Tag Archives: events

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.  

 

Bartending Service Kicks off Summer with Three June Events

5 Jun
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First Friday Event 

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles based bartending service started off June with three big events last weekend. Friday I was in Venice to bartend a first Friday networking event at a law office near Abbot Kinney.  On Saturday, I drove to Santa Clarita to bartend a 40th birthday party, and then finished off the weekend in Hidden Hills for another birthday party. A busy weekend, just like I like it.

Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a thriving area in Los Angeles and on the First Friday of every month dozens of exciting food trucks converge on the area to offer a dazzling array of cuisine. It is a happening event that brings in a lot of people from out of the area, and young professionals in the area. So, the law firm that hired me has a monthly cocktail hour in conjunction with the First Friday event. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to approximately 50 young professionals. It was a fun event, and hopefully they will call me again. I did all the shopping and delivered the supplies, which is an extra service I provide.

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Backyard 40th Birthday Party Setup

On Saturday, I went to Santa Clarita to do bartending service for a 40th birthday party. The hosts had a very nice backyard where I set up my portable bar on the patio. The husband had set up a very nice birthday party for his wife’s 40th birthday party. He even bought a whole DJ equipment package and was the DJ for the evening. It was his first time as a DJ, but I must say he did better than some professional DJ’s I have seen. I think it was definitely a memorable milestone birthday party for the birthday girl.

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DJ and Dancing in Santa Clarita

Advantages of Hiring a Bartending Service

  • Bartender keeps bar area clean and organized
  • Can provide shopping and delivery of supplies
  • Bartender creates specialty drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves

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    My Son Behind Portable Bar in Hidden Hills

On Sunday I did a second annual birthday party in Hidden Hills. I remember last year I did it and it was blazing hot. The ice melted quickly. This year it was one of the first hot days of summer, but wasn’t that bad. They had over 100 guests, so I took my son with me to help out. We served a lot of margaritas, including my special jalapeno margarita, that is always a hit. The hosts had an important announcement to make – they are having a baby girl. The announcement was met with huge applause from the guests. The host told me I will be coming back to bartend the baby shower. I am blessed to have such great clients.

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Host Makes Big Announcement

I must mention that the weekend started with a bit of sadness. On Friday I lost my cat, Batman, who has been with me for 21 years. I am glad I was busy, so my mind was not focused on that. I was kind of expecting it, but it is always a shock with you lose a pet. This weekend I will be providing bartending service for a wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes, then have a another wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in Sylmar, and have other SFV and Orange County events later this month. Follow us on Instagram.

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RIP Batman 1997-2018

Shaken Not Stirred Teams With Goodfella’s Tacos for Two October Events

18 Oct
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Tables set up for dinner at Sacred Sands

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred and Goodfella’s Tacos killed it at two wedding events in two fantastic Southern California locations. On Friday we combined our services for a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful San Marino home, and then on Saturday we traveled all the way to Joshua Tree for a memorable wedding. The clients at both events were extremely happy.

I have done several events with Goodfella’s Tacos and I highly recommend them. They have an extensive menu of options that goes way beyond just tacos. Scott is highly professional and has a great crew. I am happy to be associated with him. I only hope I can help him get more business as he has done for me.

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Desert flora at Sacred Sands

The Friday event in San Marino was one part of a three event wedding weekend. The groom was from Holland and many of his friends and relatives flew in from Holland and other global locations. I served pomegranate and citrus margaritas as mariachis performed for approximately 60 guests. I enjoyed talked to the European guests and told them about my friend from Holland, who is a very popular emerging musician there, Big Pete. He fronts a band called the Red Devils, and they toured across Europe last summer with ZZ Top. I was sorry that I was not able to bartend the wedding that was happening on Saturday night, and they had contracted another catering company and bartender.

Goodfella’s Tacos Catering Options

  • Tacos
  • Kabobs
  • Burgers
  • Breakfast
  • Taco Cart

The Joshua Tree event was at an incredible venue just a short distance from the Joshua Tree National Park, called Sacred Sands. It sits atop a hill overlooking the valley and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. If the wedding would have been held in September it probably would have been scorching hot, but in mid October, the weather was just perfect. It even was a bit cold after the sun went down. I served standard mixed drinks to over 100 guests and I had a helper provided by the Goodfellas. The hosts and the venue owners were very happy with our service.

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Shots!

As the holidays approach I have been inundated with calls for corporate events. I have booked several events in November and a few in December. I am doing a corporate event in Woodland Hills today, and have three in West Hollywood next week. I also have an event in Newport Beach this weekend, a Halloween Party in San Bernardino next weekend, and a wedding in Coachella the weekend after that. Please follow us on Instagram.

