Party Bartenders, Private Bartender, Uncategorized

Private Bartender at La Canada Christmas Party

Private bartender selfie


Last night, for the third year in a row I served as the private bartender for a company Christmas party at a very nice home in La Canada. The host is a very successful real estate agent in the area and has a fantastic home for entertaining. He has a very nice little bar inside the house, and he has a great one outside as well, where we hold parties in the summer.

About 90 guests were in attendance and I served drinks that had real estate terms for names like the “Pocket Listing,” “Multiple Offers,” and “Just Sold.” I made my spicy jalapeno margarita mix and that was a hit as it usually is. I also served a lot of Johnny Walker Black, and made a holiday cranberry Old Fashioned. As a private bartender I have manned the bar at over 400 events, so by now I am comfortable behind any bar.

I can make a variety of cocktails with a few simple mixers. It is always good to have cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, Coke, Diet Coke, Seven Up, and bitters. For garnishes it is good to have limes, lemons, cherries, and olives. Mint, oranges, cranberries, cucumbers, and other garnishes are usually for specialty drinks. As a private bartender, I consult with hosts about the drink menu and shopping list. I can do all the shopping also, but charge an extra fee for that.

La Canada on a cloudy day

Advantages of Hiring a Private Bartender

  • The hosts can enjoy themselves at the party
  • Bartender makes consistently good drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Bartender can monitor guests intoxication level
  • Host saves money on shopping list

Unless I book something else next week, this was my last holiday party of the season until New Year’s Eve. I am booked for NYE at a warehouse party in Downtown LA that should be interesting. On New Year’s Day I will return to Manhattan Beach to provide bartending service for a pre Rose Bowl/birthday party. I think 2017 is going to be a record year for Shaken Not Stirred, and look forward to serving many of my repeat customers and gaining a bunch of new ones.


Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.


Fundraisers, Uncategorized

Cheviot Hills Fundraiser

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.

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.

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.

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.

Christmas Party Bar tenders, Fundraisers, Party Bartenders, Uncategorized

Five Holiday Parties in Five Days

Tending bar in La Canada

Tis’ the season, and Shaken Not Stirred was busy last week bartending at five different holiday parties in five days. The holiday party season took me all over the San Fernando Valley, and to La Canada. On Tuesday I was called to do a last minute party in Encino when another bartender canceled, then on Wednesday and Thursday I bartended two back to back parties in La Canada, on Friday I bartended a party in Studio City, and then on Saturday I rounded out the week at a party in Porter Ranch. Needless to say, I made a lot of drinks.

Martini waiting to go out

On Monday, I received a call from an associate of mine and she said someone she knew needed a bartender on Tuesday, because theirs cancelled last minute. I was happy to get the job, and so far in two years of business I have never cancelled a gig. The party was at a nice home in the hills of Encino and it was a company office party of around 16 people. I very mellow gig and I was very glad to help them. I made some Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and poured a few glasses of wine.

School fundraiser in La Canada

Holiday Parties

  • Office Parties
    Christmas Parties
    Holiday cocktails
    Client appreciation parties

On Wednesday and Thursday I traveled to La Canada to the fabulous home of one of my best clients. He has his annual office Christmas party, and then his wife hosts a fundraiser for her children’s school the following night. Again, I served Moscow Mules, which are very popular right now. Some of the ladies requested a Mexican Mule, also known as a “Burro”, which substitutes tequila for vodka.

Gamblers in Porter Ranch

On Friday, I went to Studio City to bartend a holiday party for a friend of mine. He had around sixty guests and I made Cranberry Old Fashioneds, and Moscow Mules. Red wine is also very popular as the weather turns colder, and I served several bottles of that. Many in the crowd were professional comedians, so it was a very fun group.

Partiers in Studio City

On Saturday, I returned to Porter Ranch, to bartend for the third client in the same housing development. He had a real elaborate Christmas party planned, and he had a party planner, a caterer, servers, and casino tables. I poured martinis, Moscow Mules, and many scotch drinks. We used real glassware, which is always nice.

