Tag Archives: Eagle Rock

July is Wedding Season for Shaken Not Stirred

10 Jul
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Wedding ceremony on backyard deck

Shaken Not Stirred started the July Wedding season with two memorable weddings last weekend. On Friday I traveled to San Diego and did a fantastic backyard wedding at a private home in the University Heights neighborhood. On Saturday I returned to Los Angeles and bartended a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in the hills above Sylmar. It was a very hot weekend temperature wise, so I had my challenges.

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Groom and groomsmen waiting to proceed..

I don’t do many events in San Diego, but I do a few a year when they are worthwhile, and the University Heights wedding was one of those. The house where the wedding was held sits on quiet street that overlooks Mission Valley and the 8 freeway. They had the backyard decorated very nicely and chairs set up on a deck for the ceremony. I setup my portable bar in a corner of the yard and the hosts were kind enough to provide me with an umbrella. It was pretty hot for San Diego, but there was an ocean breeze.

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Kicks Band perform at wedding

After the ceremony ended, the guests and wedding participants filed up to the bar and I served a variety of mixed drinks – the most popular being the Long Island Ice Tea. Long Island Ice Teas are a labor intensive drink when you are making them one at a time, so I always make big batches of them when people are drinking them. Old Town Catering provided the food and they did a very good job. Kicks Band provided live music, and they were very good. The hosts asked me to stay two extra hours and I was happy to do so.

Wedding Season in Southern California

  • April Until October
  • Hire a bartender
  • Book early
  • Consider a backyard wedding
  • Make it memorable

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    Wedding party at Reptacular Ranch

I had a quick turnaround time and to hustle back to LA to do the wedding at Reptacular Ranch. The ranch is in the hills above Sylmar and is quite isolated from everything. You have to drive a good ten minutes off any main road up a winding canyon road to reach the ranch. The temperature was well over 100 and I brought 200 lbs of ice to last the night – it only lasted an hour and a half. I had another bartender, Matt, with me, so I drove back down the hill and got another 140 lbs of ice, which ended up being just enough to finish the night out.

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Bouquet toss

There were 125 guests at the wedding, so Matt and I stayed pretty busy slinging drinks until 11 pm. I didn’t have a chance to get the caterer’s info, but the food was pretty good, and DJ did a great job. This week I am in Montana visiting family, but have another wedding scheduled in Eagle rock when I return, and a corporate event in Burbank. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

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Shots!

 

Summer Bar Service at Three Parties

7 Jun
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Ladies pose at Stevenson Ranch

Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service for two parties last weekend on the first hot days of summer. Friday it was over 100 in the the San Fernando Valley, and I traveled to Stevenson Ranch near Magic Mountain to bartend a birthday party. On Saturday I returned to Eagle Rock to bartend a Second Wedding party, while my son drove to Sierra Madre to bartend a wedding reception.

The good thing about Southern California is that it rarely stays hot, once the sun goes down. It usually cools right off and it did Friday night. It was the client’s 35th birthday party and it started at 9pm, because many of the guests were still working on Friday night. I served Mojitos, Old Fashioneds, and Margaritas. Many of the guests had a great time playing beer pong, while others danced to Pandora. Guests dined on barbecue from a local restaurant, which was really good, but I forgot to ask the name of it.It was a good example of a succesful backyard birthday party, where everyone had a good time, and it didn’t cost a fortune to put on. Guests commented that it was good to have a bar service tending the bar, because otherwise it is just chaos when guests make their own drinks.

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Bride and Groom at Second Wedding

Advantages of Hiring a Bar Service

  • Less waste of alcohol
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves
  • Better cocktails
  • Less over serving
  • Guests appreciate it
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Bartender dances with bride

Saturday night I was nervous because the Second wedding, meaning the couple was getting married again and renewing their vows for the second time, was going to be an elaborate affair. I brought two servers and there were going to be 140 guests. The hosts had set up a very nice tent and tables at the home overlooking the 2 Freeway and Forest Lawn in Eagle Rock. The servers were supposed to serve food to all 140 people. Well, there weren’t quite that many people and all worked out quite well. LA Party DJ’s provided the music.

