Party Bartenders, Uncategorized

Palm Springs Pool Party

Palm Spring party pad

Palm Springs is probably the pool party capital of the world, and there are rental houses all over that town devoted to that. Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was in the house making cocktails for the host’s 40th birthday party at the Palm Springs party pad. This particular home is a six bedroom place with a very nice pool and outdoor bar.

New ordinances in Palm Springs ban outdoor music, which is kind of a buzz kill. Also, after 9pm guests can not make noise in the pool area. The hard partying ways of the old Palm Springs are a thing of the past with these new ordinances. I saw the signs posted near the bar area and I thought, what a bummer – regulations that limit fun? However, as the day went on, I kind of liked it – we are exposed to so much noise pollution all the time, it was kind of nice to just listen to the wind rustling through the trees.

My bar station

I set up the bar out by the pool, and made several specialty drinks for the guests. I served my Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonics, Moscow Mules, Pimm’s Cup, and Manhattans. I also served different non alcoholic drinks for some of the guests. It was pretty windy, but not too hot. A great day for a pool party. When I bartend pool parties, I don’t just stand behind the bar and wait for guests to come to me. I take drink orders poolside.

Palm Springs Pool Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Use only plastic cups
  • Get some interesting floaties
  • Clothing optional
  • Keep the music inside your head

    Pool party in progess with balloon arch

Some of the guests surprised the birthday boy with a balloon vendor. Baloony Tunes of Cathedral City came and setup a balloon arch for photo ops. Like I said, it was fairly windy, so that presented a problem for the balloon display, but it lasted long enough for the guests to get some cool photos. As I was finishing up for the day a private chef, Sarena Nelson was preparing the big birthday dinner. She looks very talented and hopefully I will work with her again.

Strict new rules for Palm Springs

This weekend I get to stay close to home and will be bartending a private event in Westwood. I have other events in the LA area later this month. Next month will be very busy with graduation parties, weddings, and birthday parties. Please follow us on Instagram.


Mobile Bartenders, Uncategorized

Spring Bartending Business is Picking up for Mobile Bartender

Alternate “White Party” in Palm Springs

This is looking to be the busiest Spring season for Shaken Not Stirred since I began as a mobile bartender four years ago. I had three events last week and am doing five this week, and am booked up on Saturdays through June and July.  It takes a lot of work to manage all the events, and so far I have not messed up and forgotten one (knock on wood). Last weekend I bartended a 40th birthday party/pool party in Palm Springs Friday night, and then returned to the San Fernando Valley for two events on Saturday Night: a 60th birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then sent another bartender to do a private school event in Encino.

Summer Water keg

Palm Springs Alternate White Party

The “White Party” is an annual big deal and gay event in Palm springs and took place last weekend. It is one of many annual events in the area that brings in thousands of people for the weekend. I know, because hotels are expensive and hard to find during these events. Luckily I used my rewards points to get a room this time. The party I worked was an alternate straight “White Party,” and all the guests dressed in white in honor of it.

I made spicy margaritas, and Mezcal drinks. One of the guests was a wine make and he brought a keg of “Summer Water” Rose, that kept many of the guests busy throughout the night. AB’s Tacos provided the food and it was very good. I mixed drinks until 11pm and then left the guests to fend for themselves. I guess the city of Palm Springs has passed some new law that prohibits people from playing music outside after a certain time. Another business killing regulation. Neighboring Cathedral City will just take all of the rental business. I hate California politics that kills business left and right.

San Fernando Valley Events

I live and work in the San Fernando Valley. The “Valley” get a lot of flack from people on the other side of the hill and elsewhere, but the fact is that the valley has some of the nicest properties you will find anywhere. I bartended a party at a home in Sherman Oaks that is utterly fantastic. It is so nice that the host does not want me taking pictures of it. It formerly belonged to a major celebrity. I have been there a few times, because it is just a perfect spot for entertaining. This time it was a 60th birthday party.

I served only beer and wine for this party, but I served up some fantastic cabernet. I served an ultra magnum bottle of 2002 Cabernet, that holds 12 bottles. There were approximately 40 guests and I served up the whole thing. Master chef, Elan Adivi provided the catering and did not disappoint with a barbecue inspired menu. Chris Ellis Photography did the photos, and We Help You Host provided the servers. The birthday boy had a great time and it was his first birthday party in over thirty years. His best friend and sons provided some touching tributes.

