Tag Archives: Company party

Shaken Not Stirred Wraps up September with Two Events

2 Oct
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New bartender, Siaka behind double portable bars

The end of September ended with a bang for Shaken Not Stirred as we provided bartending service for two big events. Friday night we returned to Culver City to bartend an end of summer party for a successful tech company. It was the second event I have done there. Then on Saturday, I did a 20 year class reunion at a Burbank private high school. It was a great weekend for Shaken Not Stirred.

Culver City Company Party

The event was held in the parking lot of the company headquarters in Culver City. I arrived early and set up my portable bar in the parking lot. I had another new bartender join me. It was my first time working with him, and he did an excellent job. There were over 100 guests, so we kept pretty busy. We had premixed Margaritas, Pimm’s Cup, and sangria in beverage dispensers. That definitely sped the service up.

The employees at these tech companies tend to be younger, and single, so they are ready to party. We served out of margaritas, and went through a lot of beer and wine. At eleven pm somebody in the neighborhood complained about noise, so we had to pack up the bar and move indoors. The company also hired a band and DJ for the event, but I didn’t get their names.

Burbank 20 Year Class Reunion

I did much planning with one of the organizers of the class reunion, and I purchased all of the alcohol and supplies and delivered them to the event. It is a service I offer for a nominal fee to my clients. Unfortunately, I can only offer that service to my Los Angeles clients, because I don’t have a truck, and sometimes have to make two trips.

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20 year class reunion held at the actual school

For this party, I served margaritas, which I also premixed and served from a beverage dispenser. I served out of red wine quickly, and was embarrassed that recommended four bottles. Red wine is not popular at summer parties, but as soon as the weather starts cooling down, it becomes popular. One of the organizers ran out a bought more.

20 year class reunions are fun, because they often awkward at first, but as soon as the guests loosen up with drinks, everyone has a great time. This was a fairly small class with only 90 in their graduating class, and 60 guests showed up. They played songs from 1997, and it just doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was 20 years. I think everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Rosamond with another bartender to bartend a 150 guest wedding, and then on Sunday will drive to Orange County to do an event in Villa Park. Later this month I have events scheduled in San Marino, Yucca Valley, Newport Beach, and Highland. Follow us on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Three End of Summer Events in Southern California

27 Sep
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Instagram stars at West Hollywood promotion

Shaken Not Stirred wrapped up the summer of 2017 with three big events last week. I did a associate appreciation party for a law firm in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, a promotional event at a retail store in West Hollywood on Wednesday, and then traveled to Mission Viejo for a wedding on Saturday. Three more great events under my belt.

I have done many corporate events from 10 to 300 people. The law firm in Woodland Hills just opened their new office there. They invited associate professionals like CPA’s that refer clients to them. Their turnout for this event wasn’t too good, but they plan on having more events like this. I think that having a bartender is a nice touch. I served beer, wine and soft drinks. I like doing events like this one weekdays and will do as many as I can.

The next day I drove to West Hollywood to do a promotional event at a clothing store on Melrose Avenue. They invited 100 Instagram stars and gave away free clothing in exchange for promotion. A good idea, for sure. The young ladies that showed up were definitely fashionistas, and very photogenic. Some had photographers with them continuously taking pictures. I served Veuve Clicquot.  It was a fun event for sure.

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200 plus guests at Norman P. Murray Center

Bartender for Events

  • Corporate Events
  • Birthday Parties
  • Engagement parties and weddings
  • Reunions
  • Grand Openings

On Saturday I picked up a barback at the Artist’s District in Downtown LA and we drove to Mission Viejo, to the Norman P. Murray Senior Center to bartend a wedding. This is a very nice venue. It is situated in a beautiful park that is perfect for photo opportunities. The weather could not have been nicer. We set up a portable bar and served wine, beer, and soft drinks to over 200 guests. We served completely out of beer in the last hour, and were down to a few bottles of wine by the end of service. I got a note from the bride on the next day, congratulating me on my accuracy on the shopping list. They didn’t have much to carry home.

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Barback takes an order

This weekend I am doing a company party in Culver City, and then a 20 year class reunion in Burbank. I am sending another bartender to a wedding in La Verne. The busy holiday season is fast approaching. My Instagram page is gaining momentum, so please follow us.

 

Five Holiday Parties in Five Days

22 Dec
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Tending bar in La Canada

Tis’ the season, and Shaken Not Stirred was busy last week bartending at five different holiday parties in five days. The holiday party season took me all over the San Fernando Valley, and to La Canada. On Tuesday I was called to do a last minute party in Encino when another bartender canceled, then on Wednesday and Thursday I bartended two back to back parties in La Canada, on Friday I bartended a party in Studio City, and then on Saturday I rounded out the week at a party in Porter Ranch. Needless to say, I made a lot of drinks.

