Tag Archives: birthday parties

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.  

 

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.

 

Mission Hills 40th Birthday Party

21 Feb
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A Bay Breeze waits to go out

Saturday night I bartended a 40th birthday party in Mission Hills. This was the third party I have provided bartending service for this large family. It is always nice to have repeat business and referrals. This was just the kind of party I love to do – around 60 guests in the backyard.

I set up my portable bar and table next to the garage. I served Margaritas, Palomas, and the Bay Breeze, and Moscow Mules. We had a good selection of beers, also, including Blue Moon, 805, Stella, Corona, and Pacifico. I think 805 won the battle of the beers at this party. It is always nice to have two or three beer choices.

I didn’t get the name of the taco vendors, but they had a great selection of tacos, tortas, and burritos. Many taco vendors don’t offer the option of tortas, and burritos, so that is always nice. The weather was perfect for a backyard 40th birthday party, and it was the last nice night before this current cold snap.

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Birthday girl and family at 40th Birthday Party

40th Birthday Party Ideas:

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Make a photo backdrop
  • Play great music
  • Invite a cross section of people

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    Shots!

February has been somewhat slow for Shaken Not Stirred, as it usually is, so I am glad that March is looking to be very busy. Wedding season kicks into high gear and I already have three weddings scheduled in March. This weekend I’m going to Palm Springs on Friday for a cocktail party, return to Redondo Beach on Saturday for a birthday party, and then to Tarzana on Sunday for another birthday party. If you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do.

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Sisters and friends

 

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.

 

Two Days, Two Birthday Parties for Shaken Not Stirred

29 Aug
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Backyard bar in Mission Viejo

On Friday I traveled south to Mission Viejo to bartend a going away/birthday party, and then on Saturday traveled south again to bartend a 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. I had done a previous party for the hosts at Mission Viejo, and it was the only time I have ever been late to an event. There was an accident on the freeway and I ending up arriving thirty minutes late. Driving south into Orange County on a Friday can be brutal, so I leave hours in advance. I work out at LA Fitness if I have time to kill, and they have two really nice clubs in Mission Viejo.

The hosts at Mission Viejo are moving to Nashville, and I am sorry to see them go. I jokingly said for them to book me on a party in Nashville. The host who is British and very blunt said, “Ok, but you buy your own f#$%^g ticket!” I will buy my ticket, because I want to see Nashville and have never been there. They say that it is booming.

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Friends hang at the bar in Mission Viejo

The talk of the party was of the upcoming Mayweather/McGregor fight. The overwhelming opinion was that McGregor was going down. My British friend predicted a first round knock out. Someone else said it would go longer because people would be pissed otherwise, after paying to watch it. I agreed with that, but there have been a few of those pay-per-view fights that have ended in the first couple of rounds.

The next morning I finished the shopping for my clients in Hidden Hills – they were having a party for the fight night. I bought all of the supplies for them. It is an extra service I provide for a fee. I had to send another bartender to bartend the fight night party because I had previously booked the 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. So I dropped the supplies off and set up the bar, and then turned around and drove to Hawthorne to do the birthday party.  

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50th “White” birthday party

50th birthday parties tend to be kind of wild for some reason. I guess people suddenly realize that they are a half century old and they let loose, rebelling against the idea of middle age. This party was no different – I poured a lot of shots. Good Cop/ Bad Cop provided the live music and they were great. They had the fight on toward the end. Yes, McGregor would have gone down if the ref didn’t stop it, but it went ten rounds and people got their money’s worth.

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Cucumber/jalapeno margarita made with fresh vegetables from host’s garden

This weekend I get to stick close to home. I have one event in Winnetka, here in the SFV, and another near Hancock Park.  Later this month I have events in Fillmore, San Diego, Mission Viejo

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
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Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

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“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

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Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

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Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

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Shots waiting for drinkers

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

Calabasas Wedding

22 Aug
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Backyard ceremony at Calabasas wedding

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a Calabasas wedding at a beautiful backyard ceremony and reception. This was the third wedding related party I bartended of a three part series – three different couples out of a group of friends within a year and a half. I bartended the first engagement party at a home in Valencia, and then I bartended a rehearsal party at a venue in Temecula, and then finally I did this wedding reception in Calabasas.