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Groomsmen at Second Wedding

Meanwhile, my son was bartending a wedding reception in Sierra Madre by himself. This was the third party he has done for me alone and once again I got good feedback. Here is an excerpt of the email I received from the host after the wedding, I just wanted to thank you for sending Will to our wedding. He was on time, extremely proficient and courteous to everyone. He made sure the bride and I were taken care of throughout the afternoon and kept the entire backyard free of empty glasses and napkins.We couldn’t be happier with his service and time with us on Saturday. Please extend a heartfelt thanks to him on our behalf.”

I received a similar text praising the job done by my servers. Overall it was a great weekend. This weekend I will be providing bar service for two parties in Woodland Hills, not far from the first place I ever rented in Los Angeles.

 

Five Special Events in SoCal

30 May

Shaken Not Stirred closed out the month of May with five big special events throughout Southern California this week. I am dog tired and sore as I write this, as I served literally hundreds of drinks in the past few days – maybe even thousands. Yesterday alone I served four cases of tequila and a case of whiskey. Today is Memorial Day and I am taking it easy, but if somebody calls me last minute I will probably put on my bartender cape.

Brea Corporate Event

The first event of the week was a corporate event in Brea. I am not sure what the occasion was, but we served drinks to 200 people in the back lot of the company headquarters. We used the drink dispensers to pour margaritas, which saves alot of time. Two bartenders are needed to serve 200 people. Mariachi Sabor De Mi Tierra provided the mariachis. They had a three different food trucks serving up the food.My associate, Mia Martini helped me out, and we worked well together as always.

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Cocktail waitress at Brea event

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Guests mingle in makeshift food court

El Segundo Corporate Event

The following night I traveled to El Segundo to help Mia Martini with one of her gigs. Once again it was a corporate event on a weeknight (I love those). The company that hosted the event was a 3D printing company that manufactures parts for the aerospace industry. Their equipment is quite fascinating and I’m sure this company has a bright future. The caterer did not show up and when the host called him, he apparently had the date wrong. The hosts scrambled and ordered pizzas and a local El Segundo restaurant stepped up and delivered 50 pizzas and salads within an hour. This is one of my worst nightmares that I mix up a date and miss an event. That isa why I always confirm a week in advance, and again the day before.

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Mia Martini in El Segundo

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A Hurricane hits El Segundo

Alexandria Ballroom Wedding

On Saturday night my son and I bartended a wedding at the historic Alexandria Ballroom in downtown LA. The ballroom has hosted presidents and dignitaries like Winston Churchill in the past. Once again, we were serving 200 people. The plan was to have a whole bunch of drinks already poured so the people could just grab them when they came out of the wedding ceremony. I poured a bunch of red wines and was waiting to start pouring the cold drinks until fifteen minutes before the end of the ceremony. Well, the ceremony ended 20 minutes early and we were faced with a wall of people wanting drinks. We handled it. Maxim Restaurant provided the catering and they had many delicious Russian specialties.

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My son bartending at Alexandria Ballroom

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Guests mingle at Alexandria Ballroom

Palos Verdes Wine Tasting

On Sunday afternoon, I traveled to my old stomping grounds in Palos Verdes Estates to pour wine for Jaques at Le Rive Gauche. He put out a spread of appetizers and charged people $20 a head to taste several French wines. It was a great deal and I think all of the people attending certainly got their money’s worth. He had two red Bordeaux, a white Bordeaux, a Grenache, a Champagne, and two Cotes Du Rhone reds. The Grenache, a rose wine seemed create the most attention.

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Le Rive Gauche, Palos Verdes Estates

Santa Monica Wrap Party

I had to quickly transition from the wine tasting and hustle over to Santa Monica to bartend a wrap party. I had to buy the ice and supplies and deliver it to the house where the party was taking place. The house was on PCH and had a weird address. The GPS kept directing me to this parking lot by the beach. If I left that parking lot, it took me twenty minutes to turn around and go back on PCH. I was a few minutes late and had to pack all the supplies around the back of the house through the sand. I barely had gotten setup when guests started arriving. I served 120 people by myself for five hours straight. I was so busy I didn’t have time to ask the name of film that they were wrapping or what is is about.  Needless to say, I am tired today after five special events in one week..

