Tag Archives: Beverly Hills

Reptacular Ranch Wedding and 50th Birthday Cocktail Party

19 Jun
reptac5

Tequila shots at cocktail party

Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service for two big events last week – a 50th birthday cocktail party, and a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch.  On Friday I went to the Carthay Circle neighborhood of Los Angeles, which is south of Hollywood and bartended for a two hour cocktail party to celebrate the host’s 50th birthday. Then, on Saturday, I drove up into the mountains above Sylmar to the Reptacular Ranch to bartend a wedding (my second time at the venue).

I always like doing intimate cocktail parties and the hosts and guests usually like having me. The hosts like having a bartender because they can enjoy themselves and not have to make the drinks. The guests like it because they can get a variety of professionally made drinks. For this party I set up my portable bar in the kitchen and served drinks to five couple before they departed for a nice dinner in West Hollywood.

 

reptac4

Salud!

I served Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and Lemon Drops made with fresh lemons from my backyard lemon tree. Unfortunately, I think I used the last of the good lemons from the tree, and most that are left are over ripe. I created a new Elderberry Lemon drop using a dash of St. Germain, agave nectar, and fresh lemon juice, with a sugar rim. The guests had a couple of cocktails and left for dinner. Everyone was happy.

Reptacular Ranch Weddings

  • Petting zoo with exotic animals
  • Rustic secluded location
  • Bar with refrigerators
  • “Honey Wagon” style restrooms
  • Beautiful area for ceremony

    reptac1

    Reptacular Ranch Ceremony

Saturday was my second time working at the Reptacular Ranch. The first time was back in August and it was literally 110 degrees up there. All the ice melted within 2 hours, and I had to drive down to Sylmar and pick up more. They have since made improvements and have refrigerators and a ice cooler near their newly renovated bar area. They also have a very nice new area with seating for ceremonies. For this wedding, the groom works for an ice company, and the weather was unseasonably cool, so we did not have to worry about ice.

reptac3

Bar area at Reptacular Ranch

This coming week I have a cocktail party in Los Angeles on Friday night, a Summer Solstice party in Studio City on Saturday night, and then a birthday party in Beverly Hills, and a graduation party in Seal Beach on Sunday. That’s is the kind of week I like. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Shaken Not Stirred Gig Bartender Does Events Across SoCal

7 Aug
simi1

Picturesque Simi Valley

Southern California’s traveling gig bartender, Shaken Not Stirred bartended several events in the past two weeks across the region. I have been very busy the past two weeks and have not had time to keep up with this blog. I have done events in Inglewood, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades, Fullerton, Beverly Hills, and Simi Valley. All were successful, and I think my clients were happy with my service – I did pick up some more five star reviews and referrals.

I started off the string of events in Downtown LA at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. SheEO sponsored an fundraising event and I served wine and soft drinks to approximately 50 ladies. SheEO seems like a very worthwhile organization, and should appeal to any female entrepreneurs. I hope to do more events with them in the future.

SheEo

SheEo Event in Downtown LA

Next I bartended a party in Inglewood attended largely by a local contingent of Nigerian immigrants. They served traditional Nigerian food, like jerk goat, and mint pies. I served wine, beer, and cocktails. The host invited me to work there every Friday night. I was tempted by the offer of ongoing work, but turned it down. An ongoing weekly gig feels too much like a job to me. I would rather see where the universe takes me.

Types of Events for a Gig Bartender

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Pool parties
  • Class Reuinions

The day after, I went to Pacific Palisades to bartend a summer/company party. A local law firm held the party for employees and friends. I set up my portable bar on the deck next to the pool. It was a hot summer night, and I got bitten several times by mosquitos, which is rare in California. The host had a very nice selection of liquor and mixers and I was able to make some craft cocktails.

palisades1

Guests mingle in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, I traveled to Orange County to the Fullerton Community Center to bartend a wedding. It was a my first time working the venue and it had a large ballroom big enough to seat at least two hundred people. Over 100 people attended this wedding and I kept pretty busy making drinks for all of those people. Luckily they were mostly wine drinkers, which makes to easier for me to serve 100 people by myself.

Mid week I bartended a corporate event in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. They have hired me for at least a dozen events, and most of the events are one weekdays, which I really appreciate. I brought another bartender with me and we served cocktails to approximately 75 guests. It was deathly hot and humid that night in Los Angeles, with the humidity hovering at 60 percent.