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Martini waiting to go out

On Monday, I received a call from an associate of mine and she said someone she knew needed a bartender on Tuesday, because theirs cancelled last minute. I was happy to get the job, and so far in two years of business I have never cancelled a gig. The party was at a nice home in the hills of Encino and it was a company office party of around 16 people. I very mellow gig and I was very glad to help them. I made some Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and poured a few glasses of wine.

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School fundraiser in La Canada

Holiday Parties

  • Office Parties
    Fundraisers
    Christmas Parties
    Holiday cocktails
    Client appreciation parties

On Wednesday and Thursday I traveled to La Canada to the fabulous home of one of my best clients. He has his annual office Christmas party, and then his wife hosts a fundraiser for her children’s school the following night. Again, I served Moscow Mules, which are very popular right now. Some of the ladies requested a Mexican Mule, also known as a “Burro”, which substitutes tequila for vodka.

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Gamblers in Porter Ranch

On Friday, I went to Studio City to bartend a holiday party for a friend of mine. He had around sixty guests and I made Cranberry Old Fashioneds, and Moscow Mules. Red wine is also very popular as the weather turns colder, and I served several bottles of that. Many in the crowd were professional comedians, so it was a very fun group.

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Partiers in Studio City

On Saturday, I returned to Porter Ranch, to bartend for the third client in the same housing development. He had a real elaborate Christmas party planned, and he had a party planner, a caterer, servers, and casino tables. I poured martinis, Moscow Mules, and many scotch drinks. We used real glassware, which is always nice.

My next event so far is a New Year’s Eve party in Sherman Oaks, so not too far away. My daughter will be working that one with me, and I’ll be making some prohibition era cocktails, like The Last Word, Fleur di Paradis, Whiskey Sour, and Mint Juleps. It should be fun. I still have Christmas Eve open, and Saturday the 26th, if you need a bartender on those dates.

Mission Viejo Company Party

9 May
Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Shaken Not Stirred was hired to bartend a Mission Viejo company party last night. The host had the party at her parent’s Mission Viejo home and invited about thirty guests, who were on her team at work. I didn’t realize it until I got there, but I had met the host’s parents at another event and they had recommended me to bartend. That is always nice. I love getting referrals and repeat business.

The host had asked me to bring some pear syrup to make pear martinis, and I did that. Her husband had also made some pear puree, cucumber puree, strawberry puree, and lime puree with a juicer he had. I must say that those fresh purees really added something to the drinks. I made the pear martinis with vodka, pear syrup that I made, and a dash of the fresh pear puree that the host’s husband made. That was the ticket. The fresh lime puree really added something to the Cadillac Margaritas, and Moscow Mules. I am going to look into buying one of those juicers.

Dog guarding the taco stand

Dog guarding the taco stand

I bartend a few parties in Orange County each year. I left the San Fernando Valley two hours ahead of time to drive to Mission Viejo, and realized I had not left early enough. On a Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, it might take two hours just to get to LAX from the Valley.  I ended up being forty minutes late from the agreed upon time. I always give myself at least one hour to set up and prepare, and I often need every bit of my time. Fortunately, the guests arrived about forty minutes late as well, so it worked out. This was my first time being late to a party.

I sold two of my books, “Palm Avenue,” at the party. I was not trying to hawk my book there, but was talking to one of the guests and he was asking me what else I do. I told him about my book and he wanted one. I just happened to have some copies in my car and so I sold him a signed copy. Some other people saw the book and they wanted one too. That was a nice addition to my bartending job there.

Shots!

Shots!

Tonight I will bartend an engagement party at a home in Santa Clarita. I will be making cumber margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and Bay Breezes as specialty drinks. I have a few corporate events in Los Angeles later this month that are repeat business and referrals. It is always nice to get new customers, but it is very nice to get business through word of mouth and referrals.

Two Vegas Style Parties Back to Back

3 May
Outdoor bar at La Canada home

Outdoor bar at La Canada home

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred – Friday night I bartended at a fundraiser/poker tournament at a private home in La Canada, and then on Saturday night was the hired mixologist at a Vegas themed birthday party in Porter Ranch. Two nights, two very fun and successful events.  The event industry is thriving in Los Angeles, and there are so many great services that make parties really spectacular.

The Friday night poker tournament in La Canada was hosted by one of my best client’s at his fantastic home.  Casinos in Motion had at least ten poker tables there and dealers. The money that was raised benefitted a private school. The tournament didn’t end until one am. We served completely out of Grey Goose, Patron, and Johnny Walker Black.