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Portable bar at beachside wrap party

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The wrap party just getting started in Santa Monica

Next weekend I will be bartending a birthday party in Stevenson Ranch on Friday, and then have a wedding party in Eagle Rock on Saturday, and my son will be doing a wedding party by himself in Sierra Madre also on that day.

 

Eagle Rock 70th Birthday Party

2 May
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Sunset over Eagle Rock

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred returned to that hilltop Ranchero in Eagle Rock to bartend a 70th birthday party. The ten year milestones are big for birthday celebrations and 70 is certainly a good year to throw a party about. The birthday girl had several children and they were all in attendance at the party.

The host put a lot of work into making the day special for her mother, and spent Friday night setting up the tables, etc. She hired live entertainment for the party and that was provided by Azucar Latin Dance Band (213) 290-1816. They were very good and do all kinds of Latin music from Cumbia, Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue. I talked to the lady that manages the band and she said they also provide Mariachis, and Banda music. This was a very good band and I highly recommend them. The guests and the birthday girl had a great time dancing.

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Guests dance to Azucar Latin Dance Band

70th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Throw a backyard party
  • Hire a Bartender
  • Provide live entertainment
  • Buy a huge cake
  • Honor your elders!

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    Shots!

I served Margaritas, and many other simple drinks. I will be returning to same location next month as the hosts renew their vows in matrimony. I love repeat business, and everybody at Saturday’s party remembered me from when I was there before. The house is on top of a hill in Eagle Rock that overlooks the 2 Freeway. There was a fabulous sunset and you can almost see the lights of downtown LA from there.

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More shots!

This week, I will be doing a fundraiser in Los Angeles on Thursday, and then a birthday party in Burbank on Saturday night. Shaken Not Stirred is now on Instagram , so please follow us for great photos of our events every week.

Torrance 40th Birthday Party

16 Apr
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Succulents adorn Torrance backyard

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a 40th birthday party in Torrance. The South Bay is my old stomping ground, and the parties in the South Bay tend to be ragers. This party was no exception, as the birthday boy rang in his 40th year in true South Bay style. Let’s just say that I served a bunch of vodka, tequila, single malt scotch, and even moonshine. It was some of that moonshine they are selling in the mason jars at the liquor stores, but it is still 100 proof.  I once drank real backwoods moonshine from Tennessee, and I woke up driving through Tijuana.

Backyard 40th  Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire an experienced bartender
  • Hire a caterer
  • Make a theme
  • Offer specialty cocktails

The hosts had a very nice back deck that was adorned with dozens of beautiful succulents. This was a neighborhood in Torrance bordering Redondo Beach and there was a great view from the backyard of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Redondo Beach in the near distance. The weather was perfect for a backyard party, and they had a nice bar and barbecue area, and a fire pit.

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Succulents adorn Torrance backyard

Sierra Madre Catering provided the food, and they had all kinds of interesting goodies, including mac and cheese, refried beans, pulled pork sliders, mini Philly Cheese steaks, and more. Servers kept roaming the crowd with trays of goodies all night. I served my fresh grapefruit drinks, Palomas and Greyhounds. Single Malt scotch was quite popular and many of the guests brought some nice bottles of liquor to the party and some of them were consumed.

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Shots!

Tonight, I am staying in the San Fernando Valley to bartend a Southern themed birthday party in Encino.  I am making some drinks I have never made before for that one, so I need to study up. Next weekend I have a party booked in Hancock Park, and then later in the month I have events in Eagle Rock, and will be doing a special event at the Venice Art Fair that I am excited about.

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Moonshine!

Mobile Bartender Stands by at Eagle Rock Baptism Fiesta

30 Aug
Hurry sundown!

Hurry sundown!

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred, the mobile bartender was on hand to mix drinks in Eagle Rock for a baptism celebration. The proud parents baptized two of their children the same day and thus the occasion for a celebration.  The party was held at a hilltop home in that funky neighborhood of Los Angeles known as Eagle Rock.