I finished off the week in beautiful Simi Valley bartending a baby shower on Saturday Night. The humid weather subsided, and it was an extremely pleasant night for August in Simi Valley. It even got a bit chilly after the sun went down. I served cocktails to around 50 guests and finished at 11pm.

This coming weekend I have only one event scheduled for Saturday night, but that could change. I will be bartending a birthday party in Northridge. Later this month I have events in Tujunga, San Diego, Irvine, and Hawthorne. All of my Saturdays are booked through October. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred, the gig bartender on Instagram.

A Bunch of Events, New Orleans, and Fractured Ribs

27 May
nolo1b

Famous Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans

Today is the first day I have felt like sitting at a desk and writing since returning from my trip from New Orleans and recovering from fractured ribs. I visited New Orleans for the first time last week and had an accident falling out of the hotel shower where I fractured my ribs. I returned to LA and have been laid up in severe pain this entire week – I finally feel much better today, but am not 100 percent. Shaken Not Stirred was very busy the week before I left on my trip, and I have even done a couple events since I’ve been back and haven’t written about any of them on this blog.

nolo2b

Interior, Maple Leaf Bar

The week before I left on my trip I did five big events. I bartended an alumni event in Burbank, did a bris celebration in Studio City, traveled to Indian Wells to bartend a rehearsal dinner for Goodfella’s Tacos, drove back to Castaic to bartend a graduation party, and then on Sunday bartended a Mother’s Day party in Woodland Hills. I left for New Orleans the next morning. That was one of my busiest weeks since I started the company.

burbank1b

Alumni event, Burbank

I went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my friend, Jason Ricci. He is one of the best harmonica players in the world today. My accident happened on the day before the wedding. I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, but was in so much pain, had to leave shortly after and missed the big jam session at the famous Maple Leaf Bar where the wedding party was held. I was very disappointed about that. Despite my accident, I loved the city and people of New Orleans, and will return for sure. The food is incredible, and we Yankees could all learn a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

indianwells1b

Indian Wells Rehearsal Dinner 

The flight back was excruciating with broken ribs, and had not the nice lady sitting next to me given me a Vicodin, I can imagine the plane having to land in Nashville or somewhere because I was moaning so much. I returned on Thursday and had two upcoming gigs on Saturday and Sunday that I had no idea how I was going to complete. I could not bend down, turn my body, or lift anything above four pounds without wincing in pain.

castaic1c

Mariachis perform at Castaic graduation party

I called some other bartenders and tried to get somebody to take my gigs, but could not find anybody on short notice. I decided to get a friend to help me and I could sit on a stool and mix drinks. I will never cancel a gig I have taken a deposit for, and will to the best of my ability get the job done. My friend drove me to Fontana and we got the job done and I bartended a birthday party for 60 people. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

castaic2b

Shots!

irvine1b

Irvine Graduation Party 

The next day we turned around and drove to Irvine to bartend a graduation party of 100 people. Once again, we got the job done, and I couldn’t have done it without my friend, Steve, who had no previous bartending experience. While we were doing that gig, I had three other bartenders doing a fundraiser event in Beverly Hills, which came off very well I have heard.

fontana1c

Guests enjoy cigars at Fontana birthday party

I spend all of last week laying around letter my ribs heal. I went to the doctor and got xrays and at least three ribs are fractured. I have several events already scheduled for this month, but am not taking on any new ones until I am completely healed. Tonight I am bartending a birthday party in Santa Monica, and my friend is coming along to help me. Next week I am doing a birthday party close to home in Van Nuys. Hopefully, by next month I will be fully recovered and ready to roll for the summer party and wedding season.

fontana1b

Injured bartender in Fontana

Los Angeles Bar Service at Two January Parties

17 Jan
pch2

Friends and family surprise guest of honor

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bar service provided beverages at two area parties over the weekend. On Saturday I traveled to Redondo Beach to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party, and then on Sunday evening I bartended a lavish dinner party in Beverly Hills. January is typically a slow month in the bar catering business, and it is always nice to get more than one event on the weekend.

