Tag Archives: Irvine

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
sept82

Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

sept81

The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

sept83

Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

sept92

Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

sept91

Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

Vista Wedding Reception and Baby Shower at Shady Canyon

21 Aug
vista1

Thibodo Park Wedding Venue

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred went on the road and provided bartending service at a Vista wedding reception and then at a Shady Canyon baby shower the next day. I also had one of my other bartenders do a wedding reception in Tujunga on Saturday night. It is getting to the point where I have much repeat business and am having to send multiple bartenders out each week.

The wedding reception in Vista was held at Thibodo Park , a beautiful little out of the way location operated by the City of Vista Recreation Department. Chef Shawna of Best Mobile Catering of Oceanside hired me and L&S Productions of San Diego did the wedding coordination. It was a pleasure working with both of them, and they obviously are very good at what they do. We were of service to over 100 guests and I think everybody went away happy.  

vista2

Toasts at Vista Wedding Reception

The groom was a decorated member of the Marine Corps and was in full uniform and so were some of the guests. I am always reminded when in San Diego that it is a military town. I once did a wedding reception on the beach at Camp Pendleton, where they have a resort for military members. I served wine and beer at the Vista reception and we used a punch card system, where the guests were limited to three drinks each. That worked well, and nobody got out of control.

The next day I drove up to Irvine to the Shady Canyon Golf Club Golf Club to bartend a baby shower. It was the second party I have done at that location. They have a very nice clubhouse for the residents (apart from golf club house). The host put a lot of work into decorating the event and it looked fabulous.

irvine1

Fruit tray at Irvine Baby Shower

I set up my portable bar in the corner of courtyard. There were about 100 ladies in attendance and I served mimosas and beer. There were two servers that distributed drinks to ladies as I poured them. I kept pretty busy pouring for at least four hours and emptied over a case of champagne.

irvine2

Elegant table setup at Shady Canyon

This coming weekend I have events in Hidden Hills, Hawthorne, and Mission Viejo, and I am happy to report that is all repeat business. I just got a call this morning from a past customer for two more events – a movie premier and a baby shower. I am not bidding on any jobs in December and believe I will keep busy with repeat business only. The whole December calendar is open at this point, but that is going to change quickly after September 1. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

Irvine Surprise Birthday Party

28 Nov
irvine2

First rainbow of the season over East LA

Saturday I drove to Irvine to providing bartending service for a surprise birthday party. It was raining pretty hard that morning and was one of the biggest rains of the season yet, so I left plenty early. I hate being late, and I think I have only been late once in over 300 events I have done, and I was 15 minutes late due to traffic. Going to Orange County from LA can be problematic, especially on the 5 freeway. On Saturday, I made it in plenty of time.

The occasion was a surprise 60th birthday party and it was held at the birthday girl’s home, unknown to her. I arrived an hour early to set up and family members were rushing around trying to get the house ready. They were nervous, because guests were trickling in slowly and they were afraid the birthday girl would arrive home before most of the guests arrived. They were able to stall her somehow, and nearly 100 guests arrived to genuinely surprise her.   

irvine1

Guests gather at surprise birthday party

I had my portable bar setup in a room off the kitchen. I served Moscow Mules and Margaritas. I told the host to buy enough alcohol for 100 people, but there weren’t a lot of drinkers. Many of the guests only wanted water. I usually make shopping list assuming that there will be alot of heavy drinkers, and often there are. The good thing about extra liquor is that it doesn’t expire or go bad.

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Keep the secret
  • Serve great food

I told the host that anybody who gets a surprise birthday party is truly blessed – not everybody gets one. I have never had one thrown in my honor. At this Irvine surprise birthday party, the guest of honor was totally surprised and grateful. Her niece had done much of the planning and had created a cool video to congratulate her aunt and show her appreciation. Traditional Indian food was served.

This coming weekend I will be returning to Orange County to bartend a holiday party in Villa Park. Another bartender will be going to Valley Village to bartend another holiday party on behalf of Shaken Not Stirred. December is usually my busiest month and it is shaping up that way this year too. New Year’s Eve is still available, so it will be interesting to see where I will end up this year. 

Mobile Bartending on the Fourth of July Weekend

7 Jul

Shaken Not Stirred was in true mobile bartending mode this Fourth of July weekend and did two parties in Orange County – a Fourth of July party in Newport Beach on Friday and a Santa Ana wedding on Saturday. I spent two days in San Diego on other business last week, then traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a Fourth of July party.

I was worried all week that getting in and out of Newport Beach was going to be a nightmare, but it was surprisingly easy. The hosts provided me a parking space in their garage. Everybody knows that beach parking on the Fourth of July is impossible. Most of the guests at the party were locals and arrived via beach cruiser. There were around 30 guests in attendance and it was a very nice low key party in a fantastic house.

I served three nice vintage cabernets – a 93’ Cakebread, a 98’ Chimney Rock, and a 96’ Von Strasser. I don’t usually serve a lot of red wine at summer parties, but this crowd couldn’t resist these three excellent wines. They had fun tasting all three and comparing. The Von Strasser proved to be the crowd favorite. By the end of the party all three bottles were empty. I served a few martinis and made Lemon Drops using fresh lemon juice from lemons in my back yard. The party abruptly ended as the guests left to watch the fireworks. I got top see most of the show as I was driving out of there.

I stayed at the Wyndam in Irvine and got a very good deal through Priceline

Fireworks over Newport Beach

Fireworks over Newport Beach

Vintage Cabs

Vintage Cabs

Guests enjoying the Fourth of July

Guests enjoying the Fourth of July

Tennis Court turned into wedding venue

Tennis Court turned into wedding venue

Mariachis waiting in the shade

Mariachis waiting in the shade

– where I named my own price. There is no reason to stay at the Motel 6, ever. I did a wedding the next day in the hills of Santa Ana. It is a very nice area off of the 55 freeway in the hills where I have never been before. There are some incredible houses up there and the wedding was held at one of them.

They had the tennis court converted into a super wedding venue for 200 guests. We had two bars set up, one above in the pool area, and another on the tennis court. Mia was helping me and she took the upstairs bar. There were at least 50 kids in attendance, so we spent plenty of time refilling sodas. Cadillac Margaritas were a big hit, and we also did Jaeger bombs, Patron shots, and Fireball shooters. The wedding planner abandoned ship halfway through along with three of the servers, as they ran out of food before everyone was served. Thankfully, she didn’t hire me and I was hired directly by the host. When I heard how much money they had paid her, I was thinking I should become a wedding planner. A friend explained to me why that would not be a good idea and I quickly came back to reality.

Next weekend I have another big wedding to do in Santa Barbara and I am taking my son, Willie to help me. I have several more weddings booked during the rest of the summer all over Southern California, and a few birthday parties. It has been a great summer for Shaken Not Stirred.