At the same time I had another bartender providing beverage service at an Encino estate not far away. I finished my party and checked in on him. He was doing a fantastic job for my repeat clients. This week I have five big events scheduled – then I am off to New Orleans for some much need R&R, and to attend my friend, Jason Ricci’s wedding. On Wednesday, I will be doing an alumni event in Burbank, on Thursday, a pre-bris celebration in Studio City, off to Indian Wells on Friday for a wedding, and then back to Castaic on Saturday for a graduation party, and then finally a mother’s day dinner party in Woodland Hills on Sunday. On Monday morning early, I crawl onto a plane at LAX bound for the Big Easy. Think I will sleep on the plane? Probably not…

Special Event Bartenders, Uncategorized, Wedding Bartender

Two Coachella Valley Events

Beautiful Day in the Coachella Valley


This weekend, Shaken not Stirred provided bartending services at two Coachella Valley events. On Friday night, I traveled to Indio to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner, and then on Saturday I bartended a backyard wedding in Palm Springs. I really like doing these parties in the Palm Springs area, because many of these rental houses have very nice backyard bars, and that was the case at both of these events.

Guests mingling in Indio
Self Serve Margarita station

The house in Indio was just blocks away from where the annual music festival at Coachella is held. It had a very nice backyard bar. I was serving to 150 people by myself. The way that was done is that I made a big batch of margaritas and set it out in a beverage dispenser, along with ice, limes, cups and oranges, and the guests self served. They also self served beer. I made a few other cocktails and it worked out great. I will remember that, when somebody wants one bartender for a large group like that.

The future groom was from Maine, and many of his family members had traveled all the way across the country to attend the wedding. For them, the weather in Palm Springs was a treat. It is always nice meeting people from different parts of the world and country. Everyone has their different tradtions when it comes to cocktails. In this case – the Maine Margarita featured tequila, margarita mix, fresh oranges, and Coors Light.

Coachella Valley Events

  • Palm Springs
  • Indio
  • Palm Desert
  • La Quinta
  • Indian Wells
  • Coachella
  • Cathedral City
  • Rancho Mirage

On Saturday, I went to a house in Palm Springs to bartend the backyard wedding. Many of these guests had either traveled from Phoenix or Oregon to attend. This was a smaller group of 60 people , which is the perfect size for one bartender. I made Moscow Mules, and Old Fashioneds.  Goodfella’s Tacos provided catering, and that was the second time in a month I ran in top them. I must say, their fish tacos are out of this world.  I have a new Palm Springs Yelp page and I need to get some reviews on there from my Coachella Valley events.

Backyard wedding in Palm Springs
Goodfella’s Tacos doing their thing
The bride displays food and drink

Today the Academy Awards take place in Hollywood. I have bartended Oscar parties before, but have nothing booked for today. If something comes up last minute, I will do it. Next weekend I am going to Santa Clarita to bartend a 60th birthday party with a James Bond them, and then the following weekend will be doing two events in Santa Barbara.

Birthday Party Bartender, Mobile Bartenders

Palm Springs 50th Birthday Party

Nice weather at the Charles Farrell Estate
Nice weather at the Charles Farrell Estate

Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Palm Springs to bartend a 50th birthday party at the fabulous Charles Farrell Estate.  This was the second or third 50th birthday party I have served alcohol at in the Palm Springs area, and I must say – when a man turns 50 he pulls out all of the stops. Saturday’s party was a marathon event that last over 12 hours, and featured pools, hot tubs, taco carts, BIG SCREEN TV’s, a Sushi Chef, and fresh squeezed grapefruit drinks.

The weather couldn’t have been better and was in the eighties daytime, and cooled down nicely when the sun went down. It is a hard to plan parties in SoCal in February with El Nino looming, but that wild child made no appearance last weekend.  People were walking around in swim suits no problemo.  I had my bar set up in a nice shady spot just off to the side of the patio and didn’t have to fight the sun all day.

Now, that's a BIG SCREEN
Now, that’s a BIG SCREEN

The best surprise find of the day was the grapefruit trees on the property.  There were several grapefruit trees just loaded with fresh grapefruits. I squeezed one of them and it was just perfect – not bitter and so sweet even. I drank mine with club soda and it was fantastic. It mixed well with vodka, tequila, and rum. Just add a splash of soda. Excellente!

Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!
Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!

The Charles Farrell Estate

  • Pool and Hot tub
  • Barbecue
  • Executive kitchen
  • Formal dining room
  • 7 bedrooms
  • Sleeps 16 plus

The Charles Farrell Estate is one of the several great properties available to rent in Palm Springs. I have bartended at several of the famous houses in the area, including the Cree estate in Cathedral City, and the Henry Mancini Estate in Palm Springs. The prices are surprising affordable compared to many other types of venues.

Guests mingling for 50th birthday party
Guests mingling for 50th birthday party
Kids hiding on the roof
Kids hiding on the roof

The guest of honor was certainly honored, and his wonderful wife did her best to make it a memorable and special day for him. He was also surrounded by some of his oldest friends, and many family members. The kids had a blast too. Goodfellas Tacos provided the taco cart. Fantastic sushi was done by Fresh Sushi Catering.

Sunday I had to get up early to rush over to Glendora to bartend a blowout Super Bowl Party.


Gay Wedding, Mobile Bartenders, Wedding Bartender

Temecula and Desert Hot Springs Events

Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner
Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner

Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service had another busy weekend and covered events in Temecula and Desert Hot Springs. Friday night I bartended a wedding rehearsal dinner in Temecula’s wine country, and then on Saturday, I drove out to Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding costume party. It was a very hot September weekend and I served a lot of drinks.

I thought I recognized the address to the event in Temecula, and as it turns out I had done an event at that location before. It is a very nice estate Que Syrah,  in Temecula’s wine country sitting on top a hill with nice views of the valley.  I was already familiar with the layout of the place that made it very easy for me. There were around 90 guests and I kept busy making blended Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and various other drinks.

The couple who were getting married met me at another event I did and hired me, and I saw many of the same people from the first event. It is always nice to get jobs this way and I love referrals. I was pretty busy and didn’t have time to get many good pictures from the event.

Sunset in Temecula
Sunset in Temecula

Saturday, I traveled to Areola’s Spa and Resort in Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding party. This is a clothing optional resort, so I didn’t know what to expect. The wedding party had booked the whole resort for the weekend. The couple were actually married on Friday and were having their wedding/costume party on Saturday. This was a gay couple, and my second gay wedding event. I hope to do many more.

Nobody was nude at the party and there were many kids and family members there, so it wasn’t that kind of event. There were some pretty outrageous and colorful costumes however, and it was quite a party. I had another bartender helping me, Mia, and we do many events together. We served Cucumber margaritas, Mai Tais, Dirty Shirleys, and different variations thereof. El Portal of Cathedral City provided the catering and they had some excellent ceviche and appetizers, as well as great tacos.

Areola's Spa and Resort
Areola’s Spa and Resort

Next weekend I am staying close to home and have two events right here in the San Fernando Valley. Friday night I will be doing a birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then on Saturday, I have another birthday party to do in Northridge. Summer is almost over and the Holiday season arrives in record speed. Book you holiday parties today.

Bartender, Rob
Bartender, Rob
Fellow bartender, Mia
Fellow bartender, Mia
Married couple in costume
Married couple in costume
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.

Mobile Bartenders, Wedding Bartender

Cathedral City Wedding and Bermuda Dunes Oscar Night Party

I was fortunate to book two back to back parties in the Coachella Valley this weekend. I like visiting the Palm Springs area and usually stay at a hotel there when I do jobs in the area. It is always nice getting a Saturday night job and a Sunday job the next day in the same area. Rain threatened the Saturday wedding and even though we desperately need the rain in California, I was glad we were given a reprieve Saturday night. Heavy rain would have seriously ruined the wedding.

The wedding was held at the historic Cree Estate in Cathedral

Ominous clouds threaten wedding...
Ominous clouds threaten wedding…
Cree Estate Pool
Cree Estate Pool
Mingling at the Cree Estate
Mingling at the Cree Estate
The Red Carpet
The Red Carpet
Great bar for Academy Awards party
Great bar for Academy Awards party

City. It was a very nice spot for a wedding and they did this one up right. They had tents set up to cover the 150 guests as they were dining and over the bar areas, but those would not have hampered a heavy downpour, as we sometimes get. They hired a bartender from another company, and I supplied two servers. We had to set up quickly for a cocktail hour after the ceremony, and the move to another bar for the reception. We pulled that off no problem. It was a busy bar night and we were slinging drinks from 4:00 pm until midnight.