I arrived at 10 am in Redondo Beach to set up my portable bar. It was a beautiful sunny day after all the rainy days we’ve been having. It is always a gamble to schedule an outdoor party in January in LA, but this time the host lucked out. The party was held a an iconic Redondo Beach house that I have passed many times and always wondered what it was. It is home to an accounting office, but it has a wonderful backyard that is perfect for having parties.

pch3

Beautiful day and ice sculpture at surprise party 

The host went to great lengths the plan the party and conceal it from his wife. He hired a caterer, Chef Mumsie, a photo booth, Nina Gallery, and a guitar player/singer (I didn’t get his card). The birthday girl was truly surprised and touched when she arrived. Surprise parties are usually great and I’m sure they last as precious memories in a person’s life. I have provided bartending service at many surprise birthday parties, and they always require coordination between the various family members and vendors.

Hire a Los Angeles Bar Service

  • Don’t let your guests pour their own drinks
  • Enjoy the party
  • Get help with drink menu and shopping list
  • Get a portable bar
  • Impress your guests
    bh1

    Bar setup in Beverly Hills

    On Sunday I returned to the home of one of my best clients to bartend a very nice dinner party. Jon and Vinny’s of Hollywood catered the event and they offered to bring their own bartender, but my clients wanted me. I was very appreciative of that. I worked well with the catering crew, and they took most of the drink orders and did the cocktailing for me. I brought my Jalapeno margarita mix and mixed it with mescal, which also works very good. I must say that the food from Jon and Vinny’s was excellent, and I cleaned every morsel off of my plate.

    bh2

    Dinner party in Beverly Hills

    This weekend I am traveling all the way to San Marcos in North County, San Diego to bartend a martini party. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend, so I hope that does not ruin the party. I know I am bringing the portable bar and we usually set that up outside. Next month is shaping up to be very busy for the Los Angeles bar service, Shaken Not Stirred and I will be doing parties in Sherman Oaks, Glendora, Studio City, and Palm Springs so far. I still have Super Bowl Sunday open, so hope that I get a party there somewhere along the way.

Beverly Hills 10th Anniversary Party

1 Aug
bev2

Bar prep at Beverly Hills 10th Anniversary party

Saturday I was honored to bartend for a 10th Anniversary party for some of my best clients. I have provided bartending services for this couple at least a dozen times at business related cocktail parties, film premiers, and wrap parties. This was the first personal type party that they hired me for and it was their biggest party to date.

Over 100 guests, including children drifted in and out during the four hour event. I served a lot of drinks very quickly. We had two specialty drinks including a Blackberry Mint Moscow Mule, and a Watermelon Cucumber Vodka cooler. I am able to make these labor intensive drinks for large groups of people because I make batches of several drinks at a time. I served out of the Moscow Mule toward the end of the party and was almost out of the Watermelon drink at the end.

bev3

Blackberry Mint Moscow Mule

They have a pool in the backyard and hired a lifeguard to watch the kids, which is a great idea. I did another party recently where there were many kids swimming and no lifeguard. It only takes a few minutes for a tragedy to happen. Especially at a large party where alcohol is being served.

10th Anniversary Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite friends and extended family
  • Hire performers
  • Renewal of vows

    bev4

    Guests mingle at Beverly Hills Anniversary party

Ella Freyinger provided the catering and she did a fantastic job, as always. I have worked with her before. This time they had barbecue chicken, tri tip, hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids, and a whole variety of summer side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. There was plenty of food and friends and family attended the 10th anniversary party from around the country.

I have a wedding coming up next weekend in Lancaster, but that is the only thing I have scheduled for this week. I was thinking that it is kind of slow, and I checked my schedule for last year around this time. Actually it was even slower for Shaken Not Stirred last year. It will pick up soon enough because before you know it the holiday season will be here. I have already booked some parties in October, November, and December, and have had inquiries for New Year’s Eve. and January. It is never too early to book your holiday parties. I am starting with a new booking service, and they say they will book me more work than I know what to do with six months in advance. I may have to hire some more bartenders.

Woodland Hills 30th Birthday Party

25 Jul
fires1

Sun poking through the smoky sky

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled across the smoky San Fernando Valley to bartend a 30th birthday party in Woodland Hills. The huge Sand Fire burning in Santa Clarita was pumping ash into the air and it was falling like snowflakes over the SFV. It was an ugly, hot day and seemed like we were approaching the apocalypse, but the party did go on.

