Tag Archives: craft cocktails

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bartending Service at 8 Big Events

8 Aug
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The View from 17th Floor

Last week was one of the busiest weeks ever for Shaken Not Stirred – my staff and I provided bartending service at 8 great events. I started off the week doing two corporate events in Downtown LA and Venice, and then on Saturday we had a baby shower, a going away brunch, and two birthday parties. Sunday I drove to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, while another bartender did an anniversary party in Manhattan Beach.

I picked up a new corporate client and they say they will be doing as many as two events a month, all on the weekdays. I love these kind of events. I did the first one on thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, and it was held at the 17th floor pool area of a luxury condo building. I brought all the supplies, and hustled them up to the 17th floor. It is an extra service I provide for an extra fee, and many of my clients do not want the hassle of shopping for their supplies. I am glad to do it.

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New Favorite Mode of Transportation in Venice

On Friday, I once again traveled to Venice to do a mixer that coincides with the First Friday Food truck event on Abbot Kinney. This was my third time doing this event. Once again, I shopped for and brought all the supplies. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to 30 or so people. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hire a Bartending Service

  • Craft cocktails and professional quality drinks
  • We can do the shopping for you
  • Professional consultation
  • Multiple bartenders available
  • ABC certified

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    Fullerton Baby Shower

Saturday was the big day that I was worried about because I had four different events staffed by four bartenders, plus myself. I had a baby shower to do with another bartender in Fullerton. One bartender did a daytime event in Sylmar, and then a birthday party later that night in Santa Clarita. Two other bartenders headed out to Pacoima to do a birthday party. Fortunately, everyone was on time and everything went great.

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Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

This weekend I have a wedding at the Diamond Bar Center on Saturday, and a birthday party in Studio City on Sunday. The month of august is flying by, and it won’t be too much longer that I will be booking Christmas parties. Like last year, I am saving all dates in December for my existing customers. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Two Bachelorette Parties, A Wedding, and a Birthday Party

31 Jul
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Bride Tribe

It was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and it spanned a large territory from Palm Springs, to downtown Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley. I started out on Friday bartending at two different bachelorette parties in Palm Springs, drove back to LA to bartend a 200 guest wedding on Saturday, and then bartended a large birthday party in Panorama City on Sunday night. Needless to say, I served a whole lot of drinks.

Palm Springs is usually pretty hot this time of year, and Friday it was a sweltering 118. When I pulled into town the sky was hazy from the fires burning near Idyllwild. I wondered if that would ruin the bachelorette parties I was scheduled to do. When I arrived at the first house, I could hear ladies hooting and hollering in the backyard.  Obviously they weren’t going to let a little smoke ruin their party. I set up my portable bar out by the pool and started serving drinks.

I served a Lavender cocktail that the host wanted, and it was a hit. Vodka, lavender syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. I also made jalapeno margaritas, and a vodka, grapefruit and basil cocktail. Part of the deal of doing bachelorette parties, is that the bartender also has to act as photographer. I don’t mind doing that, and I took many cool pictures with the host’s phone.

The second bachelorette party started at 6pm, and I setup the portable bar inside the house. I was glad because it was still well over 100 in Cathedral City. For this party, I was to do a presentation and make four drinks – a Lemon Drop Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Jalapeno Margarita, and a Watermelon Daiquiri. My phone died and I only got one grainy picture, but it seems the ladies had a good time and were dancing in the living room by the end.july27b

I drove back to LA the next morning and didn’t have much turnaround time and had to start setting up two bars for a 200 guest wedding at 802 Mateo Street in downtown LA. another bartender arrived to help me and we served Mojitos, and various vodka drinks. I was worried about this wedding, because we had been planning it for months, but everything came off without a hitch.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

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Group shots!

Sunday night I was back in the San Fernando Valley bartending a 100 person birthday party at the Palacio Banquet Hall on Van Nuys Blvd. I served margaritas and various vodka drinks. It was quite a party with live entertainment, costumed dancers, and lots of great food. I served completely out of liquor by the end of the night.

