Tag Archives: DJ

40th Birthday Party and Barbecue at Wesley Hotel

2 Apr

Shots!

Last weekend I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend a 40th birthday party at the boutique Wesley Hotel. The host had rented the entire hotel for the occasion and invited 40 of his friends to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The weather was perfect for a barbecue and pool party and I think everyone had a great time.

Wesley Hotel Party

The host wanted somebody to grill hamburgers and hotdogs, and I recruited one of my bartenders, Josh who lives out there to do it. I was a little worried about it, because even though I have grilled steaks for a group of 15 ladies at a bachelorette party, this was a much bigger affair. Josh pulled it off and did an excellent job.

Bartender and griller

I recommended a DJ who I had worked with before, Play It Again Socal, out of Riverside. The noise ordinances are very strict in Palm Springs, and I was sure that somebody would complain and the cops would shut the music down. Fortunately, that never happened, and I think it is because the Wesley Hotel is away from residential areas.

img_20190402_091015_032929702457.jpg

Play it Again Socal

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Rent an entire hotel and invite your closest friends
  • Hire a bartender and griller
  • Have a DJ
  • Hire strippers!
  • Serve good drinks and food

One cop did show up though, but he turned out to be a male stripper. He had me fooled for a minute there. I served Pina Coladas, Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Moscow Mules, and a bunch of shots and beers. Josh served all of the burgers there were and a ton of hotdogs.
I will be returning to Palm Springs again this weekend to bartend a wedding at the La Chureya Estate. Later on this month I have gigs in Brentwood, Corona, and sky Valley among others. Please follow us on Instagram.

Altadena Surprise Party and Bakersfield Wedding

23 Jun
Getting "surprised"

Getting “surprised”

Friday started the weekend in Altadena for Shaken Not Stirred, where I traveled to bartend for a surprise party. The father hired me for his son’s 35th birthday surprise birthday, and it was martini themed party.  Friends and family gathered in the backyard, while the one of the birthday boy’s friends took him out to distract him long enough for us to get ready. I think he was truly surprised and overwhelmed when he did arrive.

I made Manhattans, dirty vodka martinis, gin martinis, and Lemon Drops. I brought my own martini glasses and they had several. It is always a pleasure for me to make martinis and serve them in real glassware. The presentation is just so much nicer. The birthday boy’s father manned the barbeque and made some killer trip tip.

Guests enjoying martinis in Altadena

Guests enjoying martinis in Altadena

For this job, I did all the shopping . It is a service I offer for a fee. I will buy everything you need, including all the alcohol, mixers, cups, straws, napkins and ice. I require an up front deposit for this, plus the service charge. People have trusted me with hundreds of dollars for this and I have never done them wrong. I have an excellent reputation and don’t want to jeopardize it one bit.

Saturday, I traveled to Bakersfield for my second wedding in Kern County. I also did the shopping for this wedding, and spent most of my day Saturday getting all the supplies together for a 100 person wedding. The wedding was held at the Junior League of Bakersfield. It is a historic building in downtown Bakersfield. I set up my portable bar in the corner of the dining room.

I served Mojitos, Margaritas, and various vodka drinks to the guests.  When serving Mojitos to a large crowd like this, I make a large batch, and serve them that way. I also get several drinks ready as the ceremony is taking place, so that when everybody rushes in afterward, I can make the line go fast. It is ideal to have a barback, but I handled the 100 person  Bakersfield wedding by myself just fine.

Junior League of Bakersfield wedding

Junior League of Bakersfield wedding

Everything went pretty well until the last five minutes, when friends and family were cleaning up the dining room. Some drama broke out among some of the guests outside. The bride looked at me and rolled her eyes, “We almost made it without something like that happening. We almost made it,” she said.  It seems that machismo and alcohol don’t always mix. Believe me, nobody knows that better than me. Kevin Rush was the DJ and he helped to diffuse the situation. I can see that he is a true pro and dealing with situations like that, and also did a very good job of DJing and running the wedding program for the night.

This weekend I have an engagement party in Porter Ranch, and then a Fourth of July party coming up in Orange County.  I still have a few dates open in July, so book your parties now.

Shots!

Shots!

Wedding Bartenders Mix it Up in Westlake Village

16 Sep

A ranch in hidden Valley near Westlake Village was the setting for a wedding with two hundred guests and two wedding bartenders. I always recommend two bartender for groups this big. Even with two bartenders, the line stretched back for fifty yards just after the ceremony. The whole night I felt like a bartender in a busy nightclub, because they just kept coming.

