Tag Archives: Hancock Park

Three Labor Day Weekend Events For Shaken Not Stirred

5 Sep
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Pre Wedding Party in Winnetka

Labor Day Weekend was a busy for Shaken Not Stirred, as I did three great events around Los Angeles. On Friday I bartended a pre-wedding party in Winnetka, on Saturday did a rehearsal dinner in Hancock Park, and then wrapped up the weekend with 40th birthday party in Valley Village. I served hundreds of drinks and met hundreds of new people.

The pre-wedding party in Winnetka was a traditional Lebanese affair, and they have a name for it, but I can’t remember what it is. The groom’s family was of Lebanese descent and they had a DJ play Lebanese music. I set up my portable bar in the backyard and served drinks to nearly 100 guests. The Mediterranean Bistro of Porter Ranch catered the event and they served a fantastic variety of Mediterranean favorites. I love Mediterranean food, and particularly Lebanese food and two of my favorite restaurants in LA are Lebanese.

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105 degrees in Hollywood Labor Day Weekend

Shaken Not Stirred in LA

  • Top Pro on Thumbtack: 91 5 star reviews
  • Established, December 2013
  • 15 five star reviews on Yelp
  • Top performer on Gig Salad
  • Done over 400 events

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    Guests mingle at Hancock Park Rehearsal Dinner

On Saturday it was deathly hot in Los Angeles. It was at least 105 in the SFV, and I thought it would be cooler in Hancock Park. I was wrong. When I arrived to set up, I instantly was soaked with sweat when I got out of the car. There was no breeze at all and it was like a sauna even in the shade. As the sun went down it eventually cooled off a little. I served margaritas and other drinks to a crowd of 60 people. The party took place in the backyard of a very nice Hancock Park home.

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Guests enjoy home movie in Valley Village

On Sunday, the day before Labor Day, I drove only five minutes away to a home in Valley Village to bartend a 40th birthday party. The host had told me her friends were heavy drinkers. She told me how much alcohol she had purchased and I thought it would be enough. I was wrong. We ran almost completely out an hour and a half before the end of the party. Some of the guests ran out to get more. DJ Richie Rich provided the jams.

This coming weekend I have a wedding scheduled in Fillmore, and nothing lese so fa, but that will probably change. I have events scheduled in San Diego, Valley Village, Culver City, La Verne, Villa Park, and Burbank. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.  

Two Days, Two Birthday Parties for Shaken Not Stirred

29 Aug
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Backyard bar in Mission Viejo

On Friday I traveled south to Mission Viejo to bartend a going away/birthday party, and then on Saturday traveled south again to bartend a 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. I had done a previous party for the hosts at Mission Viejo, and it was the only time I have ever been late to an event. There was an accident on the freeway and I ending up arriving thirty minutes late. Driving south into Orange County on a Friday can be brutal, so I leave hours in advance. I work out at LA Fitness if I have time to kill, and they have two really nice clubs in Mission Viejo.

The hosts at Mission Viejo are moving to Nashville, and I am sorry to see them go. I jokingly said for them to book me on a party in Nashville. The host who is British and very blunt said, “Ok, but you buy your own f#$%^g ticket!” I will buy my ticket, because I want to see Nashville and have never been there. They say that it is booming.

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Friends hang at the bar in Mission Viejo

The talk of the party was of the upcoming Mayweather/McGregor fight. The overwhelming opinion was that McGregor was going down. My British friend predicted a first round knock out. Someone else said it would go longer because people would be pissed otherwise, after paying to watch it. I agreed with that, but there have been a few of those pay-per-view fights that have ended in the first couple of rounds.

The next morning I finished the shopping for my clients in Hidden Hills – they were having a party for the fight night. I bought all of the supplies for them. It is an extra service I provide for a fee. I had to send another bartender to bartend the fight night party because I had previously booked the 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. So I dropped the supplies off and set up the bar, and then turned around and drove to Hawthorne to do the birthday party.  

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50th “White” birthday party

50th birthday parties tend to be kind of wild for some reason. I guess people suddenly realize that they are a half century old and they let loose, rebelling against the idea of middle age. This party was no different – I poured a lot of shots. Good Cop/ Bad Cop provided the live music and they were great. They had the fight on toward the end. Yes, McGregor would have gone down if the ref didn’t stop it, but it went ten rounds and people got their money’s worth.