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Latin dancers at Palacio Banquet Hall

This coming week I have 8 parties scheduled and am sending out multiple bartenders. I have two corporate events, two birthday parties, a going away party, a baby shower, and another bachelorette party. I hope everything goes ok! Follow us on Instagram.

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Shots!

Shaken Not Stirred Gig Bartender Does Events Across SoCal

7 Aug
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Picturesque Simi Valley

Southern California’s traveling gig bartender, Shaken Not Stirred bartended several events in the past two weeks across the region. I have been very busy the past two weeks and have not had time to keep up with this blog. I have done events in Inglewood, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades, Fullerton, Beverly Hills, and Simi Valley. All were successful, and I think my clients were happy with my service – I did pick up some more five star reviews and referrals.

I started off the string of events in Downtown LA at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. SheEO sponsored an fundraising event and I served wine and soft drinks to approximately 50 ladies. SheEO seems like a very worthwhile organization, and should appeal to any female entrepreneurs. I hope to do more events with them in the future.

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SheEo Event in Downtown LA

Next I bartended a party in Inglewood attended largely by a local contingent of Nigerian immigrants. They served traditional Nigerian food, like jerk goat, and mint pies. I served wine, beer, and cocktails. The host invited me to work there every Friday night. I was tempted by the offer of ongoing work, but turned it down. An ongoing weekly gig feels too much like a job to me. I would rather see where the universe takes me.

Types of Events for a Gig Bartender

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Pool parties
  • Class Reuinions

The day after, I went to Pacific Palisades to bartend a summer/company party. A local law firm held the party for employees and friends. I set up my portable bar on the deck next to the pool. It was a hot summer night, and I got bitten several times by mosquitos, which is rare in California. The host had a very nice selection of liquor and mixers and I was able to make some craft cocktails.

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Guests mingle in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, I traveled to Orange County to the Fullerton Community Center to bartend a wedding. It was a my first time working the venue and it had a large ballroom big enough to seat at least two hundred people. Over 100 people attended this wedding and I kept pretty busy making drinks for all of those people. Luckily they were mostly wine drinkers, which makes to easier for me to serve 100 people by myself.

Mid week I bartended a corporate event in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. They have hired me for at least a dozen events, and most of the events are one weekdays, which I really appreciate. I brought another bartender with me and we served cocktails to approximately 75 guests. It was deathly hot and humid that night in Los Angeles, with the humidity hovering at 60 percent.

I finished off the week in beautiful Simi Valley bartending a baby shower on Saturday Night. The humid weather subsided, and it was an extremely pleasant night for August in Simi Valley. It even got a bit chilly after the sun went down. I served cocktails to around 50 guests and finished at 11pm.

This coming weekend I have only one event scheduled for Saturday night, but that could change. I will be bartending a birthday party in Northridge. Later this month I have events in Tujunga, San Diego, Irvine, and Hawthorne. All of my Saturdays are booked through October. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred, the gig bartender on Instagram.

Five Cocktails That Are Popular at Private Events Right Now

16 Mar
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Moscow Mule

5. Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is very popular right now at private events including weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events. Here is the recipe for the Moscow Mule
;
1.5 oz Vodka
Splash fresh lime juice
2 oz Ginger beer

There are several different brands and types of ginger beer available at Trader Joe’s or Bevmo.
Cock & Bull, Bunderberg, and Gosling are some of the popular brands. You can also make a Kentucky Mule by substituting Bourbon, or a Mexican Mule by substituting Tequila. I usually garnish with a lime slice.

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Old Fashioned

4. Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is called the Old Fashioned because it is old. As a cocktail, it has been around a long time. It has recently become popular again because of the hit television show, “Mad Men. This is how you prepare an Old Fashioned:

First of all, put a sugar cube, a cherry, and an orange slice into a shaker. Splash some Angostura bitters onto the other ingredients and muddle. Pour 2.5 oz of Bourbon into the shaker and then add ice and shake it. Pour into a glass and top it off with Club soda.

The Old Fashioned is ready to serve.