We served vodka drinks, margaritas, Jack Daniels, and Captain Morgan. They also had Budweiser, Shock Top, Dos Equis, 805 Ale, Stella, and Coors Light available for the guests. That was quite a beer selection and supply. They also served single serve Chardonnays, Merlots, and White Zinfindel wine by Copa. The bride wanted to charge people for the mixed drinks so people would not over drink. We charged $4 for mixed drink tickets and that worked out pretty well. They at least collected enough to pay the wedding bartenders.

The ranch was an excellent setting for a wedding, with the Santa Monica Mountains in the backdrop. The sun went down and there was a nice breeze blowing in from the ocean. The DJ, Sean Driscoll also sang a wedding song and played acoustic guitar. I have seen many DJ’s, but not many who do that. He said he had a key board as well and can do all kinds of entertaining. I was a very good DJ as well. Brook Mcleod of Poiema Photography

My son waiting for customers at bar

My son waiting for customers at bar

Wedding crasher

Wedding crasher

Shots!

Shots!

provided wedding photography.

I had spent months planning the bar menu and drink service with the bride and it was nice to see it come off so well. I think the bride and groom and all of their family member were quite happy with our service. I brought my son with me to help and I always receive many compliments about him, which makes me feel good.

This weekend, Shaken Not Served will travel to San Dimas to do a Quincinera. This is an event I booked while doing another event. I love that kind of business, when people hire me on the spot based on my service. Then I will round out the month by doing a wedding in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate. I am booking many events based on Google searches, which means this blog is working.

Los Angeles Birthday Party

23 Mar

Finally, after over two years in business in Los Angeles, I got to do a party in Los Angeles. I have done parties all over Southern California, from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara. I have been in Long Beach, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Burbank, and Pasadena. I have done many parties in the San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire, and Orange County, but last night I bartended my first party in the city of Los Angeles. The competition among bartending companies

In the West Adams district  of Los Angeles

In the West Adams district of Los Angeles

 

Table bar set up

Table bar set up

 

Me preparing to make a Rob Roy

Me preparing to make a Rob Roy

 

Crowd dancing to "YMCA" (not really that song!)

Crowd dancing to “YMCA”
(not really that song!)

is fierce in LA, but Shaken Not Stirred is steadily making a foothold in Southern California.

Last night, I bartended a birthday party at a very cool Victorian home in the West Adams neighborhood, south of Koreatown. The host was throwing a party for his girlfriend and I heard her say it was her first birthday party since becoming an adult. They had caterers there set up outside and they served some very good tacos. I had a makeshift bar set up inside, which was a folding table with a table cloth. I have inserted a picture to show that this set up works just fine.

The host also hired a DJ who was one of his personal friends, and the guy really made the party. I have been looking for a DJ to highly recommend, and I think I have finally found him. The name of his company is “Ten foot Rabbit”. The DJ’s girlfriend assisted him, and she not only helped him set up his equipment, but she mingled and engaged with people in the crowd and got them dancing. As the night progressed, the dance floor was packed, which made for a successful party. Here is a link to the DJ’s Facebook page.

At the request of the birthday girl, I served Rob Roy’s and Manhattans. Those are both classic cocktails and definitely an acquired taste, but were a hit with this crowd. I also served Cadillac Margaritas, which are always popular. In case you didn’t know, you need Gran Marnier to make a Margarita “Cadillac” and it really makes a big difference in taste. Coming in third at the party for cocktails was the Cosmopolitan. I brought some real martini glasses, and they seem to make the drinks so much better. At least they look better.

Next weekend I still have open and am hoping to book a gig. I probably will before Saturday, as many people wait until the last moment. So far I have almost every weekend booked in April, and I have been working with people back and forth for weddings as far away as September. I have been creeping up in Google searches and the phone is starting to ring from that alone, which was the goal.

Long Beach Surprise Birthday Party

23 Feb

Last night I worked a surprise 50th birthday party in Long Beach. It was my first surprise party and it was fun seeing someone completely surprised by over fifty of his friends and relatives. I have done a wide variety of ages when it comes to birthday parties, from 1 year old, to 90 years old. I have had requests to do quincineras and sweet 16 parties, but have yet to book one.

I talked to the host before the party and she said that they had a wide variety of alcohol left over from other parties. They had lots of vodka, including a big bottle of Kirkland Vodka. That is basically Grey Goose, but much less expensive. The Kirkland brand liquors are high quality and a good value. They had tequila, Captain Morgan Rum, Jack Daniels, gin, and all of the mixers. I made a variety of drinks, but think in the future I should always at least make some kind of drink menu. It helps the guests choose what they want easier, and speeds up service.

Catering was provided by Tacos Y Chile, and they did a fantastic spread of very good tacos. The DJ was Ryan Ivora, who seemed to do a very good job a providing just the right mix of what the hosts wanted to hear, and his own selections. He also teaches surfing, so if you want surf lessons, or a DJ, you can contact him here.

