Tag Archives: cocktail hour

Bartending Service Kicks off Summer with Three June Events

5 Jun
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First Friday Event 

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles based bartending service started off June with three big events last weekend. Friday I was in Venice to bartend a first Friday networking event at a law office near Abbot Kinney.  On Saturday, I drove to Santa Clarita to bartend a 40th birthday party, and then finished off the weekend in Hidden Hills for another birthday party. A busy weekend, just like I like it.

Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a thriving area in Los Angeles and on the First Friday of every month dozens of exciting food trucks converge on the area to offer a dazzling array of cuisine. It is a happening event that brings in a lot of people from out of the area, and young professionals in the area. So, the law firm that hired me has a monthly cocktail hour in conjunction with the First Friday event. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to approximately 50 young professionals. It was a fun event, and hopefully they will call me again. I did all the shopping and delivered the supplies, which is an extra service I provide.

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Backyard 40th Birthday Party Setup

On Saturday, I went to Santa Clarita to do bartending service for a 40th birthday party. The hosts had a very nice backyard where I set up my portable bar on the patio. The husband had set up a very nice birthday party for his wife’s 40th birthday party. He even bought a whole DJ equipment package and was the DJ for the evening. It was his first time as a DJ, but I must say he did better than some professional DJ’s I have seen. I think it was definitely a memorable milestone birthday party for the birthday girl.

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DJ and Dancing in Santa Clarita

Advantages of Hiring a Bartending Service

  • Bartender keeps bar area clean and organized
  • Can provide shopping and delivery of supplies
  • Bartender creates specialty drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves

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    My Son Behind Portable Bar in Hidden Hills

On Sunday I did a second annual birthday party in Hidden Hills. I remember last year I did it and it was blazing hot. The ice melted quickly. This year it was one of the first hot days of summer, but wasn’t that bad. They had over 100 guests, so I took my son with me to help out. We served a lot of margaritas, including my special jalapeno margarita, that is always a hit. The hosts had an important announcement to make – they are having a baby girl. The announcement was met with huge applause from the guests. The host told me I will be coming back to bartend the baby shower. I am blessed to have such great clients.

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Host Makes Big Announcement

I must mention that the weekend started with a bit of sadness. On Friday I lost my cat, Batman, who has been with me for 21 years. I am glad I was busy, so my mind was not focused on that. I was kind of expecting it, but it is always a shock with you lose a pet. This weekend I will be providing bartending service for a wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes, then have a another wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in Sylmar, and have other SFV and Orange County events later this month. Follow us on Instagram.

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RIP Batman 1997-2018

Bartender for Hire Does Three Weekend Events

27 Jun
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Portable bar in Pacific Palisades

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire had a busy weekend and did three fantastic events over the weekend. Friday night I bartended a short cocktail hour at a beautiful home in Pacific Palisades, on Saturday I did a wedding south of downtown Los Angeles, and then on Sunday I drove out to Mentone to bartend a baby shower. I met a lot of great people and served a whole lot of drinks.

Pacific Palisades Cocktail Party

I set up my portable bar and the back deck that had a great view of the Santa Monica Bay and mountains. The host told me that she has regular get togethers with a few of her friends, and this was the perfect place to do it. We were going to serve martinis and margaritas, but the guests only ended up drinking margaritas. For small parties, I make margaritas with tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and Cointreau, with a salt rim. This was a big hit with this crowd, and I didn’t make a single martini. The two hours went quickly, and I was on my way back home.

South Los Angeles Wedding

On Saturday, the bartender for hire drove to South Los Angeles to bartend a wedding, that was booked months ago. Many brides book their weddings up to a year in advance. I usually don’t like to bid on jobs that far in advance, but often book them six months in advance. Then I help plan the drink menu and shopping list. I arrived at the home where the wedding was being held, and they had a tent setup in the back yard. Nobody was around and everybody was at a different location at the ceremony. I guessed where to set up the bar and I started preparing for the wedding.

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Bridesmaids huddle in South LA

The DJ, Ed Deejay Entertainment  arrived and they set up their photo booth, and DJ equipment. Event pros instinctively know what to do, and usually don’t need a lot of instruction from the hosts. In this case we were there a full two hours setting up before the hosts arrived and everything worked out just fine. Finally the party got going and I made Mojitos, Palomas, and other drinks for a full eight hours.