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Lemon Drop

3. Lemon Drop Martini

The Lemon Drop is a favorite at private events, especially among women. It should have the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Here is how you make the lemon drop:

Place a scoop of ice into a shaker. Pour in 3.5 oz of Vodka, 1 oz of fresh lemon juice, and 1 oz of simple syrup. Shake it vigorously, and then pour it into a martini glass. Sometimes I rim the glass with sugar and add a lemon wheel as a garnish, or a twist.
The secret to this drink is using mostly vodka, and not making it too sweet.

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Fresh grapefruits make for great drinks!

2. Paloma

The Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail and is made a few different ways. The way it is often made at Mexican weddings is by mixing Tequila and Squirt. The way I like to make it is a bit different. Here is how I make it:

I pour 1.5 oz Tequila, 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice, and 1 oz of simple syrup into a shaker and shake it up. Pour into a glass and serve. I sometimes use a salt rim and garnish with a lime slice.

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Jalapeno Margarita

1. Jalapeno Margarita

I make my own Jalapeno Margarita mix to make the Jalapeno Margarita. This is by far the most popular cocktail I serve at private parties. The way I make it is by adding 70 percent lime juice, 15 percent water, 15 percent Agave Nectar, and two sliced jalapenos into a blender. I blend it up real good.

I pour 2 oz of tequila and 2 oz Jalapeno Margarita mix into a shaker with ice and shake them up. I pour into a salt rimmed glass and add a lime slice for a garnish.

Bar Catering at Two Culver City Holiday Parties

19 Dec
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Keg at Culver City holiday party

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at two separate company holiday parties in Culver City. It’s funny that both companies seemed to be closed related as to what they did – all things digital, had similar guests, and were less than a mile from each other. These were the first parties I have bartended at in Culver City since being in business.

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Shots!

On Thursday it was raining throughout Los Angeles, and we all know what that means – horrible traffic and massive delays. In Culver City it was even worse. I got down into the area way early and I worked out at LA Fitness. I finished my workout two hours before I was supposed to arrive at the party. My GPS said I was 2.2 miles away from the location. It took me ONE HOUR to drive 2.2 miles in Culver City traffic. On top of that my phone was about to die and my car charger wasn’t working. I was sweating, thinking that is my phone died, I would not know the address, contacts phone numbers or anything. I finally made it to the location and my phone died minutes later. The moral of this story is that I must keep a printed map of the location, directions, and contact phone numbers on all jobs.

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DJ Randy Rollog and assistant

Randy Rollog (310) 621-3051 provided DJ service for the Thursday night event. He played Christmas music and then slowly switched it up to hip hop. He has a good setup, and I hope I can toss some business his way. I have been looking for a reliable DJ I can work with.

Bar Catering Services

  • Provide a physical portable bar
  • Staff bartenders and cocktail servers
  • Consultation about drink menu and shopping list
  • Create craft cocktails
  • Beer, wine, and non alcoholic beverage service
  • Weddings, corporate events, private parties

The second night, Friday, I had the larger of the two holiday parties in Culver City. I brought another bartender with me and we set up two bars – one outside the location and one inside the kitchen at the facility. I manned the outside bar where they had the stage setup for a live band. The other bartender held down the fort in side. We served over 100 guests. The Goldsoundz provided the live music, including classic and alternative rock. They had two food trucks doing the catering, but I was too busy to get their information

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Digital DJ at Culver City Event

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Shots!

These two holiday parties were some of the last of the holiday season. The next night I provided bar catering at a December wedding in Northridge. I have a Christmas party in LA Canada later this week, and then a New Year’s Eve party, and a New Year’s day party, and then the holiday season will be officially over. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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More Shots!

La Quinta Cocktail Party

11 Oct
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La Quinta Rental home across from Desert Trip

Sunday I got a last minute call to bartend a cocktail party in La Quinta. The call came at 10 am and they wanted me there by 1pm – La Quinta is 150 miles from my house. I told him I could be there by two. I put on my mobile bartender suit, loaded my cooler and bar kit and drove out there. Desert Trip, the three day music festival was going on just across the road from where I was bartending and 90,000 people were in town for that.

