Tag Archives: Christmas

Orange County Christmas Party

5 Dec
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Christmas Bar Display in Villa Park

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Villa Park to bartend an Orange County Christmas party – the first of the season. I have been to this house several times before and they throw great parties. The host usually chooses a theme for the party and rents some great party props. When I pulled up to the house this time, I thought I was at the wrong place, because there wasn’t a full Santa and reindeer getup in the front yard. They had the back yard decorated very nicely however.

This house has the best backyard bar and pool setup I have seen at any property I have worked at. I was surprised that on the third of December that they had actually hired a lifeguard and all of the kids went swimming. The pool was at a balmy 90 degrees and the jacuzzi was set at 100. There are not many places in the continental USA where you can have a pool party in December, but Orange County is one of them.

They had several rented patio heaters for the party and my job was to light them. I used to have nightmares about patio heaters when I worked at a restaurant in Redondo Beach, because they are almost always a pain in the ass. The trick is to follow the direction precisely. It has taken me years to learn that, and maybe I can apply that wisdom to other areas of my life. Anyway, I felt quite proud of myself that I was able to light all 8 patio heaters.

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Orange County backyard bar

Orange County Christmas Season

  • Pool parties in December
  • Cruise of Lights in Huntington Harbor
  • Disney Holiday Lights
  • Christmas Boat Parade
  • Fiesta Navidad

The hosts in Villa Park not only have a fantastic bar, but a great selection of top shelf liquor. I was able to fulfill almost every request and made Lemon Drops, Moscow and Kentucky Mules, Dark and Stormy, Cuba Libres, and Old Fashioneds, among others. This Christmas party was for some parents and their kids that belong to an organization called.

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Orange County Barflies

The party was held for the parents of an Orange County organization where fathers can take their sons and daughters on camping trips and other activities. It sounds like a wonderful organization, and I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of it right now. There are separate organizations for boys and girls. It looks like the one for girls in Orange County is called the Orange Spirit Nation. It is designed for fathers that work a lot to bond with their sons and daughters during organized camping trips and activities. They also make great friends with the other parents. I wish I would have done more of that kind of thing when my kids were younger.

Post Xmas Cocktail Party in Fontana

28 Dec
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Portable bar and table in Fontana

Saturday afternoon, I was sitting home with no bartending jobs scheduled until New Year’s Eve, when I got a call to bartend a cocktail party in Fontana, two days after Christmas. I live in the San Fernando Valley and Fontana (Inland Empire) is about 60 miles away, so I had to jump into action to get to the party on time. I was glad to get the job, because even though I have been very busy this holiday season, January is not looking so hot so far.

I made a quick shopping list for the host and emailed it to her. Most of the events I do involve way more planning than this, but last minute parties can still be successful. We didn’t really have time to plan any elaborate specialty drinks, but I have done enough parties to know what supplies are needed for a specific number of guests. I can guess pretty accurately how much ice, how many cups, how many bottles of wine, etc. will be needed. I have said many times, do not hesitate to call me last minute if you need a bartender.

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Hosts and guests enjoy Fontana cocktail party

I arrived in Fontana on time and set up my portable bar and table in the corner of the kitchen. The portable bar is three feet wide and the table is four feet long, so I roughly need a fifteen feet square foot area for my portable bar. I usually only charge $25 for the portable bar, because it is nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose, and I have used it on rooftops in Beverly Hills, and near the docks in Wilmington.

Cocktail Party Occasions

  • House Warming
    Celebrate a promotion
    Grand Openings
    Going away parties
    Client appreciation

The Fontana cocktail party was slow to get going, but had a big finish. Guests trickled in – after all it was the Saturday after Christmas, and most people in Southern California have at that point been going to various functions all month. The host had a beautiful grand player piano that certainly added a bit of class to the party, rather than the usual Pandora selections. It was if we had a concert pianist on hand for the party. I served wine, a few margaritas, and some vodka drinks. I think everybody had a great time, and it was a successful last minute cocktail party.

My next party scheduled for Shaken Not Stirred is on New Year’s Eve in Sherman Oaks, very close to home. I will be doing several prohibition era cocktails for that party. Last year I bartended a New Year’s Day party, which I got last minute, so maybe I will get another this year. January is pretty open, so please call me if you are planning a birthday party, wedding, or any kind of event in January.

Chatsworth Engagement Party

22 Sep

Shaken Not Stirred manned another successful back yard event last night – an engagement party in Chatsworth. Over 100 people attended the party and it seemed a great time was had by all. Although I wasn’t contracted to bring a barback, I brought my son, Willie, to train him. As it turned out I really needed him and he was a big help. I usually recommend having a barback or second bartender for parties over 100 people.

As you see in the pictures, the “bar” was made up of six foot folding tables covered by table cloths and that worked just great. People often ask me if I have a bar for rent, or if they should rent a bar. Bar rentals cost as much as $300 a night, and it really isn’t necessary. In fact, I prefer working with the table set up, because there is more room and the table is usually just the right height. The moral of this story is, unless you think a real bar will make your party look that much better, it really isn’t necessary – a folding table with table cloth works just fine. If you have a home bar already, great!

A friend of the engaged couple donated the beer and it was a big hit. The beer we served was St. Archer Blonde Ale and is brewed at St. Archer Brewery in San Diego. We went through at least four cases over the course of the night. As the weather gets cooler, wine becomes more popular. We served several bottles of various red wines, and several bottles of white, as well as a few bottles of champagne. This was a younger crowd, so they drank quite a bit.

Traditional Persian cuisine was served including lula, chicken, and beef kebobs, saffron rice, and other traditional dishes. I was so busy that I didn’t get a card from the caterer, which I usually try to do. They had a DJ and a dance floor also and the party went on until after midnight.

Party before the action

Party before the action

Willie in training mode

Willie in training mode

Party raging...

Party raging…

Table bar setup

Table bar setup

Holiday season is fast approaching and I have booked one Halloween party so far. I still have a few weddings booked in October and early November and then I imagine the focus will shift to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. parties. It is best to book early. Shaken Not Stirred serves all of Los Angeles County, and we also go to Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. In fact, we’ll go anywhere for the right price.