Tag Archives: birthday

Studio City Backyard Party

17 Aug

Last night I bartended a backyard party that served both as the host’s birthday party, and to celebrate the recent completion of landscaping to the backyard. It was another hot day in the San Fernando Valley and I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down as I set up my portable bar beside the pool. We were expecting around forty guests and I transferred the host’s liquor from his indoor bar to my portable bar by the pool. He had a pretty well staffed bar and we were able to cover almost all bases in the liquor department.

I made a batch of cucumber/mint syrup to try out at this party and it went over well. Several guests requested cucumber margarita over and over again. The cucumber syrup also mixes well with vodka and rum. It is very concentrated and I only put about an ounce of it into each drink. I can’t wait to try other concoctions, like peach, mango, and melon. Somebody else brought jalapeno syrup and I made her favorite drink with that. The second most popular drink of the night was the Malibu Bay Breeze.

The sun finally went down and there was some relief from the heat. Some of the guests brought their swimming trunks and dove into the pool, turning the backyard party into a pool party.  The host requested that I stay an hour longer than my scheduled time and I was glad to do it. I think it is foolish for a bartender to leave when a party is still going strong. I always stay later when requested and am glad to do so. When I schedule a party on a Saturday night, I have no other pressing business.

It was nice staying in my neighborhood doing parties for the last two weeks, but am going on the road again next weekend to do a wedding in Tehachapi. Then I have two more weddings to do the following weekend in Camarillo and El Monte. The wedding season obviously isn’t over because I have other weddings already booked in September and October.

People ask me how far in advance they should book me, and I say if you agree the price is right – do it now. About a week ago somebody was talking to me about a date in November and they said they would get back to me. The next day I booked a party on that same date and took a deposit. I always book with the first person who pays a deposit. Even if a better deal comes my way – I honor my agreements with those people who have paid me a deposit. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Guests mingling beside pool

Guests mingling beside pool

After sundown

After sundown

Off the Hook: Southbay 30th Birthday Celebration

11 May

I returned to the Southbay last night to bartend a 30th birthday party in Torrance. The house where the party was held used to be a bachelor’s “party house,” where three or four guys used to live together and have wild parties all the time, and then life happened, including wives and kids. It’s hard growing up, believe me, I know from experience! Anyway, this place had the best garage bar I have ever seen – it was almost as good as Pat’s II, with a real full length bar and beer refrigerator. It reminded me of that old country song – “I’d like to Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.”

The occasion was a one of the former bachelor’s 30th birthday party. It was the second 30th birthday party I have done in two weeks, and it is an important milestone. I think people really have some kind of expectation and are especially hard on themselves when they are turning 30. I know I was. The birthday boy’s family turned out en masse for the celebration and there were a lot of them because he has 12 brothers and sisters and their families.

The family catered their own event and the food was excellent. I will have to say that was some of the best salsa I have ever tasted. After everybody ate and some of the families with small children went home, the core crew and group of friends really cut loose. They had a cigar sampling and I served Strawberry Margaritas, Cosmos, and a whole bunch of Jack Daniels. Jack seems to be a favorite at almost every party I do, and I almost always run out of it.  Some of the guests brought a bottle of Ron Zacapa 23 year old Guatemalan rum and I served chilled shots of that.  I finally returned from the Southbay after one AM, and it was another successful party for Shaken Not Stirred.

Last week was kind of a tough week for me with the business of bartending. I had some cancellations, and people drop out that I had been working hard to book parties with. It just seemed that everything was going wrong. I know that will change. I have been very lucky with this bartending business so far and have had nothing but good experiences with the jobs I have done. I have another party back in the Southbay

Torrance garage bar

Torrance garage bar

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Smoking is allowed!

Smoking is allowed!

in Palos Verdes next week, and a wedding in Filmore later this month. I am still available on the the May 31, and hope to get event for that date.