My job was simple, set up my portable bar by the pool and serve cocktails for an hour or two, and then serve wine at dinner. There were ten guests in from Maryland to attend the Desert Trip show and I was to serve them drinks before the show. I served Moscow Mules, Mexican Mules, and Kentucky Mules. The people that hired me were somehow connected to the Desert Trip promoters, and the guests I was serving were VIPS, also somehow connected to the promoters.

This was the second time Shaken Not Stirred went out to the Coachella Valley in two weeks. I go out there, when it is worth my while, and I always enjoy the area. The dramatic landscape just makes me feel good for some reason, and it is always nice to get a reprieve from LA. The group I was serving were all very nice and I made them all a couple of drinks a piece. This was a typical intimate cocktail party.

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Tequila shots at La Quinta cocktail party

Cocktail Party Procedure

  • Serve specialty drinks
  • Craft cocktails
  • Use appropriate glassware
  • Serve drinks on a tray

After the guests had a couple of cocktails, they all moved inside for dinner. A private chef was there and she prepared a fantastic four course dinner. She didn’t have a card and said she would email me her info, but has not done so yet. The meal included a rabbit pate appetizer, wild King Salmon filets, roasted chicken, and various fresh roasted vegetables. I served the wine and cleared the plates. I have alot of experience doing this and enjoy doing it for groups like this.

After dinner, the guests quickly left to attend the third night of Desert Trip. The Who and Rodger Waters were playing. I packed up and finished just in time to take in the presidential debate. On Wednesday I will be driving to Orange County to bartend an event for some of my best clients, and then on Saturday, I will be staying close to home and doing a birthday party in Woodland Hills.

40th Birthday Party at Versailles at Indian Wells

4 Oct
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Beautiful Indian Wells landscape

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services for a two day 40th birthday party at the fabulous Versailles compound at Indian Wells. The hosts wanted to throw a birthday bash to end all birthday bashes and they wanted to invite 25 of their closest friends for a weekend in the beautiful Coachella Valley. I was there to make the drinks, and I made a bunch of them.

Most of the guests flew in from the San Francisco area, and I guess there are direct flights from San Francisco to Palm Springs on United, American, and Alaska. The host told me that when they were thinking about this party, they wanted to rent a place that was big enough so that all of their friends would have their own room. They would have gone anywhere in the country, but Versailles at Indian wells was one of the few places that could accommodate that. Versailles has 26,000 square feet, 14 bedrooms, and 19 bathrooms.

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Big Chill at Versailles, Indian Wells

The host wanted me to make some craft cocktails for the event. We decided on a spicy Jalapeno/cucumber margarita, a Dalmatian, and cucumber coolers. I made the spicy jalapeno/cucumber margarita mix in advance with all fresh ingredients. I also made a black peppercorn simple syrup for the Dalmatian cocktail, and brought fresh grapefruit juice. The drinks were a hit, and I ran out of the spicy marg mix the first day and had to make another batch the following day.

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Craft Cocktails at Versailles

Versailles Rental Compound Amenities

  • 26,000 square feet, 14 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms
  • Sleeps up to 30 people
  • Large pool, two jacuzzis
  • Tennis court
  • Private 2 acres
  • Detached casitas
  • Game room, media room, formal dining room
  • Inside and outside bars

I think almost anyone would only dream to have a “Big Chill” experience like with 25 of their closest friends at a stunning property like this. I am sure it a was a fantastic 40th birthday party for the host and a memorable experience for his guests. I had a great time bartending for them. I got to know a few of the guests a little bit over the course of the weekend and it was a great experience. The first day they had a taco caterer come in, and then on the second day it was pizza for dinner.

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It’s a Bloody Mary Morning…

This coming weekend is the only weekend in October where I don’t have anything scheduled. I am sure I will pick something up by Saturday. I wouldn’t even mind going back to Palm Springs again. I love going out there this time of the year, and the season is only beginning as the snowbirds start flocking south. .