The server situation ended up kind of funny. I normally only get people to help me that I know and have used before, but this time I had a problem getting my regulars in the Palm Springs area because they were all working a tennis tournament. I brought Mia, who has worked with me several times and is incredible.  One girl recommended a friend and I talked to her and she sounded good and so I hired her. That girl called me last minute and said she couldn’t make it, and she recommended one of her friends. I talked to that person and she said she would definitely be there. The morning of I called her and she said she was getting ready to work that afternoon. Well, she was supposed to arrive at 5:30, but a forth woman arrived in her place who I had never heard of before. It all worked out, and as far as I could tell, and it seemed the forth woman did a good job. In the future, I will only use people I know. The wedding party was a rager and we went through countless bottles of tequila and Jameson whiskey. The DJ was very good, though I didn’t have time to get her name. The married couple looked nice together, and I’m sure they will have a great future ahead of them.

The next day I did an Oscar party at the Bermuda Dunes home of Dan and Sharie Bolhmann.  Sharie Hatchett Bohlmann is a fantastic artist and sells her paintings all over the world, and even has pieces hanging in the White House. She works with all kinds of mediums and artistic styles and her home is covered with her artwork, which you can also see on her website. The Oscar party is an annual event that they hold, and I was honored to be a part of it this year. They have a very nice home bar and I served around 80 guests. We went through a couple cases of wine and lots of whisky and vodka. I would say that scotch was the drink of choice.  The party was a great success and everyone went away happy.

I have many more parties and weddings scheduled throughout the summer all over Southern California. Book your party now, and remember, put up the deposit right away if you want to hire me. I have had situations recently where people have hesitated to put up the deposit, and then someone else swoops in and hires me, and then the first people come back wanting to put up their deposit. I have to book the first person who puts up a deposit for a specific date. I will honor that deposit no matter what. I have other bartenders I can send out, but I always book myself first.

Birthday Party Bartender

Long Beach Surprise Birthday Party

Last night I worked a surprise 50th birthday party in Long Beach. It was my first surprise party and it was fun seeing someone completely surprised by over fifty of his friends and relatives. I have done a wide variety of ages when it comes to birthday parties, from 1 year old, to 90 years old. I have had requests to do quincineras and sweet 16 parties, but have yet to book one.

I talked to the host before the party and she said that they had a wide variety of alcohol left over from other parties. They had lots of vodka, including a big bottle of Kirkland Vodka. That is basically Grey Goose, but much less expensive. The Kirkland brand liquors are high quality and a good value. They had tequila, Captain Morgan Rum, Jack Daniels, gin, and all of the mixers. I made a variety of drinks, but think in the future I should always at least make some kind of drink menu. It helps the guests choose what they want easier, and speeds up service.

Catering was provided by Tacos Y Chile, and they did a fantastic spread of very good tacos. The DJ was Ryan Ivora, who seemed to do a very good job a providing just the right mix of what the hosts wanted to hear, and his own selections. He also teaches surfing, so if you want surf lessons, or a DJ, you can contact him here.

Most of the people were beer drinkers at this party and we went through several 30 packs of Coors Light, Bud Light, and Bud Select 55, which is a low calorie, low alcohol beer. It was the birthday boy’s favorite beer, and he said that he likes it because it has less alcohol. I had a new girl working with me as barback and she did a great job. I did not have to tell her what to do and she jumped right in and got the job done. I will definitely use her again. The Long Beach party was for about 80 people and it was good to have the extra help. I recommend that people get more than one person for parties over 80 people.

The hostess for this particular party said that she has a lot of parties, but they had never hired a bartender before. I think she was pleased with our service and said she would hire us again. We try to be of maximum service and try to keep busy clearing tables and taking out trash as the party goes on, so there is less work for the host to do the next day.

The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach
The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach
Bar set up on serpentine table
Bar set up on serpentine table

This year is looking great for Shaken Not Stirred. I have booked several weddings in the spring, and seem to get a gig almost every weekend. Next weekend I will be doing a wedding reception in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate, and then later in March have a wedding in Mira Loma in the Inland Empire. Shaken Not Stirred also provides servers for weddings and will provide extra staff at several of the events I am doing.