Tag Archives: caterer

10 Person 50th Birthday Party at Northridge Women’s Club

12 Mar

Banquet Hall before the party

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a multi-person 50th birthday party at the Northridge Women’s Club. Ten guys who went to high school together teamed up to have a big celebration of their mid century milestone, and invited 300 guests. My son helped me and we were busy the entire time. I didn’t get many good photos for that reason.

Portable Bar outside

Some of the guys who put on the party met with me months in advance to plan the event. I helped them make a shopping list and I guess I missed the mark, because we ran out of booze two hours before the party was over (we still had beer). The hosts went out and bought more vodka and tequila. Vodka is what usually runs out first if anything does.

50th Birthday Party in progress

Lorraine’s Catering of Sylmar did the food and it was excellent. I met Lorraine and her husband Joe at an event years ago and I have done many events for them, and they have referred me to many, as they did this one. I hope to return the favor. Lorraine and Joe and some of their kids showed up at 5pm, set up in the kitchen, served 200 people and were cleaned up and out of there by 8pm. That’s how efficient they are. The Northridge Women’s club has a large, well equipped kitchen, which makes it easy.

50th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Plan a multi person birthday party
  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite a diverse mix of people
  • Serve great food
  • Rent a hall

My son and I set up out portable bar outside, but it got cold and dark out there, so after the caterer left we moved into the kitchen, which also easily serves as a bar. We went through at least 15 cases of beer, and many handles of vodka and tequila. The security guard from the Northridge Women’s Club came and told us at 11pm that we would have to stop serving at 11:45pm sharp. Some kind of fight broke out outside at 11:15, so that ended the party prematurely. Unfortunately, there are usually one or two troublemakers at every event.
This week I will be bartending at a Residential center in Huntington Beach on Thursday, and then doing a cocktail party in Redondo Beach the next day. So far I am still open for Saturday night. Later this month I will be doing a wedding in Desert Hot Springs, and a pool party in Palm Springs. I’m hoping I will get to see the wildflower bloom in the desert. Please follow us on Instagram.

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
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Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

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Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

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Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

Private Bartender and Server in Beverly Hills

10 Sep

Last night I was the private bartender and server for a small dinner party at a Beverly Hills Estate. 12 people were in attendance. This was my third event for this particular client. I had done two cocktail parties previously where there were many more people in attendance and I had a bar set up in the backyard. This time, the host wanted me to set up my bar in the kitchen and to just ask guests what they wanted.

There were virtually no drinkers in the crowd, and I served several sparkling waters and a couple glasses of wine. I did make one of my special cucumber martinis for the host and she complimented me on it. I was starting to wonder why I was even there, so I switched into my fine dining server mode. I have worked for years as a server in fine dining restaurants, and I put that experience to use. You serve from the right hand side, pick up from the lefts, etc. You keep water and wine glasses refilled and anticipate the needs of the guests.

My point is that there is so much more to being a private bartender than just making drinks. I have had people ask me to hire them, and then it became clear talking to them, that they only wanted to make drinks a collect tips. That is such a short sighted attitude that many bartenders have. My philosophy is to be of maximum service and chances are I will be asked back time and time again.

Ella Freyinger was the private chef for this dinner party and she served up a great meal. She made an excellent mixed green salad and then served rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower cous-cous with pomegranate and pine nuts, and then had pasta with kale pesto. An apple tart was the dessert, along with expresso. Ella said she has several private clients and also does catering for parties as big as 500 people. You can contact her at ebelle2385@gmail.com.

This weekend I will bartend a wedding in Westlake Village and am taking my son to help me. I have people contacting me every day to do parties and I am already booked two months in advance. I still have October 18th available and most Fridays and Sundays in October. I still have Friday October 31st available for a Halloween Party. I will dress up as Lloyd the Bartender again and still have the costume.

 

Wine bottles at Beverly  Hills dinner party

Wine bottles at Beverly
Hills dinner party

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Estate

Caribbean Birthday Bash in Hills of Sherman Oaks

11 Aug

High above the sweeping San Fernando Valley in the hills of Sherman Oaks was a 65th Caribbean inspired birthday party on August 10th. 40 plus people attended and sipped frozen rum drinks, Margaritas, and Red Stripe beer. Nesta provided the steel drum entertainment, and a quartet of talented lady singers made a surprise appearance. Shaken Not Stirred of Van Nuys provided the mixologist – me.