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Toddler learns to dance

This wedding was held at a beautiful home in Calabasas that sits against a hillside and it was perfect for hosting a large wedding party. There were approximately 100 guests in attendance. The weather was just perfect – not too hot as it can be in Calabasas in August. Backyard weddings are always nice, especially at a property like this. Stonefire Grill of Thousand Oaks provided the catering and they did an excellent job. I have worked at several events where they have been present.

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Shots!

There was a granite countertop by the barbecue that I used as the bar. I usually recommend having two bartenders for groups of 100 people or more, but I have done it by myself several times and I can handle it. I brought my drink dispenser to pour regular and jalapeno margaritas. I premix them and this makes service a lot faster for large groups. The initial hit is always right after the ceremony and then comes in a couple more waves as people come through for their second and third drinks, and then it usually evens out after that. The Calabasas wedding was another success for Shaken Not Stirred.

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More Shots!

Last week I had a lull in bookings due to some kind of computer error with the website where I get many of jobs, but that has changed as of yesterday and I have booked four jobs in a row. I have booked a Halloween Party in Orange County, a couple more birthday parties, and a wedding in San Diego. Now is the time to book for fall and the holidays, so don’t wait.

Lomita 35th Birthday Party

15 Aug
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More bang for your buck and made in the USA!

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Lomita to bartend a 35th birthday party. I have done many 40th, 50th, 21st, 60th, and even 80th birthday parties, but this was my first time bartending while the host celebrated the big 35. It is an important milestone, and I think it is when men start realizing they better step it up a notch – time starts moving fast. The party was held at a very nice backyard at a Lomita home in the South Bay. I set up my portable bar in the gazebo, and if I could open my own bar there, I would.

The hosts created and chose the specialty drinks. I made one cocktail with vodka, hibiscus syrup, St. Germaine, and club soda. I garnished that with a hibiscus flower. Another drink was created by the birthday boy himself, and it had scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and bitters. It was kind of a scotch based Manhattan. I also made classic bourbon Manhattans.

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Hisbiscus Fiz

35th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite people from all walks of life
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Make it memorable

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    Shots!

The hosts were of Sri Lanka heritage and the food served was classic Sri Lanka style. I must admit, when I looked at the food I assumed it would be dry and bland. That could not have been further from the truth. The food was excellent and I cleaned my plate completely.

Another great experience bartending a private event for Shaken Not Stirred. Nice people, good food, and great atmosphere. I always like returning to the South Bay, my old stomping grounds where there is natural air conditioning from the ocean almost all the time.  

Palmdale 21st Birthday Party

11 Jun
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Summer clouds in Palmdale

I drove up to Palmdale last night to bartend a 21st Birthday party. It was actually a dual birthday party, because the host and his son had birthdays just days apart and it was a joint celebration. I have done several parties in the Palmdale/Lancaster area, and it usually a nice drive out there.

This was a party that booked the day before, so I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing and talking to the host about it. He texted me and said they would be having Mojitos, Margaritas, and another drink called a Flying Dragon. I just showed up and set up my portable bar, though we hadn’t discussed that. I always carry it with me, so if I need to use it, I can.

21st Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invent theme cocktails
  • Take the car keys
  • Call Uber to take people home
  • Hire a band

The Flying Dragon consists of Dragonberry Bacardi rum. That is rum infused with strawberries and dragon fruit. You pour two parts rum, one part Sprite, and one part lemonade. People described it as tasting like a popsicle. It was definitely a hit with the younger crowd. Tacos were provided by Taquizas Diana (661) 878-0936. They also rent tables, chairs, jumpers, and linens. The host also got a jumper for the kids. I remember when I was a kid, the only time we got to use a jumper was at the annual carnival, and how excited we were.

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Jumpers keep the kids busy

The weather has been very weird here this month. Talk about June Gloom. I have a back yard retirement party tonight in Woodland Hills, and the weather is not nice at all. I have a baby shower in Woodland Hills tomorrow during the day that is also going to be outdoors and the forecast calls for drizzle. I am ready for some heat after this extended gloom. Next weekend I am driving to San Diego to bartend a wedding, and hopefully this gloom will have lifted. 

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Friends celebrate 21st birthday party