Uncategorized, Wedding Bartender

Calabasas Wedding

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.

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.


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.

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.

Anniversary Party Bartender, Uncategorized

San Diego 35th Anniversary

Downtown San Diego at Sunset

Yesterday I wrote about a man’s 35th birthday party – today I am writing about a couple’s 35th anniversary party I bartended for in San Diego. It is one thing living for 35 years, but quite another to be married to the same person that long. These people must have done something right because they had a big group of family and lifelong friends there to celebrate with them.

I do a few events in San Diego every year and I like going down there. It really is a great city and I am surprised at how big the city limits of San Diego actually covers. This party was held in the southernmost area of the city limits near National City. The house were the party was held was up on a hill with an excellent view of Downtown San Diego, the bay and Naval base.

Black labs matter!

I had an outdoor bar setup and I served Jalapeno and Cadillac Margaritas. I made the jalapeno Margarita mix at home and I am always surprised what a hit it is – it is quite spicy. I made the Cadillac Margaritas the classic way – tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, with a Gran Margarita floater. This is really the best way to make them, and it worked for this group of fifty people, but would be problematic for larger groups. Tacos by Manny provided the food and they made some excellent tacos.

Cadillac Margarita at twilight time

35th Anniversary Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite lifelong friends and family
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve classic cocktails and good food
  • Have a toast!

As I said before, these people must have done something right. The hosts could not of been more gracious to me and all of their guests. The kids were super nice also, as were all of their friends. I had a really good feeling when I left the party, knowing there are such good people left in the world. My day had started off on a negative note. I went to the beach in San Diego, left my wallet in my car, and while I was at the beach my car was broken into the thieves stole $200 of my hard earned money. It was my own fault – everybody in Southern California knows to never leave money in their car while at the beach. It’s a hard pill to swallow, knowing that you have nobody but yourself to blame. 


Next weekend I will be staying close to home and will be bartending a wedding in Calabasas. My son will also be bartending another party in Burbank. The summer is slipping away at light speed for Shaken Not Stirred and I am already booking holiday parties. The election is 84 days away. 2017 is approaching…

Mobile Bartenders, Special Event Bartenders, Wedding Bartender

Mobile Bartender Service at Cathedral City Wedding

Shaken Not Stirred, the Southern California mobile bartending service provided mixology at the beautiful Cree Estate in Cathedral City. This is the second wedding

Madboom Cooler
Madboom Cooler
The Cree estate pool
The Cree estate pool
Guests mingle at cocktail hour
Guests mingle at cocktail hour
Twilight at the Cree Estate
Twilight at the Cree Estate

I have done two weddings at the Cree Estate, and I must say if you want absolute privacy for your wedding in a fantastic setting in the Palm Springs area, consider the Cree Estate. For this event, we had two bars, one near the main house for the cocktail hour immediately preceding the wedding ceremony, and then another bar was set up on the lawn for the after dinner reception.

I had planned the bar service with the bride for several months leading up to the wedding. She wanted a cucumber/vodka based drink. She wanted to do a drink that was served in one of her favorite bars, which involved muddling a cucumber with mint leaves and serving it with vodka and pineapple juice. We decided that any drink that involves muddling is probably not the best idea for a wedding with 100 guests. We settled on a drink that was called the Madboom Cooler. I made cucumber/mint syrup to eliminate the muddling. We used one once of cumber/mint syrup, one once of pineapple juice, two ounces of vodka, and a splash of club soda. Top it off with a cucumber slice and a mint leaf garnish.

The drink seemed to be a hit as about 80 percent of the guests ordered it at the cocktail hour. I wasn’t really prepared for that. At most wedding and events, usually only about 25 percent of the guests order the specialty cocktail. I was making those drinks five at a time. It seemed that people liked them, because many came back for more. We had real glassware, which is always nice. We also served Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, and Souverain Cabernet for wine, and had Negro Modelo and Corona Light for cervesas.

Mia was my barback and she always does an incredible job and is a great bartender as well. I often bartend parties of 100 people by myself, but I recommend a barback for groups that large. For groups over 125, I definitely recommend two bartenders. I have another wedding coming up in Temecula in two weeks and she will help me with that one as well.