My next event so far is a New Year’s Eve party in Sherman Oaks, so not too far away. My daughter will be working that one with me, and I’ll be making some prohibition era cocktails, like The Last Word, Fleur di Paradis, Whiskey Sour, and Mint Juleps. It should be fun. I still have Christmas Eve open, and Saturday the 26th, if you need a bartender on those dates.

Birthday Party Bartender, Fundraisers

Two Vegas Style Parties Back to Back

Outdoor bar at La Canada home
Outdoor bar at La Canada home

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred – Friday night I bartended at a fundraiser/poker tournament at a private home in La Canada, and then on Saturday night was the hired mixologist at a Vegas themed birthday party in Porter Ranch. Two nights, two very fun and successful events.  The event industry is thriving in Los Angeles, and there are so many great services that make parties really spectacular.

The Friday night poker tournament in La Canada was hosted by one of my best client’s at his fantastic home.  Casinos in Motion had at least ten poker tables there and dealers. The money that was raised benefitted a private school. The tournament didn’t end until one am. We served completely out of Grey Goose, Patron, and Johnny Walker Black.

Saturday night, the party was a birthday party/fight night event. It was a joint 40th birthday party bash for the husband and wife who were hosting the party and it just happened to fall on the Mayweather/Paciao fight night. I must say, they did an excellent job preparing for this party. They had red carpets, velvet ropes, and elaborate lighting set up in the backyard overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  Aces N Eights provided the Blackjack Table and dealer for the event.

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch
Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

I was bartending by myself for approximately ninety guests and was very busy. I made my special Jalapeno Margaritas that were a big hit, Mai Tais, Moscow Mules, Dark and Stormys, and Lemon Drops.  I also served Stella Artois and Modelo Especial, prosseco, and wine. It seems that Modelo is becoming the most popular beer in LA, overtaking Corona. I think all the Mexican beers are made by the same company, and beer is one of Mexico’s number one export products.

Next weekend will be busy also, as I have a company party scheduled in Mission Viejo for Friday, and then a wedding reception in Santa Clarita the following night. I was bartending in my sleep last night I have poured so many drinks this week. I still have a couple of open dates later this month, which I’m sure I will fill quickly. It is the season for graduation parties, and I have seen  many inquiries for such parties this month.


Green Room Bartending and Wrap Party

Beautiful spring day in LA
Beautiful spring day in LA

Last night, Shaken not Stirred wrapped up a three part event at  a production facility in Los Angeles.  Last year, we bartended a screening event in Hollywood, and were contacted by the same people to do the  studio events. It was a great experience and unfortunately the show wrapped for now. Hopefully they will do more episodes in the future, and they will need bartending service again.

I set up a portable bar in the green room, which was a converted sound stage where they had put out lounge chairs and monitors for VIP guests to relax and watch the live taping. The show was a sketch comedy and was very funny. Always at live tapings, they have a comedian warm up the live audience and the guy they had was great. I also was able to watch the rehearsal on the monitors in the green room.

I bartended the first night, and then I had one of my other bartenders do the second night, because I was already booked on a birthday party. He showed up and did a great job. I was able to show up and help him out, just as he was wrapping up for the night. The crowds got larger at each event.  I hope to do more of this kind of business, and am currently talking to someone at one of networks to do a high end cocktail party.

Guests relax in green room during taping
Guests relax in green room during taping

Last night they had the wrap party after the tapings ended. I would guess that there were at least 150 people at the wrap party. I was very busy pouring wine and beer by myself, though they did bring in someone to help me near the end. I had six different types of beer and my biggest challenge was keeping them all cold with the limited coolers I had. We ended up with two cases of beer left over at the end, and one bottle of wine. That was pretty good guessing on the party planner’s part.

Tonight I am bartending at a fundraiser at a private home in La Canada. This is for a repeat customer. Shaken Not Stirred has been in business for less than two years, and I am starting to get much repeat business, which I love. Tomorrow, I will travel to Porter Ranch to bartend a birthday party/fight night event. I still have May 16th and May 23rd open and I am available to bartend on those dates.