Most of the people were beer drinkers at this party and we went through several 30 packs of Coors Light, Bud Light, and Bud Select 55, which is a low calorie, low alcohol beer. It was the birthday boy’s favorite beer, and he said that he likes it because it has less alcohol. I had a new girl working with me as barback and she did a great job. I did not have to tell her what to do and she jumped right in and got the job done. I will definitely use her again. The Long Beach party was for about 80 people and it was good to have the extra help. I recommend that people get more than one person for parties over 80 people.

The hostess for this particular party said that she has a lot of parties, but they had never hired a bartender before. I think she was pleased with our service and said she would hire us again. We try to be of maximum service and try to keep busy clearing tables and taking out trash as the party goes on, so there is less work for the host to do the next day.

The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach

The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach

Bar set up on serpentine table

Bar set up on serpentine table

This year is looking great for Shaken Not Stirred. I have booked several weddings in the spring, and seem to get a gig almost every weekend. Next weekend I will be doing a wedding reception in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate, and then later in March have a wedding in Mira Loma in the Inland Empire. Shaken Not Stirred also provides servers for weddings and will provide extra staff at several of the events I am doing.

Pomona Birthday Party

2 Feb

I started February off with bang as I bartended a birthday party in Pomona. The party was set up by the pool in the backyard. They had a great setup for parties, and as it gets warmer, I can imagine they will have some fantastic pool parties – if the neighbors don’t get fed up with the noise. I would say 40 plus people were in attendance, and it appeared to me the party was a great success and it was still going strong when I left at eleven.

They had one of those portable plastic bars that I have used at banquet halls. I looked into buying one, and they cost over $3000 new, and I would need a van to transport it. They are always great to work with because they have a built in ice tub, and room for all the mixers, garnishes, etc. They also had a keg set up with the coil cooling system and C02. They had Heineken on tap and it poured like a dream.

Mai Tais seemed to be the drink of the night, followed by Jack and Coke. I poured many shots of Patron and I went through a 1.75 liter bottle, just doing that. They had their own tents, patio heaters, and a DJ set up, so once everybody ate, the dance floor heated up. In addition to the DJ, they had two live acts perform. I meant to get those people’s cards, but they left before I got a chance. If you look around my blog, I have added the links to many great performers, including DJ’s, acoustic guitar players, steel drums bands, and Mariachis.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and I don’t have any Super Bowl parties booked. It seems that people are often looking for female bartenders for the football game. I do have some great female bartenders who often work for me, and I can send them out if I get some advance notice. I usually do last minute gigs myself, and if someone calls me today, I will probably go out.

I am booking many weddings for the Spring now. I have weddings booked now for every month up to October. I will be going to Valencia, Mira Loma, Palm Springs, Camp Pendleton, Temecula, and Fillmore for weddings. My business seems to be picking up considerably and I am looking forward to a great year. Book your party now, to avoid last minute panic.

Makeshift Beer Tap

Makeshift Beer Tap

Portable bar on rollers

Portable bar on rollers

Dance Floor

Dance Floor

Santa Barbara Wedding

7 Jul

Saturday, July 6th was the date of a wedding at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. It was my first event in Santa Barbara and was a smashing success. I worked closely with the bride in the weeks preceding the event – planning the drink menu and shopping list. I guess we did a good job because we ran out of beer one half hour before last call and almost everything else fifteen minutes before the witching hour.

It was a Mexican themed wedding and we served Margaritas, Tequilla Sunrises, and a cocktail that the bride requested: La Paloma (tequila, Squirt, and fresh lime juice). We had nearly every brand of Mexican beer on hand including, Corona, Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, and Pacifico. They had Mariachis, and a taco cart, a DJ, and a photo booth. Vasquez Entertainment (805) 889-2527, provided the DJ.

The bride requested that I bring a Spanish speaking bar back. I hired a girl I had never worked with before, Vanessa, and she was great! We got hit just after the ceremony ended and thirsty people flooded the bar. Vanessa kept me stocked with ice and must have opened 100 beers. I will certainly use her again when I can.

The Museum of Natural History

Blue Whale Skeleton

Blue Whale Skeleton

Vanessa in the spotlight

Vanessa in the spotlight

Mixing Mexican style

Mixing Mexican style

at Santa Barbara was a unique venue for a wedding. The Museum itself looks very interesting, though I didn’t have time to go through it. The wedding ceremony to place in a wonderful and tranquil park behind the museum. The reception was held in a large event room that is attached to the museum. We set up the bar outside on the entrance patio. I am a certified bartender, which the venue requires.

Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers all over Southern California including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, the Inland Empire, and Palm Springs. Call today to plan your event.