Five Events in Two Weeks: From the Mountains to the Sea

19 Sep

I have been so busy doing the actual work or running a bartending service, I have neglected doing my blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending services at events in Fillmore, San Diego, Bermuda Dunes, Valley Village, and Studio City over the past two weeks. The events included a wedding, a corporate event, a bachelorette party, and two birthday parties. I did some traveling and two of the events were within 10 minutes of my house.

Fillmore Wedding

I have done a couple of events in the town of Fillmore in Ventura County. It is always nice going out there and it is a small town of 14,000 people that is not on any major freeway. The wedding was held at the City Hall, just next to the old train station in the center of town. It was a perfect day for a wedding, and the they had the city hall decorated real nice.

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Fillmore City Hall

I set up my portable bar on the side of the courtyard and served drinks for approximately 150 people. The host rented a margarita machine, which I had never used before. It seemed easy enough, but it presented many problems. First of all, it kept causing the breaker to switch off, because it pulled so much power. Then it started leaking and leaked out half of its contents before I could get it to stop. It takes at least two hours for the liquid to get slushy, and then the drinks don’t taste very good. I wouldn’t recommend. Other than that, it was a very nice wedding in an idyllic setting.

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Margarita Machine – I don’t recommend

San Diego Corporate Event

I don’t try to get a lot of work in San Diego, because it can be an odyssey getting there and back from the SFV. One of my corporate clients asked me to go down there, and of course I couldn’t refuse. I have done several events for this company in orange county. They are usually product launch events, as was this one. I served drinks for about 100 people. Another successful corporate event.

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San Diego Product Launch

Bermuda Dunes Bachelorette Party

On Friday I drove to Bermuda Dunes to bartend a bachelorette party. Have you ever tried to spell the word “bachelorette”? The host wanted specialty cocktails that required a bit of preparation.  One of the drinks was a watermelon/cucumber margarita. I premade the mix for that using fresh ingredients.  We discovered at the party that the drink benefitted from fresh jalapenos. The ladies had six bottles of booze and wondered if that would be enough for nine people. “If you drink all of that booze, you will be in the hospital. Well, they went through 90 percent of it, and they all were still alive when I left. They loved the drinks.septem4

Valley Village Birthday Party

I only had to drive five minutes from my house to do this party. The hosts have a really nice house in Valley Village with a very smartly landscaped yard that is perfect for entertaining. I made my special jalapeno margarita mix, but unfortunately did not bring enough. There were 70 guests and everybody wanted that for their first round. I was out of that in one hour. So the host had to run and get more supplies. I made the French 75, classic champagne cocktail and was surprised how many of those I served. I want to give a shout out to Salinas Churros that were there. They had an incredible churro cart that they built themselves and their churros were delicious. The churro cart was a big hit.  I served drinks until 2 am and until almost all of the booze was gone. Went through at least 10 bottles of tequila.

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Rager in Valley Village

Studio City Surprise Birthday Party

On Sunday I ended the week by bartending a surprise birthday party in the hills of Studio City. This was a referral from another job I did, which I always appreciate. This was a very mellow family event and kids were there swimming. They had a life guard,  which is always a good idea. I served margaritas, Moscow mules, and beer. It was a very mellow event, which I was grateful for after the two ragers I did before.

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Hills of Studio City

This coming week I have two weekday corporate events in Woodland Hills and West Hollywood. I have three events on Saturday and am sending multiple bartenders out to Mission Viejo, Villa Park, and Silverlake. Shaken Not Stirred has booked 17 events in September and the month is just flying by. I have events in Culver City, Burbank, and La Verne before I close out the month of September 2017. Follow us on Instagram.

 

A Bunch of Events, New Orleans, and Fractured Ribs

27 May
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Famous Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans

Today is the first day I have felt like sitting at a desk and writing since returning from my trip from New Orleans and recovering from fractured ribs. I visited New Orleans for the first time last week and had an accident falling out of the hotel shower where I fractured my ribs. I returned to LA and have been laid up in severe pain this entire week – I finally feel much better today, but am not 100 percent. Shaken Not Stirred was very busy the week before I left on my trip, and I have even done a couple events since I’ve been back and haven’t written about any of them on this blog.

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Interior, Maple Leaf Bar

The week before I left on my trip I did five big events. I bartended an alumni event in Burbank, did a bris celebration in Studio City, traveled to Indian Wells to bartend a rehearsal dinner for Goodfella’s Tacos, drove back to Castaic to bartend a graduation party, and then on Sunday bartended a Mother’s Day party in Woodland Hills. I left for New Orleans the next morning. That was one of my busiest weeks since I started the company.

