that is not on any major freeway. The wedding was held at the City Hall, just next to the old train station in the center of town. It was a perfect day for a wedding, and the they had the city hall decorated real nice.

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Fillmore City Hall

I set up my portable bar on the side of the courtyard and served drinks for approximately 150 people. The host rented a margarita machine, which I had never used before. It seemed easy enough, but it presented many problems. First of all, it kept causing the breaker to switch off, because it pulled so much power. Then it started leaking and leaked out half of its contents before I could get it to stop. It takes at least two hours for the liquid to get slushy, and then the drinks don’t taste very good. I wouldn’t recommend. Other than that, it was a very nice wedding in an idyllic setting.

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Margarita Machine – I don’t recommend

San Diego Corporate Event

I don’t try to get a lot of work in San Diego, because it can be an odyssey getting there and back from the SFV. One of my corporate clients asked me to go down there, and of course I couldn’t refuse. I have done several events for this company in orange county. They are usually product launch events, as was this one. I served drinks for about 100 people. Another successful corporate event.

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San Diego Product Launch

Bermuda Dunes Bachelorette Party

On Friday I drove to Bermuda Dunes to bartend a bachelorette party. Have you ever tried to spell the word “bachelorette”? The host wanted specialty cocktails that required a bit of preparation.  One of the drinks was a watermelon/cucumber margarita. I premade the mix for that using fresh ingredients.  We discovered at the party that the drink benefitted from fresh jalapenos. The ladies had six bottles of booze and wondered if that would be enough for nine people. “If you drink all of that booze, you will be in the hospital. Well, they went through 90 percent of it, and they all were still alive when I left. They loved the drinks.septem4

Valley Village Birthday Party

I only had to drive five minutes from my house to do this party. The hosts have a really nice house in Valley Village with a very smartly landscaped yard that is perfect for entertaining. I made my special jalapeno margarita mix, but unfortunately did not bring enough. There were 70 guests and everybody wanted that for their first round. I was out of that in one hour. So the host had to run and get more supplies. I made the French 75, classic champagne cocktail and was surprised how many of those I served. I want to give a shout out to Salinas Churros that were there. They had an incredible churro cart that they built themselves and their churros were delicious. The churro cart was a big hit.  I served drinks until 2 am and until almost all of the booze was gone. Went through at least 10 bottles of tequila.

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Rager in Valley Village

Studio City Surprise Birthday Party

On Sunday I ended the week by bartending a surprise birthday party in the hills of Studio City. This was a referral from another job I did, which I always appreciate. This was a very mellow family event and kids were there swimming. They had a life guard,  which is always a good idea. I served margaritas, Moscow mules, and beer. It was a very mellow event, which I was grateful for after the two ragers I did before.

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Hills of Studio City

This coming week I have two weekday corporate events in Woodland Hills and West Hollywood. I have three events on Saturday and am sending multiple bartenders out to Mission Viejo, Villa Park, and Silverlake. Shaken Not Stirred has booked 17 events in September and the month is just flying by. I have events in Culver City, Burbank, and La Verne before I close out the month of September 2017. Follow us on Instagram.