Saturday night, the party was a birthday party/fight night event. It was a joint 40th birthday party bash for the husband and wife who were hosting the party and it just happened to fall on the Mayweather/Paciao fight night. I must say, they did an excellent job preparing for this party. They had red carpets, velvet ropes, and elaborate lighting set up in the backyard overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  Aces N Eights provided the Blackjack Table and dealer for the event.

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

I was bartending by myself for approximately ninety guests and was very busy. I made my special Jalapeno Margaritas that were a big hit, Mai Tais, Moscow Mules, Dark and Stormys, and Lemon Drops.  I also served Stella Artois and Modelo Especial, prosseco, and wine. It seems that Modelo is becoming the most popular beer in LA, overtaking Corona. I think all the Mexican beers are made by the same company, and beer is one of Mexico’s number one export products.

Next weekend will be busy also, as I have a company party scheduled in Mission Viejo for Friday, and then a wedding reception in Santa Clarita the following night. I was bartending in my sleep last night I have poured so many drinks this week. I still have a couple of open dates later this month, which I’m sure I will fill quickly. It is the season for graduation parties, and I have seen  many inquiries for such parties this month.

Shots!

Shots!

Three Event Weekend for Los Angeles Special Event Bartenders

7 Dec

This was a three event weekend for Shaken Not Stirred in Los Angeles special event bartenders. Friday night we had two big events in Studio City and Hollywood. I bartended a 21st birthday party at a home in Studio City and I sent two bartenders to bartend a wrap party at the rooftop of the W Hotel in Hollywood.  On Saturday night I traveled to Yorba Linda in Orange County to bartend a company Christmas party. From all accounts, the three events were a smashing success, literally and figuratively.

Studio City 21st Birthday Party

I had met with the guest of honor in advance and he had some specific cocktails he wanted to serve at his party. We came up with a list, including the Mai Tai, the Coconut Pie, and most importantly, the Flaming B-52 shot.  I had never done the flaming shots before, and I got plenty of practice at this party. I spent half the night pouring and lighting Flaming B-52 shots.

The Flaming B-52 is made with Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Gran Marnier, and topped off with a dash of Bacardi 151. You light it up and the guest drinks it quickly through a straw. I felt kind of like the guy in the Deer Hunter who loads the gun for Russian roulette, each time I would light a shot up. The birthday boy seemed to have had a great time and turning 21 is a big deal in anyone’s book.

Friends celebrate a man's 21st birthday

Friends celebrate a man’s 21st birthday

Hollywood Wrap Party Featured Special Event Bartenders

After I had already booked the party in Studio City, one of my best clients contacted me and wanted me to bartend a wrap party in Hollywood. I sent two of my best bartenders to do that one. I was not going to ditch the first person who had contracted with me for that date to do a potentially more glamorous party. I don’t do things that way. I had total faith that the bartenders I sent to Hollywood would deliver and they did.

The wrap party had Don Julio sponsor the tequila and they had a rep on hand mixing Paloma Margaritas, made with grapefruit juice. I worked with the coordinator and we developed a list of three other margaritas to serve: The Prickly Pear Margarita, the Cucumber Margarita, and the Jalapeno Margarita.  I made the cucumber syrup, and the Jalapeno juice for two of those drinks, and word has gotten back to me that the drinks were a hit.

Yorba Linda Company Christmas Party

Saturday Night I bartended a company Christmas party in Yorba Linda, in the heart of Orange County.  I had spoken briefly with the host about a drink menu and shopping list, but we didn’t ever come up with anything definitively. I think she was super busy arranging the party, as she hired a caterer, a magician, blackjack dealers, a Santa, and me the bartender.

Santa hands out gifts to kids in Yorba Linda

Santa hands out gifts to kids in Yorba Linda

Anyway, I had very limited supplies to work with, but I made the best of it and developed my own drink with rum, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and soda, which I called the Christmas Fizzle, and it was a hit. The host requested a Bloody Mary and I had no tomato juice, or anything, so I improvised a Bloody Mary with Tapatio, olive juice, and vodka. She loved it! Now, that is a mixologist. (I hate that word).

The caterers on the event were Exciting Events out of Temecula. Their Jamaican shrimp appetizers were incredible, and so was their tri-tip with sundried mash potatoes. Their food was way above average as far as caterers go, and I highly recommend them.

Shots!

Shots!