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Cucumber/jalapeno margarita made with fresh vegetables from host’s garden

This weekend I get to stick close to home. I have one event in Winnetka, here in the SFV, and another near Hancock Park.  Later this month I have events in Fillmore, San Diego, Mission Viejo

21st Birthday Party in San Juan Capistrano

30 Aug
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Guests helping themselves to excellent food

Saturday I traveled to San Juan Capistrano in Orange County to bartend a 21st birthday party. I have done several 21st birthday parties, and usually I have to make a big variety of cocktails as new drinkers sample them for the the first time. I planned a drink menu and shopping list with the birthday girl that included at least ten different cocktails.

I made Mojitos, Moscow Mules, Kentucky Mules, Mexican Mules, Mai Tais, Cuba Libres, Dirty Martinis, Bay Breezes, Gin and Tonics, and Cadillac Margaritas. It was a group of around fifty people and it was not a problem for me to make each cocktail from scratch. Most of the 21st birthday parties I have done have included many people in that age range, but this party included several older adults. The birthday girl was from a large Italian family.

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Card game in progress

21st Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Create an interesting drink menu
  • Invite a wide variety of people
  • Make sure there are designated drivers

The food was provided in part by the Los Angeles based Eastside Italian Deli, and by the mother of the birthday girl. The food was really good with pasta, meatballs, sausages and I had more than one helping. I do many parties around Southern California for various ethnic groups, and I get to sample some fantastic food, and Italian food is always among my favorites.

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Shots!

I have been very busy helping people plan parties and am currently helping plan a cocktail party coming up in Hancock Park where they want me to arrange the catering and everything. I have gotten several estimates for food and the prices vary dramatically. It makes me wonder if I am not charging enough. I know there is fine line between not charging enough, and not getting many jobs. I prefer to stay busy and not price myself right out of a job. I always seem to do better than expected when I provide top notch service and show up on time. Showing up on time for me, means arriving a half hour early.

Hancock Park School Event

25 Apr
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Bahama Mama at Hancock Park School Event

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services for a school event Saturday night at a private home in Hancock Park. The function was an annual event parents and faculty members of a well known private school in Los Angeles. There were about fifty guests in attendance, and I served drinks as a full moon rose above Los Angeles. Schools organizations often hold events like this so that parents and faculty members can get to know one another, and as fundraisers.

I worked with one of the hosts to make a drink menu and shopping list. I served Bahama Mamas and margaritas. Bahama Mamas are similar to a Mai Tai, and are often served on cruise ships. I remember first trying that drink abord a day cruise from Miami to Freeport, Bahamas. Let me tell you – the drinks go down way too easy and they sneak up on you.

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Friends stop for photo in Hancock Park

The catering was provided by Bamboo and they served up some excellent Yukatan chicken, fried plantains and other Caribbean goodies. I love tacos, but they serve them at almost every party I do, and it is nice to see some variety of cuisine at the private events in Los Angeles. There is so much to choose from, when it comes to food in this city.

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Parents and faculty members at Hancock Park School Event

School Event in Los Angeles

  • Alumni events
  • Fundraisers
  • Mixers
  • Awards ceremonies

Once I finished the Hancock Park school event, I had to prepare for a team building event I had in Santa Barbara on Sunday. This week I will be bartending at an art fair in Venice on Friday, and then will be doing a repeat performance in Eagle Rock, for a birthday party. May 7th is still open, and then it gets busy with many graduation parties and weddings in May and June.

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Full moon over Los Angeles

Mixologist at Encino Party

18 Apr
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Portable bar at Encino property

Shaken Not Stirred was the mixologist  (a must read) in residence at an Encino birthday party Saturday night. I made craft cocktails for a Southern themed party at a beautiful Encino home for approximately 40 guests. The cocktails I made included Cajon Lemonade, a cucumber mint gin julep, and the Kentucky cousin. Craft cocktails are a little more time intensive to make and it works better to serve them for smaller groups like this.

First of all, I hate the term, mixologist. I am using it here because it is a keyword people search for. I can do craft cocktails – it is not brain surgery. I have learned a lot about bartending from some of the clients I have served. One thing that is almost always present in craft cocktails, is 2 parts alcohol, one part sweetening agent, and one part citrus. I learned a new drink, the Pimm’s Cup, from some of the guests at the Encino party.

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Guests mingle at Encino birthday party

Code of the Mixologist

  • Grow a handle bar mustache
  • Wear a pork pie hat
  • Suspenders!
  • Talk about yourself in the third person
  • Equate yourself with nuclear physicists and brain surgeons

Lenny G’s provide the Louisiana style catering. They made up big pots of crawfish, and had other goodies like tritip, corn on the cob, hush puppies, and sweet potatoes. I am embarrassed to admit, but that was the first time I ever tried crawfish. They look very cool, and are like mini lobsters, and taste a lot like that too. Overall, I think the birthday boy, who was 38 had a great time. The Encino property was perfect for having parties, and I hope to return in the future.