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Alumni event, Burbank

I went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my friend, Jason Ricci. He is one of the best harmonica players in the world today. My accident happened on the day before the wedding. I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, but was in so much pain, had to leave shortly after and missed the big jam session at the famous Maple Leaf Bar where the wedding party was held. I was very disappointed about that. Despite my accident, I loved the city and people of New Orleans, and will return for sure. The food is incredible, and we Yankees could all learn a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

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Indian Wells Rehearsal Dinner 

The flight back was excruciating with broken ribs, and had not the nice lady sitting next to me given me a Vicodin, I can imagine the plane having to land in Nashville or somewhere because I was moaning so much. I returned on Thursday and had two upcoming gigs on Saturday and Sunday that I had no idea how I was going to complete. I could not bend down, turn my body, or lift anything above four pounds without wincing in pain.

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Mariachis perform at Castaic graduation party

I called some other bartenders and tried to get somebody to take my gigs, but could not find anybody on short notice. I decided to get a friend to help me and I could sit on a stool and mix drinks. I will never cancel a gig I have taken a deposit for, and will to the best of my ability get the job done. My friend drove me to Fontana and we got the job done and I bartended a birthday party for 60 people. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

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Shots!

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Irvine Graduation Party 

The next day we turned around and drove to Irvine to bartend a graduation party of 100 people. Once again, we got the job done, and I couldn’t have done it without my friend, Steve, who had no previous bartending experience. While we were doing that gig, I had three other bartenders doing a fundraiser event in Beverly Hills, which came off very well I have heard.

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Guests enjoy cigars at Fontana birthday party

I spend all of last week laying around letter my ribs heal. I went to the doctor and got xrays and at least three ribs are fractured. I have several events already scheduled for this month, but am not taking on any new ones until I am completely healed. Tonight I am bartending a birthday party in Santa Monica, and my friend is coming along to help me. Next week I am doing a birthday party close to home in Van Nuys. Hopefully, by next month I will be fully recovered and ready to roll for the summer party and wedding season.

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Injured bartender in Fontana

Acton Labor Day Weekend Party

7 Sep
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Wild flowers in Acton

On Sunday, after doing a big wedding in New Cuyama, I drove back to LA and then to Acton to bartend a Labor Day weekend party. In many parts of the country, Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer; in Southern California, we usually have a few more weeks to go. This summer in Los Angeles it has not been that hot, and it even got a little chilly on Sunday after the sun went down.

This particular party in Acton was a family pool party, and family members had come in from all over the country to attend. As I talked to some of the guests from other parts of the country, I felt very grateful to be living in Southern California because of the opportunities we have here and of course the weather. There are many benefits to living here, but of course there are many cons as well. I obviously think the benefits outweigh the cons, at least for now.

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A “guest” relaxes on the lawn at Acton Labor Day Party

I made blended margaritas, Bay Breeze, and a few other drinks. One of the guests was a former bartender and he invented a drink while I was there he called the “Nicky.” The Nicky has rum, banana liqueur, cranberry juice, splash of pineapple, and a splash of triple sec. A drink like that is too sweet for my tastes, but many of the guests liked it. The Banana liqueur, 99 Bananas, is 99 proof by the way, so don’t let its sweet taste fool you.  

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Family and friends enjoy Labor Day Weekend in Acton

Labor Day Weekend Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite a wide range of people
  • Music makes the party
  • Serve great food

Lorraine’s Catering (818) 233-4647 provided the food and they made some great meat quesadillas and tacos. I know many of the taco vendors make cheese quesadillas, but most have know meat in them. Lorraine’s pork quesadilla was a real treat and I saw many people going back for seconds. Lorraine actually hired me to bartend a party for her in October and paid me a deposit on the spot. Always love when I book other parties while doing a party.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Altadena on Friday night to bartend a 25th birthday party, and I will be making 90’s themed cocktails, and then on Saturday I will be returning to Acton to provide bartending services at a backyard wedding. I have to promote my social media better, so please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

San Diego 35th Anniversary

16 Aug
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Downtown San Diego at Sunset

Yesterday I wrote about a man’s 35th birthday party – today I am writing about a couple’s 35th anniversary party I bartended for in San Diego. It is one thing living for 35 years, but quite another to be married to the same person that long. These people must have done something right because they had a big group of family and lifelong friends there to celebrate with them.

I do a few events in San Diego every year and I like going down there. It really is a great city and I am surprised at how big the city limits of San Diego actually covers. This party was held in the southernmost area of the city limits near National City. The house were the party was held was up on a hill with an excellent view of Downtown San Diego, the bay and Naval base.

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Black labs matter!

I had an outdoor bar setup and I served Jalapeno and Cadillac Margaritas. I made the jalapeno Margarita mix at home and I am always surprised what a hit it is – it is quite spicy. I made the Cadillac Margaritas the classic way – tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, with a Gran Margarita floater. This is really the best way to make them, and it worked for this group of fifty people, but would be problematic for larger groups. Tacos by Manny provided the food and they made some excellent tacos.