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Shots!

Bartender for Hire Essentials

  • Has a portable bar and table
  • Provides coolers, ice bins, and shakers
  • Is ABC certified
  • Helps with bar menu and shopping list
  • Knows how to make a variety of drinks

Mentone Baby Shower

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Portuguese American Club in Mentone

Sunday I drove to Mentone to bartend a baby shower at the Portuguese American Club. Mentone is a small town north of Redlands in San Bernardino County. The Portuguese American Club is a very nice old style venue with a nice bar. I set up the bar as the host set up several coolers with soft drinks, water and beer. Dad’s Tacos and Burritos did the catering they cooked the meat outside where it was a toasty 108. Instaglam provided the photo booth, and the DJ emceed several fun games for the guests. The host hired me for his Halloween party and gave me a deposit on the spot. I have several events coming up, including Ventura, Chino, San Diego, Sylmar, Villa Park, Rolling Hills, and Thousands Oaks. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do so.

A Bunch of Events, New Orleans, and Fractured Ribs

27 May
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Famous Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans

Today is the first day I have felt like sitting at a desk and writing since returning from my trip from New Orleans and recovering from fractured ribs. I visited New Orleans for the first time last week and had an accident falling out of the hotel shower where I fractured my ribs. I returned to LA and have been laid up in severe pain this entire week – I finally feel much better today, but am not 100 percent. Shaken Not Stirred was very busy the week before I left on my trip, and I have even done a couple events since I’ve been back and haven’t written about any of them on this blog.

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Interior, Maple Leaf Bar

The week before I left on my trip I did five big events. I bartended an alumni event in Burbank, did a bris celebration in Studio City, traveled to Indian Wells to bartend a rehearsal dinner for Goodfella’s Tacos, drove back to Castaic to bartend a graduation party, and then on Sunday bartended a Mother’s Day party in Woodland Hills. I left for New Orleans the next morning. That was one of my busiest weeks since I started the company.

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Alumni event, Burbank

I went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my friend, Jason Ricci. He is one of the best harmonica players in the world today. My accident happened on the day before the wedding. I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, but was in so much pain, had to leave shortly after and missed the big jam session at the famous Maple Leaf Bar where the wedding party was held. I was very disappointed about that. Despite my accident, I loved the city and people of New Orleans, and will return for sure. The food is incredible, and we Yankees could all learn a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

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Indian Wells Rehearsal Dinner 

The flight back was excruciating with broken ribs, and had not the nice lady sitting next to me given me a Vicodin, I can imagine the plane having to land in Nashville or somewhere because I was moaning so much. I returned on Thursday and had two upcoming gigs on Saturday and Sunday that I had no idea how I was going to complete. I could not bend down, turn my body, or lift anything above four pounds without wincing in pain.

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Mariachis perform at Castaic graduation party

I called some other bartenders and tried to get somebody to take my gigs, but could not find anybody on short notice. I decided to get a friend to help me and I could sit on a stool and mix drinks. I will never cancel a gig I have taken a deposit for, and will to the best of my ability get the job done. My friend drove me to Fontana and we got the job done and I bartended a birthday party for 60 people. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

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Shots!

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Irvine Graduation Party 

The next day we turned around and drove to Irvine to bartend a graduation party of 100 people. Once again, we got the job done, and I couldn’t have done it without my friend, Steve, who had no previous bartending experience. While we were doing that gig, I had three other bartenders doing a fundraiser event in Beverly Hills, which came off very well I have heard.

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Guests enjoy cigars at Fontana birthday party

I spend all of last week laying around letter my ribs heal. I went to the doctor and got xrays and at least three ribs are fractured. I have several events already scheduled for this month, but am not taking on any new ones until I am completely healed. Tonight I am bartending a birthday party in Santa Monica, and my friend is coming along to help me. Next week I am doing a birthday party close to home in Van Nuys. Hopefully, by next month I will be fully recovered and ready to roll for the summer party and wedding season.

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Injured bartender in Fontana

Villa Park Dinner Party

14 Oct
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Guests mingle for cocktail hour

One of my best clients called me to provide bartending service for a Wednesday night dinner party she and her husband were hosting at their home in Villa Park. Villa Park is a very nice upscale community near the city of Orange in Orange County. The dinner was a business event and 25 guests were invited. I was there to make cocktails before dinner and assist with serving the dinner.