Special Event Bartender Busy in December

The people who hired me to bartend the 21st birthday party in Studio City wanted to hire me again for a wrap party next weekend. Unfortunately, I am already booked for another party in Valley Village. I think I have found another bartender for them, though it was difficult. All the bartenders are already booked for most of the dates in December. I just booked another holiday party in Redondo Beach on Thursday, which is my old stomping grounds. Call me if you still need bartenders for your holiday parties, wrap parties, or just plain old get togethers.

Mobile Bartending from Beverly Hills to Quartz Hill

4 Aug

Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service did three events last week starting with a Beverly Hills cocktail party on Thursday, then a post wedding reception in quartz Hill, and finishing the weekend off with a company pool party in the hills of Burbank. The actual bartending is only part of the story, because each of these events required planning, including the shopping lists and drink menus, and in the case of the Burbank party I did the actual shopping for alcohol and beverages. I’m glad I did that because it was a great learning experience for me and I came in $47 under budget.

I did a little research and chose Smart and Final for 95 percent of the items I needed. They had everything from cups, to straws, good prices on soda, and most of the alcoholic beverages I needed. There were only a couple of specialty items I needed which I found at a very nice liquor store, Mission Wine and Spirits on Burbank Blvd. If you are in the San Fernando Valley I highly recommend this place. If you are planning a party and need help with the shopping list I have many lists already made for various numbers of people. I can also do the shopping for you for a fee, of course.

The Beverly Hills cocktail party was repeat business for me and I was glad to have it on the Thursday night. The host told me she would be using me a lot, because I am dependable and not priced out of sight. I am a good bartender and am worth the going rate and more, but I also realize that bartending is not brain surgery, and price my service accordingly. Each crowd that I service is different, and in Beverly Hills it seems it is all about business. They want somebody who comes in, does the job, is tactful and discreet, and then cleans up and gets out of there without a lot of fanfare and I can do that.

Saturday, I was off to Quartz Hill, outside of Lancaster to bartend a post wedding reception. The wedding took place in the Bahamas and the hosts wanted a reception for their family friends back home. I served many blended drinks there including Pina Colladas, Cadillac Margaritas, and Strawberry Margaritas. Shaken Not Stirred is a mobile bartending service that serves most of Southern California, including the far ends of Los Angeles County

Beverly Hills backyard

Beverly Hills backyard

Native flora of Quartz Hill

Native flora of Quartz Hill

Bar menu at wedding reception

Bar menu at wedding reception

Burbank pool party

Burbank pool party

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The company pool party on Sunday was held at the host’s home in the hills above Burbank. There are some incredible houses up there, and this was one of them. It was spitting rain all day, but that didn’t keep the guests from drinking delicious Mai Tais, Cadillac Margaritas, and Blue Hawaiians in and out of the pool. No lightning scares. You will notice that I serve Cadillac Margaritas at almost every party I do because people love them! They are by far the most popular drink I serve. Next week I do at wedding at CBS Studios in Studio City. So far August 16th is still open, though I have some inquiries floating out there.  

Los Angeles Bartending: Birthday Parties, Company Parties

26 Mar

In Los Angeles, parties and events take place for all kinds of reasons and occasions: birthday parties, corporate events, sports parties, television viewing parties – the list goes on and on. I have done three events in the past two weeks. Two were 40th birthday parties hosted at private homes, and the other event was a client appreciation party held at a post production facility in Burbank.

40th birthday parties seem to be popular because turning the big four-o marks a milestone in one’s life. I bartended at a man’s 40th birthday party at his home inRedondo Beach. The hosts had found a tiki bar on Craigslist that somebody was giving away free. They fixed it up a little bit and it made a fantastic backyard bar – they just needed a bartender, and that’s where I came in. The forty or so guests were very impressed. The drink of the night was the Cadillac Margarita, and there were many beer drinkers in attendance.

I worked another 40th birthday party inWest Los Angeles. They set up a table in the backyard and it made a functional backyard bar. The host made a drink menu and the most popular drink seemed to be the Pomegranate Martini. We used plastic martini glasses and they worked very well. I took a server with me to pass out finger foods and act as a barback. Once again, the guests in attendance were impressed by the service, and the hosts were free to mingle and have a good time.

I assisted another event company with the corporate party inBurbank. It was a fairy large event with over 100 guests. I’m sure the cost of the party was money well spent because the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves. Customers always have choices when choosing a post production facility for instance, and a client appreciation party is a good way to create client loyalty.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to be rich or have a fancy bar set up to hire a bartender for your next party. These backyard parties with Pandora going on the stereo and a table makeshift bar setup can be fantastic and memorable events. The weather is getting nice now in Los Angeles and it will be perfect for many backyard parties and events this summer.