Tag Archives: Inland Empire

Palmdale Engagement Party Bartender

19 Oct

Last night I was the party bartender at a Palmdale backyard engagement party. I have worked many backyard engagement parties, weddings, Christenings, and birthday parties that were very nice. The party rental companies come out and set up a tent and all of the tables. For last night’s party I used my portable bar and set up in one corner of the yard next to the photo booth. The DJ sets up in another area, and the caterer in another. I forgot to bring my camera and had to take pictures with my phone that didn’t come out so good, but you get the idea what it looks like.

As a party bartender, I tend to always be loaded for bear – meaning that I prepare for the busiest possible circumstances. The engagement party last night had 125 guests in attendance, and I was bartending by myself, so I had to make sure I had everything I needed at my disposal. Unlike many other parties I have bartended recently, the guests at this event were drinkers and I served out of all of the alcohol and most of the beer by the time I finished at eleven.

To give you an idea, that was three 1.75 bottles of vodka, five 750ml bottles of Ciroc vodka, eight cases of beer, and seven bottles of wine. So, I by myself served hundred of drinks. I had a steady flow of customers coming to the bar for five hours straight. I am not complaining, I like it that way. I enjoy bartending, and going to new places every weekend, and meeting a whole new group of people. One of my customers said it – “Everybody loves a party bartender.” It’s true, I have had mostly positive experiences on every job I have done.

This was the third event I have bartended in the Palmdale/Lancaster, Antelope

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Portable bar set up

Portable bar set up

Backyard engagement party

Backyard engagement party

Mongols on the loose!

Mongols on the loose!

Valley area. I don’t mid driving out there, but the road at night can be a little dicey. For some reason, and this doesn’t happen often in California, but people like to drive the speed limit in the fast lane on Highway 14. It creates a dangerous situation as cars driving faster try to get around the slow moving cars. Last night I passed on the right hand side four members of the Mongol’s Motorcycle “club” driving in the fast lane. That was a little unnerving.

I had many calls to do Halloween parties next weekend, but I had to turn them down, because I am bartending a wedding in the Inland Empire. I am still available on Friday, October 31 for a Halloween party and will probably get one. Next month I have several birthday parties booked and a corporate event. I was thinking that November might be the lull before the Holiday season. The fact is that Los Angeles and Southern California is home to millions of people, and thousands of them are going to be hiring bartenders on any given month.

Los Angeles Bartending Service Goes Mobile for Three Events

13 Oct

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartending service went mobile this weekend and did three fantastic events in Encino, Temecula, and San Diego.  This was the second weekend in a row where I have done three events, and I am truly grateful.  I am getting calls from Google searches, which is the reason I write this blog. My Yelp page is also very helpful.

My first event was a surprise 30th birthday party in Encino. The host called me on Wednesday and asked if I was available for Friday. He called from my Yelp profile. I love getting last minute calls and if I am available I will most likely do them. I brought my martini glasses for the party and people drank dirty vodka martinis, Cosmos, and Cucumber martinis. The guest of honor was truly surprised and seemed to be elated by the party her husband arranged. I have said this before, but it is kind of cool to be present at important milestones in people’s lives.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn’t get any good

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Shots!

Shots!

pictures.

On Saturday I had to drive out to Temecula to do a wedding that I booked months ago. When I booked the job, I didn’t realize that getting to Temecula is quite a journey. I had to transition on about five different freeways. The traffic was very heavy and I arrived right on time. Mia helped me with this one, and as always did a fantastic job. The signature cocktail was the Ciaprioska, which is like the Caipriana, but uses vodka instead of rum. The recipe requires muddling brown sugar with limes and pouring over vodka and ice, and then adding a splash of soda. They provided regular granulated sugar which is not quite the same, but we made it work. We operated two separate bars, inside and outside the house. In the end, I think the bride and groom were very happy.

On Sunday I booked a last minute gig in San Diego. I normally don’t do events in San Diego, but since it is quite close to Temecula I decided to do it. The event was held in a sukkah, which is a traditional tent constructed for the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. I did a presentation and gin tasting for forty men in the sukkah. It was a great experience. I researched the four gins we served, Bombay Sapphire, Old Tom, Hendricks, and Plymouth Navy Strength, and gave a brief presentation on the history of gin.  Everybody seemed to have a great time.  So, this was a weekend where mobile was the key word in mobile Los Angeles bartending service.

