Tag Archives: bartender

La Chureya Estate Wedding

11 Apr

Sharply dressed guests before ceremony

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for the first time at the beautiful and historic La Chureya Estate close to downtown Palm Springs. Palm Springs is becoming one of the hottest places for destination weddings. For this particular wedding most of the guests traveled thousands of miles from Australia to be there.

Champagne station at entrance

I have worked at many fabulous venues throughout Southern California, and I must say La Chureya Estate is one of the most beautiful. The buildings are classic Spanish architecture and the grounds are immaculately groomed and landscaped. The bar area is next to the olympic sized pool, and that is where we pored drinks all night.

Pool area with bar on the other side

The wedding ceremony took place out on the lawn, which is was a perfect backdrop for great photography. We set up a champagne and water stand for the guests as they were arriving. We finished serving all of the arrivals and then moved back to the bar, when the ceremony ended quickly and we were hit with a big line. We served spicy jalapeno margaritas, Moscow Mules, and a variety of other drinks.

Bride takes a walk with father

La Chureya Estate Venue

  • Beautiful historic buildings and landscaping
  • Private location
  • Close to downtown Palm Springs
  • Ample space for vendors
  • Views of the mountains from grounds

Most of the guests at this wedding traveled all of the way from Australia and it was fun serving them. They were all dressed to the nines and I’m sure the photographer (also from Australia got some great pictures. There were 75 guests in attendance, and they kept my other bartender and I pretty busy. We completely served out of tequila and most of the vodka.

I will return to Palm Springs tomorrow to do a 200 guest corporate event. The Coachella Music Festival is going on this weekend and next and we have a few events going connected to that. I also have a “Leaving California,” party to do Saturday night in Corona on Saturday night. You may no how I feel about that – “You can check out, but you can never leave…” Please follow us on Instagram.

40th Birthday Party and Barbecue at Wesley Hotel

2 Apr

Shots!

Last weekend I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend a 40th birthday party at the boutique Wesley Hotel. The host had rented the entire hotel for the occasion and invited 40 of his friends to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The weather was perfect for a barbecue and pool party and I think everyone had a great time.

Wesley Hotel Party

The host wanted somebody to grill hamburgers and hotdogs, and I recruited one of my bartenders, Josh who lives out there to do it. I was a little worried about it, because even though I have grilled steaks for a group of 15 ladies at a bachelorette party, this was a much bigger affair. Josh pulled it off and did an excellent job.

Bartender and griller

I recommended a DJ who I had worked with before, Play It Again Socal, out of Riverside. The noise ordinances are very strict in Palm Springs, and I was sure that somebody would complain and the cops would shut the music down. Fortunately, that never happened, and I think it is because the Wesley Hotel is away from residential areas.

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Play it Again Socal

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Rent an entire hotel and invite your closest friends
  • Hire a bartender and griller
  • Have a DJ
  • Hire strippers!
  • Serve good drinks and food

One cop did show up though, but he turned out to be a male stripper. He had me fooled for a minute there. I served Pina Coladas, Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Moscow Mules, and a bunch of shots and beers. Josh served all of the burgers there were and a ton of hotdogs.
I will be returning to Palm Springs again this weekend to bartend a wedding at the La Chureya Estate. Later on this month I have gigs in Brentwood, Corona, and sky Valley among others. Please follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bartending Service at 8 Big Events

8 Aug
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The View from 17th Floor

Last week was one of the busiest weeks ever for Shaken Not Stirred – my staff and I provided bartending service at 8 great events. I started off the week doing two corporate events in Downtown LA and Venice, and then on Saturday we had a baby shower, a going away brunch, and two birthday parties. Sunday I drove to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, while another bartender did an anniversary party in Manhattan Beach.

I picked up a new corporate client and they say they will be doing as many as two events a month, all on the weekdays. I love these kind of events. I did the first one on thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, and it was held at the 17th floor pool area of a luxury condo building. I brought all the supplies, and hustled them up to the 17th floor. It is an extra service I provide for an extra fee, and many of my clients do not want the hassle of shopping for their supplies. I am glad to do it.

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New Favorite Mode of Transportation in Venice

On Friday, I once again traveled to Venice to do a mixer that coincides with the First Friday Food truck event on Abbot Kinney. This was my third time doing this event. Once again, I shopped for and brought all the supplies. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to 30 or so people. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hire a Bartending Service

  • Craft cocktails and professional quality drinks
  • We can do the shopping for you
  • Professional consultation
  • Multiple bartenders available
  • ABC certified

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    Fullerton Baby Shower

Saturday was the big day that I was worried about because I had four different events staffed by four bartenders, plus myself. I had a baby shower to do with another bartender in Fullerton. One bartender did a daytime event in Sylmar, and then a birthday party later that night in Santa Clarita. Two other bartenders headed out to Pacoima to do a birthday party. Fortunately, everyone was on time and everything went great.

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Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

This weekend I have a wedding at the Diamond Bar Center on Saturday, and a birthday party in Studio City on Sunday. The month of august is flying by, and it won’t be too much longer that I will be booking Christmas parties. Like last year, I am saving all dates in December for my existing customers. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Two Bachelorette Parties, A Wedding, and a Birthday Party

31 Jul
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Bride Tribe

It was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and it spanned a large territory from Palm Springs, to downtown Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley. I started out on Friday bartending at two different bachelorette parties in Palm Springs, drove back to LA to bartend a 200 guest wedding on Saturday, and then bartended a large birthday party in Panorama City on Sunday night. Needless to say, I served a whole lot of drinks.

Palm Springs is usually pretty hot this time of year, and Friday it was a sweltering 118. When I pulled into town the sky was hazy from the fires burning near Idyllwild. I wondered if that would ruin the bachelorette parties I was scheduled to do. When I arrived at the first house, I could hear ladies hooting and hollering in the backyard.  Obviously they weren’t going to let a little smoke ruin their party. I set up my portable bar out by the pool and started serving drinks.

I served a Lavender cocktail that the host wanted, and it was a hit. Vodka, lavender syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. I also made jalapeno margaritas, and a vodka, grapefruit and basil cocktail. Part of the deal of doing bachelorette parties, is that the bartender also has to act as photographer. I don’t mind doing that, and I took many cool pictures with the host’s phone.

The second bachelorette party started at 6pm, and I setup the portable bar inside the house. I was glad because it was still well over 100 in Cathedral City. For this party, I was to do a presentation and make four drinks – a Lemon Drop Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Jalapeno Margarita, and a Watermelon Daiquiri. My phone died and I only got one grainy picture, but it seems the ladies had a good time and were dancing in the living room by the end.july27b

I drove back to LA the next morning and didn’t have much turnaround time and had to start setting up two bars for a 200 guest wedding at 802 Mateo Street in downtown LA. another bartender arrived to help me and we served Mojitos, and various vodka drinks. I was worried about this wedding, because we had been planning it for months, but everything came off without a hitch.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

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Group shots!

Sunday night I was back in the San Fernando Valley bartending a 100 person birthday party at the Palacio Banquet Hall on Van Nuys Blvd. I served margaritas and various vodka drinks. It was quite a party with live entertainment, costumed dancers, and lots of great food. I served completely out of liquor by the end of the night.

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Latin dancers at Palacio Banquet Hall

This coming week I have 8 parties scheduled and am sending out multiple bartenders. I have two corporate events, two birthday parties, a going away party, a baby shower, and another bachelorette party. I hope everything goes ok! Follow us on Instagram.

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Shots!

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.

 

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.