It was a hot day with temperatures reaching into the 100’s. When I arrived the DJ told me, “Sorry bro, you’re going to be up there in that hot box,” and he pointed to a deck that was directly in the blazing sun. They did have a small tent set up for me, and I set up my portable bar underneath the tent. This was the third party in a row where I was in the sun until it went down. It could be worse, because I often see caterers working in direct sunlight over a hot grill. That just goes with the territory. The guests get the shade, and that’s the way it should be.

Lety’s Catering Service provided the tacos. She had some of the best salsa I have ever tasted.  I have worked with many taco caterers and it seems that each one of them have something unique to offer. The DJ was the host’s brother and he did a great job – he no longer does it professionally, but used to DJ at clubs like Florentine Gardens in Hollywood.

Eagle Rock in August

Eagle Rock in August

About 80 guests arrived to celebrate the baptism. I served many Mojitos, Long Island Ice Teas, Gin and Tonics, and Bay Breezes. I used to muddle the mint leaves for Mojitos and I would basically crush them. A veteran bartender told me not to do that, and to gently tap the mint leaves with a bar spoon to get the best flavor and essence of the mint. I think he was right, and the Mojitos were a hit.  I told the host to get five cases of beers, and I think there were like nine beers left when I left.

Mobile Bartender Service

  • Portable bar and table available
  • Consultation about drink menu and shopping list
  • Theme party friendly
  • Weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries
  • Fundraisers, corporate events, openings

    Guests mixing it up on the dance floor

    Guests mixing it up on the dance floor

Today, I will put on my mobile bartender clothes and travel to West Hollywood to bartend a baby shower. This week I have managed to stay close to home and it has been all about the kids. Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend and I have three big events scheduled.  Saturday, I will travel to Coachella to bartend a wedding, then on Sunday I will return to the San Fernando Valley for a birthday party in Northridge, and then on Labor Day, I will bartend a pool party in Sherman Oaks.  Summer is slipping away quickly and I have already booked my first holiday party. If you have a party coming up and need a mobile bartender, please call me at (310) 280-6103.

Shots!

Shots!

Eagle Rock Private Bartender

26 Jul

Friday night Shaken Not Stirred served as private bartender for two couples in Eagle Rock who were having a small dinner party to celebrate one of the guest’s 40th birthday. I arrived at 9:30 just after dinner to put on a demonstration of how to make four different drinks. The host and I chose the drinks – Lemon Drop Martini, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and one blended drink called the Georgia Peach.

I must admit that I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. I have taught many people how to bartend over the years and I decided I would take that approach. I filled a bottle up with water and put a pourer on it. The first thing I did was explained what a “count” was and how to do a proper 1.5 ounce pour. I demonstrated how to pour into a shot glass and then let all of the guests try it. It seemed to be fun for everybody.

I showed them how to cut twists and sugar a rim. We stated with the Lemon Drop which I made with fresh lemon juice, vodka, and simple syrup. That was a hit and we moved on to the Old Fashioned. I discovered after doing some research that I had been taught to do this drink wrong. I had always muddled a cherry and an orange slice along with bitters and sugar cube. Every recipe online said to only muddle the sugar cube with bitters and some water or club soda, and then put in the ice and pour the bourbon. I did it this way and the drinks just looked better. The guests thoroughly enjoyed them.

I was worried that four drinks would not fill up my allotted time. I forget that most people don’t gulp their drinks the way I used to. They sip them and enjoy. I made the Manhattan straight up. The Manhattan is kind of an acquired taste. It is a really strong drink. The guests were definitely feeling it after drinking this one.

The hosts had a really good blender and I made the Georgia Peach with fresh peach slices, raspberries, Peach Schnapps, ice, and Vodka.  It was the perfect drink to round out the night. Four drinks proved to be just the right amount for this demonstration. The people couldn’t have been nicer and it was great experience for me and I think for them. I hope to do more of these demonstrations. I will also say that Eagle Rock is one of the coolest towns in the Los Angeles area. It has a small town feel and so many interesting little shops and restaurants. Today, I am sticking close to home and doing a big party for a law firm’s 20th anniversary in Encino.

Foster's Freeze in Eagle Rock

Foster’s Freeze in Eagle Rock

An Old Fashioned and Manhattan

An Old Fashioned and Manhattan

Cool dining area in Eagle Rock home

Cool dining area in Eagle Rock home