I worked with closely with the host making the drink menu and shopping list. She wanted one specialty drink that I had never made before: the Royal Caribbean Lava Flow. I was reluctant to do the drink, because it seemed like it had the potential to be messy and time consuming. I’m glad I did do it, because it was a hit and looked fantastic. You soak frozen strawberries in Myer’s Rum, then pour them into the bottom of a glass, then you pour a blended mixture of ice, white rum, bananas, Malibu Rum, and coconut cream over the top, creating a layered, “lava flow” drink. Needless to say, I ran out of ingredients half way through the party.

Pouring Jamaican Rum Punch

Pouring Jamaican Rum Punch

That was no problem, because I was also making Jamaican Rum Punch, Mai Tais, Bahama Mamas, and frozen margaritas. Pinot Grigio was the wine of the night and I opened many Red Stripes. Guests dining on jerk chicken, braised beef, red beans and rice, plantains, and other Jamaican delicacies provided by caterer, Spicy Charlie’s

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Chef “Spicy” Charlie and crew doing their thing

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Guests mingling above Sherman Oaks

I have upcoming events booked in September, October, and November. The holiday season will come faster than we know, so now is a good time to start booking those holiday parties. Shaken Not Stirred provides bartending services for weddings, birthday parties, reunions, openings, corporate events, and just plain old parties.

Call me today and we can start planning; I can help you make a drink menu specific to your event, and a shopping list of everything you will need. Let me help you host an unforgettable occasion!

Idyllwild Wedding Turned into an Upland Wedding

22 Jul

Early last week I heard reports of a fire burning out of control near Idyllwild, California. I was scheduled to bartend a wedding on Saturday at the Quiet Creek Inn at Idyllwild Pine Cove. On Wednesday my client emailed me and informed me that the wedding had been moved to the bride’s parent’s house in Upland. I was just happy that the wedding was going to happen and quickly switched my plans. The girl I had hired to help me actually lived in Upland, so she was happy.

I guess the family and friends of the bride and groom came together and scrambled to make the wedding happen on schedule. I must say it was a great save, and if the married couple is this adaptable throughout their marriage, they should do fantastic. The wedding came off well with around 80 guests in Upland on Saturday, July 20th. As the festivities were starting it began raining, making us wonder if the universe was not in line with this wedding, but the rain subsided and the ceremony went on.

My client requested that two specialty drinks be on the menu: the Pink Penny, which consisted of Gin, Rose syrup, peach juice, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice, and the Clementine Fizzy, which was sparkling wine, St. Germaine, peach juice and a dash of lemon juice. Interesting drinks I had never made before and I think they came off well. As a result of having the St. Germaine, which is an Elderflower liqueur, I created two new drinks. The first being what I call a G&G tonic, which is a Gin and tonic with a splash of St. Germaine. The other is a V&G tonic, which is the same thing, except made with vodka. People just loved it!

Beers for the night included Model Especial, and Negro, Hanger Wheat Ale, and Pyramid Hefeweizen. The groom provided several nice bottles of red and white wine but nobody drank any wine – I have found that to be the case on most summer events. We did go through a case of champagne, though. I used probably three cases of Arrowhead water and we were completely out by the end of the night. My suggestion is to buy plenty of water and it may be less expensive and more eco-friendly to buy gallons of water and have the bartender pour it into cups.

Catering was provided by Guerrilla Tacos. I have done many events with taco carts, but I must say these were very unique. He had some of the best salsa I have ever tasted. By the time my barback and I were able to grab something all the meat was gone. The caterer made me some vegetarian tacos that were just excellent, and I don’t have a vegetarian bone in my body. The caterer was also supposed to go to Idyllwild, but changed his plans as well. Everyone was flexible and everything worked out great.

I have had events nearly every weekend this month but don’t have much yet booked for next month, so make your plans for August now. I have not yet done any class reunions this year and would love to do some. Shaken Not Stirred services the entire Southern California area, including the LA Basin, The San Fernando Valley, The Inland Empire, Palm Springs, Ventura County and Santa Barbara to the west.

Fire burning near Idyllwild, California

Fire burning near Idyllwild, California