Tag Archives: Cree Estate

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
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Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

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The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

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Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

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Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

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Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

Palm Springs 50th Birthday Party

8 Feb
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.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Mobile Bartender Service at Cathedral City Wedding

28 Sep

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

Shots!

Shots!

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.

Los Angeles Party Bartender Service Goes to San Dimas for Quinceanera

21 Sep

Los Angeles party bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to San Dimas in the San Gabriel Valley to bartend a quinceanera at the San Dimas Community Center. The San Dimas Community Center has a very nice facility to host parties at and there were over 100 people in attendance. They had one of those portable bars on wheels set up for me when I arrived and the bar was stocked with tequila, vodka, Malibu rum, and I had several coolers full of beer. This was the second quincinera I have done in the past two months.

I was very busy the whole time, and I usually recommend two bartenders for events this size. There is barely time to restock beer, ice, and cups etc. I must have poured 200 Shirley temples and Roy Rodgers for the kids and I also made virgin margaritas. I brought some of my cucumber syrup and made cucumber margaritas, which were a hit. I also made a drink I called the “Cucumber Soda” with vodka, cucumber syrup, and soda water. I served out of Modelo, Corona, Tecate, and Budweiser, but we still had some Bud Light and Coors Light at the end of the night.

As a Los Angeles party bar service I am learning that there is an ongoing stream of events year round that need bartenders. The weather is nice in Southern California, so weddings keep happening year round, and birthday parties, Quinceaneras, corporate events, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvas, and cocktail parties. Shaken Not Stirred serves pretty much the whole Southern California area. I have done parties and events in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Kern counties. There is plenty of work to go around for many bartending services.

Next weekend I will be in Palm Springs to bartend another wedding at the Cree estate. I hope to pick up another event in the Coachella Valley on Friday night, and/or Sunday. It would be nice to do multiple events in the area if I am going to be out there. The first weekend in October I will be busy close to home with events in Calabasas, Venice, and Porter Ranch, then I will be doing another wedding in Temecula the next weekend.

I schedule in December is currently open and I know it will fill up fast as people start booking holiday parties. I hope to book some repeat customers from last year, and will probably send a newsletter out. I have changed my policy on checks and will no longer be accepting checks. I received a bad check for a wedding I recently did, and I don’t know if it was a mistake or what, but I am having a hard time collecting it. Business is good, but not that good, where I can absorb bad checks. I still happily accept cash or Paypal.

The princess of the Quincinera and friends

The princess of the Quincinera and friends

Cathedral City Wedding and Bermuda Dunes Oscar Night Party

3 Mar

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.