I have said this before, but these clients have the best backyard bar I have ever worked at. It is well stocked with top shelf liquor, and is better equipped than many restaurant bars. It is a real pleasure to work from. I was serving Veuve Clicquot champagne and many of the guests drank that at cocktail hour. It is an exceptional brand of champagne. I made a few cocktails and the catering service, Jillian Fae Chef Services, put out some amazing appetizers, including oysters on the half shell, fresh scallops, and a wonderful spread of cheeses.

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Oysters on the halfshell at Villa Park dinner party

After the cocktail party the guests moved to their tables for a four course dinner. I poured wine and kept the cocktails coming, while a waiter from the catering company started serving the dinner. When I wasn’t busy pouring wine and making drinks, I helped the waiter serve the food and clear the plates. It is something I have quite a bit of experience doing, because I worked in fine dining for years. The chef put out an excellent dinner that included a pear salad, short ribs, and many other goodies.

Dinner Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Find a caterer to go with theme
  • Invite interesting guests

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    No cheap wine served in Villa Park

The dinner party in Villa Park was a big success because it was well planned and executed. Hopefully I will return there many more times. Tomorrow I will travel to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party, and then next weekend I am going to Sylmar to make drinks for a 70th surprise birthday party. Call are starting to come in for the holiday season and I booked two repeat holiday parties in November yesterday. There are still many dates left in December, but they will go fast.

Special Price for Cocktail Hour

16 Feb

Rob bartending in Sherman Oaks

Rob bartending in Sherman Oaks

Shaken not Stirred is offering a special price for “cocktail hour”.

For $50, you get a bartender for 2 hours including setup and break down time.

You can host a cocktail hour with a professional bartender before your dinner party, screening, presentation, etc.

Due to distance, this offer is only good for the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.

This offer is good every day except Saturday.

This is great opportunity for people to try a bartender out and not pay a lot of money. I can help you make a specialty drink menu and shopping list for your cocktail hour.

This will surely impress your guests and free you up to enjoy yourself, while Shaken not Stirred serves your guests and cleans up after them. If you have a home bar, great! If not, we can improvise something.

Here is an interesting article about hiring bartenders – I didn’t say it!

Woodland Hills Cocktail Hour and Dinner Party

16 Feb

A very nice woman called me and asked me if I would like to bartend for one hour at a dinner party in Woodland Hills. Since I did not have anything else scheduled, and since the party was in the San Fernando Valley, I agreed to do the party and forego my minimum charge. Of course, immediately after I took the job, someone else called and wanted me to do a big party in Anaheim the same night, and I had to decline that job.

First of all, we were having some kind of Carmageddon this weekend, so I really didn’t want to leave the valley. I was glad to get the job in Woodland Hills. But secondly, I will never cancel a gig once I have agreed to do it, or shift you off to another bartender because “better deal” comes up. I have seen other bartenders do that, and I think it is really sleazy. I know that because I get calls all the time from people because their original bartender cancelled on them last minute.

Bartenders tend to be greedy. I have seen it over my years in the industry. They are so worried about their tips, the tip jar, and how much money they are going to be paid. They watch the tip jar like a hawk and they give people attitude about tipping. They want to be paid for every minute of their time, and they complain like babies if something doesn’t go their way. I have never taken that attitude and realize that some jobs are better than others. I always make out very well in the long run, and people usually want me back. I don’t want these greedy bartenders working for me.

That being said, I was very happy doing the small ten person party in Woodland Hills. They also hired a harp player, Michelle Whitson Stone to play for an hour to add a nice atmosphere. I made a couple of Cosmos, poured a few glasses of wine, and helped a little bit with the dinner. I was in and out of there within two hours. The hostess, who couldn’t have been nicer, tipped me and that was very nice of her, but I didn’t expect it.

After doing the cocktail hour and having such a good experience, I think I will offer a special on weeknights, including Friday nights to do a cocktail hour. So here it is, $50 for two hours for a cocktail hour bartender, including setup and breakdown. This is for the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and West LA, Monday through Friday.

Formal dinner party setting

Formal dinner party setting

Michelle Witson Stone playing harp

Michelle Witson Stone playing harp

Nice home bar

Nice home bar