The birthday girl hired me to bartend and she is a repeat customer. I bartended her wedding nearly a year ago in Malibu. I love repeat business and her and her husband couldn’t be nicer. They have a nice home on the hill just south of Ventura Boulevard with a great view of Warner Center. I set up my portable bar and table in the backyard – smoke be damned.

camila1

Cooking steak sandwiches

As the sun went down, people forgot about the smoke, and jalapeno margaritas, Moscow Mules, and classic Old Fashioned help them do that. I brought a server with me to help out with the food. The birthday girl is from Argentina and she served empanadas, and churrasco steak sandwiches that were really good. Everyone helped out with the food.

30th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a Bartender
  • Have a back yard party
  • Theme cocktails and decorations
  • Pool party

    camila2b

    Birthday girl and friends celebrating 30th birthday party

Many of the guests recognized me from the wedding. Everything was going quite well, but there was one mishap. One of the guests was moving quite rapidly through the living room and ran face first into the sliding glass door and cracked it. Fortunately, it didn’t shatter and fall into a million pieces. In the guy’s defense that ran into it, that door had been open for the entire party, and someone had just closed before he ran into it. The guy was embarrassed, but it could have been worse. We have all done stuff like that.

camila3b

Shots!

This coming weekend I am bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. I have bartended at least ten business related parties for them, and this will be my first time doing a more personal party, so it is a great honor. The summer is flying by and people are already booking December holiday parties. Book yours now to be safe.

 

Diamond Bar Center Wedding III

20 Jul
dbar5

A bride’s final moments as a single woman

On Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred returned to the Diamond Bar Center for the third time to provide bartending services for a wedding reception. I believe the bride found me through this blog when I wrote about a previous wedding I had done at the venue. They have a very efficient system setup there for the vendors, and I have the system down.

I had done a big wedding in Solvang the night before, so I was tired after the long drive and everything, but this is wedding season in Southern California. I always like doing Sunday weddings. I had planned the bar service with the bride for several months, and made a shopping list for her. Everything was there when I arrived.

dbar2b

Bride and groom at the Diamond Bar Center

They have two very nice portable bars at the Diamond Bar Center, and they are easy to setup, and move them if you have to. The plan for this wedding was to have a cocktail hour in the reception area just after the wedding ceremony, and then move the bar into the dining room while the guests were eating dinner. I was able to do that no problem and it took me less than fifteen minutes, thanks to the bar on wheels.

Diamond Bar Center Weddings

  • Nice hilltop location with scenic views
  • Large dining room can seat up to 300 guests
  • Reception area and back patio
  • Great yard for ceremonies
  • Portable bars

    dbar1b

    Shots!

Approximately 80 guests were in attendance and I served out of vodka fifteen minutes before the party ended. I made simple drinks and served wine and beer. Chris Christopher provided DJ services, and Belladonna Catering did the food. Another great Diamond Bar Center wedding completed.

This coming weekend I will be traveling across the San Fernando Valley to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party for a client I did a wedding for previously. It is always nice to get repeat business. Later this month I will be bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for a couple that I have done many business cocktail parties.

Mission Beach Women’s Club Wedding

20 Jun
mb3b

Sign created by the bride

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to San Diego to provide bartending services at a wedding at the Mission Beach Women’s Club. This was my first time working at this venue, and I hope to return there many more times. What a fantastic spot to have a wedding and reception. The scenery is great, the vibe is happening, and I just had an overall nice experience.

The hardest part of working this venue was getting in and out of there. Summer is here and it’s starting to get hot. Everyone in Southern California heads to the beach. The bars and restaurants are full of people, parking is hard to find and traffic is a nightmare. I arrived plenty early and the hosts even saved me my own parking spot at the venue. I had plenty of time to set up my portable bar, outside on the patio next to the bike path.

mb4b

Dad escorts bride at Mission Beach Women’s Club

Mission Beach Women’s Club Venue

  • Views of the Mission Bay
  • Cooler weather
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Patio reception area
  • Indoor dining room and dance floor

    mb2b

    Wedding with scenic backdrop

The wedding was held on the grass just across from the venue with Mission Bay in the background. This makes for some great photography. They set up chairs and a wedding arch, everyone sat down and the ceremony was over in less than half an hour. The chairs and wedding arch rapidly disappeared and the party started.

mb1b

Shots!

I made simple drinks like Captain and Coke, Jack and Coke, Sea Breezes, and Moscow Mules. Fireball shots were popular. I was worried we were going to run out of a few things, and we did, but the guests adjusted. Bekker’s Catering of San Diego provided the food, and they did an excellent job.