Next weekend I go mobile again and am doing an engagement party in Palmdale. I have a wedding to do on the 25th in the Inland Empire, and then a birthday party to do in Palm Springs on November 1. I am still available to do a Halloween party on October 31. I have had calls to do Halloween parties on October 25, but was not available.

 

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.

Mira Loma Wedding

16 Mar

Last night I bartended a backyard wedding at a home in Mira Loma in the Inland Empire. I do all kinds of weddings from very fancy affairs to small backyard weddings. This one had about 75 people in attendance and was very nice. They had a a DJ, a live band, a caricature artist, and me, the bartender. I think the family put the food together, which was very good. The large backyard was perfect for hosting a wedding of this size. The important thing is that the people in attendance seemed to have a great time.

It is already getting hotter, so I want to remind everybody to get plenty of ice for their parties, because it melts fast. I think we had seven twenty pound bags for this party and we used every bit of it. I had tubs of Modelo, Tecate, Corona, Bud Light, and Coors. I served Tequila, Malibu, Jack Daniels, and Seagram’s Seven. I had made a shopping list for the host and I think we used up most of the booze.

One of the guests brought two kegs and people were pouring that beer for themselves. When he left the keg was still three quarters full. A lot of people were drinking bottled beer, so that was part of it. I usually tell people not to get keg beer for this reason – most of it goes to waste, and it is very problematic. Kegs are hard to keep cold and difficult to pour. This beer was donated, so free beer is good beer.

This was a traditional Mexican wedding, and they had a live band, Conjunto Norteno (714) 979-9369, which played all of the traditional favorites. I do many Mexican weddings and am right at home there. I speak some Spanish, and even though I am a gringo, I love the music and the culture, so don’t be afraid of hiring me. Many of the Mexican weddings remind me of country weddings I attended when I was younger in Wyoming.

Conjunto Norteno

Conjunto Norteno

 

The bride and groom have first dance

The bride and groom have first dance

 

Full bottles waiting to be emptied

Full bottles waiting to be emptied

 

Time for shots!

Time for shots!

 

Next weekend I am doing a birthday party in the city of Los Angeles. I get to stay close to home for a change. I have several dates already filled in April and May. I am looking forward to doing many weddings this summer and hope to pick up some graduation parties and reunions, and of course, pool parties. I would like to fill some Sunday dates in.

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.

Hacienda Heights Baptism Party

9 Feb

The occasion was the celebration of a baptism. The guest of honor was one year old and attended her party along with approximately 100 other guests. I bartended, and it was my first baptism party. It appeared to me that the party was a great success, and we ran out of liquor – two times!

The hostess hired me and we made a shopping list together. I had made a list for 60 people, but I guess 100 ended up showing, so we were a little short of supplies. I have lists already made up for various numbers of people, with the prices, so If you need help with a shopping list, just ask me. We can adjust it for what you want to serve and your budget.

In the past, people have wanted to do Mojitos, and I have discouraged them, because Mojitos are a labor intensive drinks that are troublesome when serving large groups of people. I have a new policy at Shaken Not Stirred – just say yes! Mojitos are made with rum, fresh mint leaves, fresh limes, simple syrup, and club soda. I decided to make large batches in a blender and that worked fine. I served all of the Mojitos within the first two hours of the party.

For the rest of the party, I made Margaritas, Jack and Cokes, Tequilla Sunrises, and Bay Breezes. Someone went to fetch more liquor and beer around 8pm, and by 10 pm we were down to beer and champagne. I hope to do more baptism parties. I have a wedding coming up in Mira Loma next month, and another birthday party in Ontario. I seem to be doing many parties in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. Book your parties and events today, because the spring schedule is filing up fast.

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Back yard party set up

Back yard party set up

DJ heats the crowd up

DJ heats the crowd up

How to Hire a Bartender in Southern California

2 Jan