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Cadillac Margarita at twilight time

35th Anniversary Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite lifelong friends and family
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve classic cocktails and good food
  • Have a toast!

As I said before, these people must have done something right. The hosts could not of been more gracious to me and all of their guests. The kids were super nice also, as were all of their friends. I had a really good feeling when I left the party, knowing there are such good people left in the world. My day had started off on a negative note. I went to the beach in San Diego, left my wallet in my car, and while I was at the beach my car was broken into the thieves stole $200 of my hard earned money. It was my own fault – everybody in Southern California knows to never leave money in their car while at the beach. It’s a hard pill to swallow, knowing that you have nobody but yourself to blame. 

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Shots!

Next weekend I will be staying close to home and will be bartending a wedding in Calabasas. My son will also be bartending another party in Burbank. The summer is slipping away at light speed for Shaken Not Stirred and I am already booking holiday parties. The election is 84 days away. 2017 is approaching…

Owl Creek Farm Wedding

27 Jun
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My bar setup with rustic barn in the background

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a wedding at the Owl Creek Farm south of Hemet. This was my first time working at the venue, and I hope to go back there again. I talked to the manager, Tommy, and he said that they do weddings there every weekend. The Owl Creek Farm is very rustic and is basically in the middle of nowhere, so you don’t have to worry about making too much noise.

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Unique photo ops at Owl Creek Farm

The bride booked me over a year ago. I normally don’t try to get events that far in advance, but I bid on the wedding thinking it was in 2015, but it was actually 2016. So we had been emailing back and forth for a long time planning this wedding. When the event date finally approached, I was nervous, thinking that I was going to forget something important. Everything worked out just fine.

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Rockabilly theme at Owl Creek Farm wedding

The bride wanted a Blood Orange Mojito as the signature drink. She gave me the recipe and I stuck to it. Mojitos are labor intensive to make for large crowds, but I know how to make large batches of them. That is what I did here, and I premade a few during the wedding ceremony, so that people could just grab them as soon as the ceremony was over. The bride and the groom made home brews for the wedding. They had four different kinds, and their IPA kept exploding when you opened them. I guess that is something to think about when working with home brews in the bottle.

Events at Owl Creek Farm

  • Rustic setting
  • Great privacy
  • Plenty of parking
  • Great photo backdrops
  • Hire a bartender

The DJ was a very nice guy and he was also hired over one year prior. He was out of Temecula and also has a classic rock cover band. You can contact him at highland-flashoverband.com. The wedding had a Rockabilly theme and all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed accordingly, as were many of the guests.  

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a pool party, and then a Second of July party in Orange County, and am negotiations to do  third of July and Fourth of July parties. I am also negotiating to do a large wedding in Solvang later in July, and have found a company to buy one day event insurance from, so I hope that works out.

Cheviot Hills Fundraiser

6 May
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Dark skies looming over backyard grapefruit tree

Thursday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a fundraiser in Cheviot Hills. Cheviot Hills is a very nice neighborhood tucked away between Century City and Culver City. There are many nice neighborhoods in Los Angeles that seem to be sanctuaries from the urban jungles that border them, and Cheviot Hills is one of those.

I love doing fundraisers and get-togethers on week nights. This fundraiser in Cheviot Hills was for a charity that helps underprivileged students further their education. One of the students that benefited from the program gave a talk about how he was able to lift himself out of a desperate and hopeless situation in South Central and complete his college education. He made a compelling case for the program.

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Garnishes and mixers

I  set up my portable bar in the backyard and served some tasty tequila drinks. The hosts had a nice grapefruit tree in their backyard and I made Palomas. I have been doing a lot of that lately, because grapefruits are plentiful in California and are excellent for making cocktails. The host developed a drink he called the Mexican Old Fashioned and it is part Mezcal, part Casamigos Tequila, a dash of Peychaud’s bitters, and an orange peel. That is a strong drink for those with acquired tastes. Amateurs need not apply. I also made margaritas with tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau. That is a really good way to make them, if no Cointreau, used triple sec, or Gran Marnier.

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Guests mingle at Cheviot Hills fundraiser

Tu Tacos provided the catering. There are of course, many taco caterers in Los Angeles, and most provide their own twist on tacos. This caterer put cucumbers on tacos and I have never seen that done before. They were delicious. Really adds something unique to the tacos.

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After sundown

Fundraiser Occasions

  • School functions
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Alumni Associations
  • Mixers
  • Charities
  • Political groups

Tomorrow night I will be bartending a birthday party in Burbank and then next week the graduation season starts. We will be doing graduation parties in Castaic and Chino Hills, and a wedding in Perris. Later this month we have a baptism celebration in La Canada, a bachelorette party in Palm Springs, and a Wedding in downtown Los Angeles.

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!