Tag Archives: laguna beach

Two South Orange County Events

3 Apr

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for two South Orange County events in Dana Point and a few miles away in Laguna Niguel. It is a beautiful area and a great time of the year to visit and experience outdoor events there. On Friday night I bartended a rehearsal dinner and served approximately 80 guests, and then on Saturday I provided service at a birthday party at a fantastic home overlooking the coast in Laguna Niguel.

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Dana Point Harbor

When I arrived to the rehearsal dinner on Friday night there were already many guests self serving themselves at the bar and I immediately got the sinking feeling I had somehow got the time wrong and I was late. I am phobic about being late and am always on time and even way early. I was not late, the party just started early in this case. I scrambled to get prepared, but it was easy because the wedding planner had already prepped the bar for me.

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Friends share a drink at Dana Point Rehearsal Party

They held the event at a rental house from Air B&B that had a very nice back yard perfect for events. Many of the Air B&B rentals allow guests to have parties as long as they pay large deposits and adhere to all of the guidelines. Many of the people at this event traveled from different parts of the country.

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Shots!

South Orange County

  • Laguna Niguel
  • Dana Point
  • San Clemente
  • Mission Viejo
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Laguna Beach

I made margaritas and other simple mixed drinks and served wine and beer. It was a good warm up for the wedding, which was being held at a hotel the following night. I had also helped the bride and groom make a shopping list for supplies for their wedding. I hope that worked out for them.

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Sunset Laguna Niguel

I stayed in the area and the next night I went to a fantastic home up on the hill in Laguna Niguel to bartend a birthday party. The view from the backyard was incredible. To the north you could see Laguna Beach, to the south, Dana Point, and then of course due west was the Pacific Ocean, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Catalina Island. The backyard bar was the perfect perch for all of that.

I brought my jalapeno margarita mix and also made Pisco Sours for the specialty drinks. About thirty guests were in attendance. Diverse DJ Events provided the music, and Taquero Juan Celio (714) 687-6825, provided the tacos. It was a great evening in a killer location. Next weekend I have potential job in Palm Desert on Friday, and then a birthday party in Sherman Oaks on Saturday. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

 

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

LA Mobile Bartending Service Does Five Events

25 Oct
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Uber driver taking me to event

Last week was a very busy week for the LA mobile bartending service, Shaken Not Stirred, with five big events all in the Los Angeles Area. Two of the events were at the same residence in Pacific Palisades, there was a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, a birthday party in Sylmar on Saturday, and then an open house at a store in Venice on Sunday. I think all of the events went well, but I was not operating at full capacity on three of them, because I think I got food poisoning somewhere along the way.

On Monday I was sitting at home at around 5pm in Van Nuys when I got a call to do a bartending job in Pacific Palisades at 630pm. I told the guy I didn’t think I could make it in time. It was not somebody I had ever worked for before. He said, “Would it help you if I sent a car to come get you?” “Yes, that would help me,” I said. He arranged an Uber and within 15 minutes I in the backseat of a Lexus on my way to Pacific Palisades. I did the job, and they sent me home in a different Uber. I must say that spoiled me a bit. Ironically I had done another event at that same house for a different group of people before.

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“Sucah” in Pacific Palisades

On Tuesday I returned to a house in Sherman Oaks to bartend a fundraiser for the City of Hope Chancellors Club. There were many dignitaries in attendance including the LA County Sheriff, Jim Mcdonnell, many superior court judges, and other political and business leaders from around Los Angeles. The Chancellor’s Club supports the City of Hope in its cancer research and sounds like a very worthwhile cause. I served a lot of wine and a few mixed drinks and the organizers of the event were very happy with me and said they would use me for future events in different parts of the city.