This coming week, the mobile bartending service will stay close to LA. I have a post wedding party in Calabasas on Friday, a birthday party in Venice on Saturday, and then a birthday party on Sunday in Porter Ranch. By request I will be making homemade margarita mix for the party on Friday. I am enjoying making mixes with fresh ingredients. I am not going to sit here and say that it is brain surgery. Making the infused simple syrups and mixes is pretty easy to do, but I think the difference in taste really makes it worth it.

Bar Mitzvah Bartender, Special Event Bartenders

Calabasas Bar Mitzvah

Last night, I bartended my first Bar Mizvah at the Calabasas/ Agoura Hills Community Center

Rented bar for Bar Mitzvah
Rented bar for Bar Mitzvah
Kids dancing at Bar Mitzvah
Kids dancing at Bar Mitzvah
Ice cream line
Ice cream line

and was pleasantly surprised out how it turned out. I say pleasantly surprised because I was afraid I was going to be dealing with 100 spoiled and obnoxious kids, but the exact opposite was true. The kids were for the most part very polite and respectful. At times I felt like a bartender at the Palace or somewhere like that must feel – every time I looked up there was a wall of people waiting for drinks.

The host and I had made a drink menu of mocktails to serve, but the vast majority of kids wanted Shirley Temples. My hands are stained red today from handling cherries. We also used dry ice, which was the first time I had ever used that. You have to break the dry ice up into chunks and you place one small piece in the cup, along with some real ice. It causes the drinks to bubble up and emit “steam”. The kids were just at that age, where they still have a bit of innocence left and they aren’t too cool for things like that.

There were a few adults in attendance and I served a few Pina Colladas, and I also served virgin Pina Colladas to the kids. The host had rented a very nice bar that I was behind. There were several other vendors at the party, including a custom t-shirt maker, a faux tattoo artist, and an ice cream cart. Catering was provided by Stonefire Grill. The DJ, System 3 Entertainment, at this event did way more than just spin records, and basically ran the whole event with games and an MC.

I think the Bar Mitzvah, the rite of passage, is a very worthwhile event, and is something I did not have growing up. I think that although kids obviously aren’t adults when they turn 13, it provides a good point to start from. I noticed how the host was involving his son in the preparation of his own Bar Mitzvah. I think it is a good point in time for kids to start accepting responsibility for their own lives. The Quincinera is similar event, and I had an inquiry to do one this week, but was already booked.

Next week I am doing a birthday party in Thousand Oaks and am negotiating to do a graduation party in Orange County on Sunday. I still have Saturday, June 14th open and want to book that date.

Mobile Bartenders, Special Event Bartenders

Pasadena Triple Crown Party

Shaken Not Stirred was in Pasadena Saturday to bartend a Triple Crown viewing party and root on California Chrome. The favorite horse didn’t win, but the party guests had a great time it seemed. The house where the party was held was perfect for entertaining and the weather could not have been nicer. Around fifty guests gathered to watch the race, mingle and sip cocktails, and eat fried chicken.

The host told me that it was the first time they had hosted a party in four years, which is surprising because the house just seems built for having parties. They had a great outside bar beneath an overhang beside the pool. I had a refrigerator and sink and all the booze I needed. The drink of the day was the White Russian, followed by the Madras. Bourbon and Vernor’s Ginger ale was a favorite among horse racing aficionados.

They did not have a caterer, but instead served Kentucky Fried Chicken. I didn’t know that was what it was until I asked the host if he had made the chicken. I thought he had a great recipe! I hadn’t had KFC in a long time. The guests seemed to love it and it fit for this party.

The host had hired a server on Craigslist who called and cancelled just before the party. Had I known that they wanted a server I could have provided one. I have several good people who help me from time to time, males and females. It is amazing to me how many people advertise services and contract for services, and then flake out. Showing up is ninety percent of the gig!

Today I have an informal Bar Mitzvah to do in Calabasas. I will be making “mocktails” and using dry ice. I have never put dry ice in drinks before, so it should be interesting. Next week I have a 50th birthday party to do in Thousand Oaks on Friday. I am still open at this point on Saturday the 14th and hope to get an event. I have several more events scheduled for later this month.

Guests arrive in style
Guests arrive in style
Watching the race
Watching the race
Perfect party weather in Pasadena
Perfect party weather in Pasadena