I will be bartending a cocktail party in Beverly Hills on Thursday, and then doing a wedding in Hemet, which I booked over a year ago. The big Fourth of July weekend is coming up and I will be busy in Palm Springs and Orange County.

Two Woodland Hills Parties

14 Jun
woodh6

Prepping bar in Woodland Hills

Saturday and Sunday I returned to my old stomping grounds of Woodland Hills to bartend two very nice parties. On Saturday I went to the home of a previous client to bartend his wife’s retirement party, as she put in 20 years of service as a PE teacher at LAUSD, teaching junior high kids (also known as hard time!) On Sunday, I went to a neighborhood just a few blocks from my old house and bartended a baby shower.

woodh5

Host gives award winning speech at retirement party

The Saturday night party was held in the backyard, and I had done a party there before. The host had everything pretty much setup for me when I arrived. A local brewer donated some kegs for the party and we had four different types of beer available. Everyone really enjoyed the beer and had nothing but good things to say about it.  The brewer had started making beer in his garage, but it grew into a business. I guess he will be opening a brewpub sometime next year in Glendale. The name is Paperback Brewing, so watch out for it.

The host is a fun guy and he made a very good speech on a megaphone about his wife’s retirement, and ended the speech by playing “Take this Job and Shove it!”. I was training, Maria, my barback to make drinks. She got pretty good at making Cadillac Margaritas, and then I showed her how to make Mai Tais. We also served some really nice French wine.

IMG_20160612_124843

Portable bar at Woodland Hills Baby Shower

On Sunday the baby shower party started at 1pm, so I was on location at noon to set up. I have done a few baby showers, and sometimes it’s all women, but other times everyone is included. This wedding shower was coed, and a everyone in the family showed up. I made Margaritas, Mojitos, and Moscow Mules. Traditional Mediterranean cuisine was served. The weather was just perfect, because I know that section of Woodland Hills can be one of the hottest areas in the San Fernando Valley.

woodh1

Hosts and friends at Woodland Hills baby shower

Next weekend I only have one party booked so far – a wedding in San Diego. It is supposed to be 100 degrees in LA, so hopefully it will be a bit cooler down there. Later this month I have events in Hemet and  Beverly Hills, and then the month is over. Time flies when you are having fun.  

Post Xmas Cocktail Party in Fontana

28 Dec
fontana2

Portable bar and table in Fontana

Saturday afternoon, I was sitting home with no bartending jobs scheduled until New Year’s Eve, when I got a call to bartend a cocktail party in Fontana, two days after Christmas. I live in the San Fernando Valley and Fontana (Inland Empire) is about 60 miles away, so I had to jump into action to get to the party on time. I was glad to get the job, because even though I have been very busy this holiday season, January is not looking so hot so far.

I made a quick shopping list for the host and emailed it to her. Most of the events I do involve way more planning than this, but last minute parties can still be successful. We didn’t really have time to plan any elaborate specialty drinks, but I have done enough parties to know what supplies are needed for a specific number of guests. I can guess pretty accurately how much ice, how many cups, how many bottles of wine, etc. will be needed. I have said many times, do not hesitate to call me last minute if you need a bartender.

fontana1

Hosts and guests enjoy Fontana cocktail party

I arrived in Fontana on time and set up my portable bar and table in the corner of the kitchen. The portable bar is three feet wide and the table is four feet long, so I roughly need a fifteen feet square foot area for my portable bar. I usually only charge $25 for the portable bar, because it is nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose, and I have used it on rooftops in Beverly Hills, and near the docks in Wilmington.

Cocktail Party Occasions

  • House Warming
    Celebrate a promotion
    Grand Openings
    Going away parties
    Client appreciation

The Fontana cocktail party was slow to get going, but had a big finish. Guests trickled in – after all it was the Saturday after Christmas, and most people in Southern California have at that point been going to various functions all month. The host had a beautiful grand player piano that certainly added a bit of class to the party, rather than the usual Pandora selections. It was if we had a concert pianist on hand for the party. I served wine, a few margaritas, and some vodka drinks. I think everybody had a great time, and it was a successful last minute cocktail party.

My next party scheduled for Shaken Not Stirred is on New Year’s Eve in Sherman Oaks, very close to home. I will be doing several prohibition era cocktails for that party. Last year I bartended a New Year’s Day party, which I got last minute, so maybe I will get another this year. January is pretty open, so please call me if you are planning a birthday party, wedding, or any kind of event in January.