Hollywood wrap party
Hollywood wrap party
Birthday Party Bartender

Alhambra Surprise 40th Birthday Party

An ongoing drought in California

Guest bartender
Guest bartender

threatens the very existence of the state, yet on the day a woman schedules a surprise 40th birthday party for her husband, it rains cats and dogs. Well, that is an over exaggeration, rain messed things up for the surprise birthday party, but didn’t stop it. The host had tents set up in the backyard that kept most people dry. I had my own tent for the bar, and caterers had a tent.

The birthday boy had gone fishing and arrived home early because of the rain, so he wasn’t given the proper surprise cheer, but I saw his face as he realized they were having a party in his honor. I have said this before, but any man who has a surprise birthday party thrown for him is a lucky, and loved man. His wife had done extensive planning for this party, and hired a bartender (me), a DJ, and a caterer.

The caterer, Tacos Chicuas (213) 590-8209, provided tacos and quesadillas that were way above average.  I think their technique using a rotisserie cooker made the meat exceptionally tasty.  They had some incredible beans and a great selection of salsas. DJ Tossing T and MC JT provided the entertainment.  For a  surprise  40th birthday party, everything was top notch.

Tacos Chicuas with rotisserie cooker
Tacos Chicuas with rotisserie cooker

I served many pineapple based drinks, and the favorite of the night was the Buccanus, which was Buchannan Irish Whisky, pineapple juice, and grenadine, with a cherry garnish. This is the favorite of the birthday boy, and the trend caught on. I also served cucumber margaritas, and many Malibu and pineapples.

While I was bartending in Alhambra, I had another bartender doing at event at a television Studio in Glassel Park. He served beer and wine for about 100 people in the green room at a television production. I will go there again Thursday night. I have contracted with the production company to bartend at several of their tapings. Next Friday I will be bartending a fundraiser in La Canada, and then bartending at a party in Porter Ranch next Saturday night.

"You talkin' to me?"
“You talkin’ to me?”
Birthday Party Bartender

La Canada 40th Birthday Party

A person’s 40th birthday is an important milestone and certainly a cause for a huge celebration. I was a part of an epic celebration last night at an estate in La Canada. The property, as you can see in the pictures is made for throwing big parties. There was a brand new outside wet bar and another very nice formal bar inside the house, where I was stationed as the special martini bartender.

I was hired kind of last minute for this event and they also hired three additional bartenders for the outside bar. I was there just to make martinis. I had real martini glasses, which is always nice and I probably made over 100 martinis throughout the night. I made dirty martinis, Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops, Gimlets, and margaritas. I went through five large bottles of Grey Goose. I was shaking all night long, which reminded me of my days at Frascati Ristorante in Redondo Beach.

Backyard before  the action started
Backyard before the action started
Inside "Martini" bar
Inside “Martini” bar
A great party atmosphere!
A great party atmosphere!
Street in La Canada outside event
Street in La Canada outside event

This is the kind of bartending I love to do.

There were supposed to be 200 people at the party and I think there were at least that many there. They had a dance floor set up in the back of the yard and at one point I walked outside and it was raging. The caterer put out a spread of traditional Armenian food and it was excellent. I finally had a chance to eat at around one AM. Celebrating Life by Dona coordinated the event and I hope to work with them again.

After one AM they released the outside bartenders and they had me stay on as the closing bartender. I was irritated by the condition the other bartenders left the outside bar. It was a total mess. They left all of the caps off of the liquor bottles and the mixers and I couldn’t find them. So, the mixers will probably have to be poured out, and what do you do with liquor bottles left half full with no caps on them? This is a sloppy, greedy attitude that is prevalent among many bartenders. They just want to make as much money as possible and split on the minute they were supposed to work until. I won’t have any bartenders working for me that are like that.

Next weekend I have a big engagement party scheduled in West Hollywood where I am taking a crew of three extra people. I am booked every Saturday in April and have a wedding in Valencia, and birthday parties in El Monte and Woodland Hills. I have also booked some gigs as far away as next October. Book your parties now – put down a 20 percent deposit and the day is yours.