The next day the guy from Pacific Palisades called me again. He offered me another job for Friday night at the same household. He didn’t offer the Uber again and I didn’t ask. It was not last minute. So on Friday I drove out there in my own car (imagine, the horror).  I had time to kill in Santa Monica and was hungry. I was looking for a place to eat on the Third Street Promenade. I finally decided on a place with a nice patio and good guitar player performing on the street nearby. It was pricey and pretentious and I was irritated by the slow service. I am not one to usually complain, being in the service industry myself, so that tells you how bad it was. The food matched the mediocre service. I was thinking about writing a bad Yelp review, and a place has to be terrible before I will do that. Well, I went to do the second event in Pacific Palisades and it quickly became clear that something was wrong. I could barely get through the event, though I don’t think it was apparent to the guests I was serving. When I got home I was having fever and chills. I tossed and turned all night and was nauseous.

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Grandmother and family at 70th birthday party

The next day I felt horrible and knew I had to do a 70th birthday party in Sylmar that night and then have a quick turnaround and be in Venice for the store event in the morning. I tried to take it easy all day Saturday, but I had no appetite. I hoped that I could make it through the two events I had contracted to do. I showed up on time to the event in Sylmar and I pulled it off, though I must admit I was not operating at full capacity. The people that hired me have a catering company and they were so much help to me. They thought I did a great job, but I felt I could have done better. I was miserable operating on almost zero sleep and very little food. I got home at midnight with chills and fever again and set my alarm clock for seven the next morning. I had to be in Venice by nine.

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Band playing at Sylmar birthday party

I made it to Venice on time and with coffee I was able to muster enough energy to pull the final job of the week off. The store Christy Dawn is a specialty vintage inspired dress shop and they were holding a promotion where they had matching dresses for mothers and daughters. I served mimosas and Kombucha. It was a very mellow event which was about all I could handle. The owners were super nice people and they started their business in their garage and are now having great success both online and in their storefront.

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Kombucha – an acquired taste

This weekend is Halloween weekend and the LA mobile bartending service will transition into Orange County to do a Halloween Party in the City of Orange on Saturday night, and then a reunion in Laguna Beach on Sunday. November is looking to be very busy, as there are many corporate weekday events already scheduled.

Laguna Niguel Birthday Party

19 Jan

January is usually a slow month in the bartending business. People don’t generally have weddings in January and after the holiday season; people are pretty much partied out. When people have parties in January, they are generally birthday parties, anniversaries,or fundraisers.

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred worked a birthday party in Laguna Niguel. The theme was “Mustaches and Martinis”. I have been getting a lot of calls to Orange County recently. The host had made a drink menu for the event, which included a Category 5 Cosmo (named after a category 5 hurricane), a Dirty Martini, and a Jalapeno Cucumber Martini. I had never made the cucumber martini before – it was a creation of the host and I think it was a hit. I muddled mint leaves and jalapenos in a shaker, then added a bit a simple syrup, cucumber infused vodka, Kettle One vodka, and then shook it up with ice and poured it over a cucumber slice. The result they told me was a little spicy, a little sweet, and a little strong.

The secret I think to making good drinks, especially martinis is to use very little mixer. People accuse me of making strong drinks, and I can always add more mixer, but I can’t take too much sweet and sour out of a drink, for instance. Those are the drinks that end up sitting on the counter somewhere, undrank. To me, there is nothing worse than ordering a drink at say, a hotel bar, and it comes out tasting like pure mixer. Many corporate places limit the amount of alcohol their bartenders can put in a drink, and the result is very predictable. Ever notice the best drinks are served in dive bars?

The birthday party was hosted at a condo. They set up the bar on the balcony, but I had to stand in the master bedroom behind the bar. I was essentially a bartender in a bedroom. That is totally fine. I will bartend any place, any where. If you are thinking about having a party and hiring a bartender and are reluctant because you don’t have some fancy bar, think again, because that isn’t required. Guest are always impressed by a bartender, and the hosts can enjoy themselves and mingle, not having to worry about the bar.

Laguna Beach in January

Laguna Beach in January

Host in disguise

Host in disguise

Bar set up in bedroom

Bar set up in bedroom

I have booked a few weddings way out – even in October. This season seems to be heating up and there have been way more inquiries than last year. I am even doing a Wedding at Camp Pendleton, on the Marine Corps base. Book your party now, and don’t stress about it later. Chances are, you’ll have to pay more money if you book at the last minute. That being said, don’t hesitate to call me last minute. I won’t gouge you, I promise.