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Guests dine on crawfish and goodies from Lenny G’s

Next weekend I am bartending a school fundraiser at a home in Hancock Park on Saturday. So far I have nothing booked for either Friday or Sunday. Have bar, and will travel to anywhere in Southern California. Maybe one day, I will get some more tattoos and a nose ring and become a real Los Angeles mixologist.

 

Los Angeles Corporate Event

20 May

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartending service was on hand at a corporate event in the Hancock Park area of LA. Shaken Not Stirred handled many aspects of the event including bar, table, and glassware rentals. Shaken Not Stirred also handled shopping services for all of the beverages, garnishes, and supplies.

I worked closely with the people putting on this event, making sure they got the right glassware, the types of table clothes, ect. We also made a drink menu and shopping list together, down to the wine selection. I made my special cucumber, and jalapeno margarita mixes for the specialty drinks. We served four different wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Rose.

I estimated how much wine we would need based on the approximate number of people (65). It has been my experience that people tend to drink less at these corporate functions, as many people make a quick appearance, have one drink, and then leave. That was not the case at this party, as most of the guests were foreign clients, and they tended to stay longer and drink more. It was a good thing that the host at the last minute, had me by more wine. We ended up going through most of it.

In And Out caters event

In And Out caters event

My margaritas seemed to be a hit, and I used most of my mixes. It seemed to have been split 50/50 between the two types of margaritas. I make my jalapeno margarita mix by combing fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, agave syrup and then blending all that together with jalapenos. It is a little spicy, but not overwhelming. I used red pepper as a garnish, along with a lime and a salt rim.

Jalapeno margarita

Jalapeno margarita

In And Out performed catering services for the corporate event. This was the first time I had seen them at a function. They set up a tent in the backyard to serve the guests, and had a truck out on the street doing the cooking. I think that these guests truly appreciated it, because they don’t have In And Out, outside the USA. I enjoyed my burger, even though it was cold by the time I ate it. It even tasted better cold.

Tomorrow night, I will bartend another industry party in Beverly Hills, at the home of one of my best clients. Then, on Saturday night, I will travel to Castaic to bartend a graduation party. May has been a good month for me, and primarily due to repeat business and referrals. That makes it nice when I don’t have to fight for every job I get, though I will continue to keep my eye on the tiger.

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Fullerton Graduation Party

17 May
Taco service

Taco service

Last night, I was the bartender at a Fullerton graduation party. The host had just graduated and received her doctorate degree, and that required three years of intense study and basically not having any kind of a life, outside her studies. So this graduation party was a great cause for celebration. There were at least 50 friends and family member in attendance, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I served Cadillac Margaritas, and Cucumber Margaritas, and I also improvised an orange margarita with fresh squeezed orange juice. The cucumber margaritas I make with my own cucumber syrup, and they were quite popular. I didn’t feel this last batch was my best however, and I think I need to adjust the recipe to get more cucumber flavor. One thing for sure, I don’t believe in infused liqueurs at all, and believe the flavor is better when mixes are made from fresh ingredients.

Graduation party in Fullerton

Graduation party in Fullerton

The host hired a taco cart and a mother and daughter team from Tacos Reina (909) 251-1609, provided the catering. I talked to Reyna, the owner and she was a very nice person. I love to see that people are making businesses for themselves. Many of these people rely on word of mouth alone to get their business and don’t know how to use the internet to their advantage. That is why I always put a plug in for people when they do a good job and provide a good service.  Reyna’s salsa and beans were out of this world!

The host also hired mariachis, and Mariachi Estrella de Chapala (562) 619-4891, provided the traditional Mexican entertainment. I always enjoy talking with the mariachis, and I always request my favorite mariachi song,  La Cucurrucucu, and they played it for me and to me. Such a beautiful classic song.

Mariachi Estrella de Chapala

Mariachi Estrella de Chapala

I am working today, preparing for a cocktail party on Tuesday in Hancock Park for one of the television networks. I am arranging for the table rentals, glassware, and doing the shopping. All of this requires a lot of coordination, but as I often say, “It ain’t brain surgery.”  We are buying alcohol and serving drinks, nothing for me is much easier than that. Preparation is the key for a successful event bartender.

I have another graduation party next weekend in Castaic. The graduation party in Fullerton was a referral from a party I did almost three years ago, and those clients were in attendance. I love getting referrals and repeat business. Memorial Day is coming up and I am still available on that date. Will bartend anywhere in Southern California.