Tag Archives: Mexican

Valentine’s Day Wedding in West Hills

15 Feb

westhills1Saturday was Valentine’s Day and Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service and servers for a wedding in West Hills. This was my first time bartending an Ethiopian wedding, and it was quite an incredible experience. This is what I love about doing event bartending. I am exposed to so many different cultural customs and traditions at landmark events in people’s lives. I have bartended at Mexican weddings, Armenian Christenings, Qinceaneras,  Vietnamese engagement parties, Persian weddings, traditional Jewish weddings, military weddings,  and all kinds of birthday parties.

This Valentine’s Day wedding was held at a house in West Hills, on the far North west edge of the San Fernando Valley that overlooks the entire valley. The weather could not have been nicer. When you are planning weddings in Southern California, the odds are pretty good that there is a ninety percent chance of no rain. This particular house is available for weddings and other events, and I did not get the name of it, but it was an incredible venue.

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

I brought two servers with me and three of us were busy the entire time. I had spoken with the bride several times leading up to the event and I helped her plan a shopping menu.  Unfortunately, we had plenty of alcohol, but everybody seemed to only want one choice – Grey Goose. We ran out of Grey Goose vodka two hours into the reception and I sent one of my girls out to buy more.  Then a couple hours later we ran out again! I left the reception leaving the girls to hold down the fort and went and bought more. I am not a big believer in Grey Goose and think that it is way overpriced, but it was what the hosts wanted.

We served the champagne toast and we helped serve the wedding cake and then the party started winding down. I am bartending a 60th birthday party in Northridge on the 28th and am still available for the 21st, so who knows where that will take me. In March I have three events in Palm Springs, all on weekdays, so I still have three Saturdays open. The final Saturday of March I have a big wedding in Santa Ynez, where I will provide bartending service. And winter is almost over.

February in Southern California

February in Southern California

San Diego Engagement Party

30 Nov
Pretty girls in traditional dresses

Pretty girls in traditional dresses

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at an Engagement party in San Diego last night. I book some parties in San Diego, if I feel they are worth traveling that far, and this one definitely was.  This was my first Vietnamese American party and the hosts and guests couldn’t have been nicer. Operating a bartending service in Southern California, I do events for all kinds of ethnic groups, and it is always interesting. I have bartended at Armenian parties, Mexican parties, Russian parties, African American, Italian, and Salvadoran parties.  The language barrier doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.

This particular event was an engagement party and it seemed to be done in a traditional way. The women were dressed in their traditional dresses, and the men wore suits. This is a very important part of Vietnamese culture where the two families come together for the first time. The party was held at the family of the future bride, and the family of the future groom all arrived at once. They brought a number of gifts and roasted pig.

I served Long Island Ice teas, Remy Martin cognac, and Heinekens. There were over 100 guests and that will keep one bartender busy. When I serve a drink like the Long Island Ice Tea, I usually make a big batch of it. If you don’t know already the Long Island is a potent drink and contains vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec, topped of with a bit of sweet and sour and Coke. The funny thing is that it tastes a little bit like iced tea. It will sneak up on you.

Traditional Vietnamese engagement party

Traditional Vietnamese engagement party

Some party crashers showed up and I thought they were neighbors and served them. The hosts did not want them there and told them to leave. They flat out refused to leave and I thought it was going to be an issue. This can get a little dicey in Southern California, since I hear about shootings at neighborhood parties all the time when party crashers are turned away.

The Christmas party season starts in full swing next weekend. I am bartending two parties. I will stay close to home on Friday night and am bartending a birthday party in Studio city. On Saturday I will travel to Yorba Linda in Orange County to serve drinks at the first Christmas party of the season. I some others booked, but still have many dates left available in December. Call me and let’s talk about it.

Shots!

Shots!

South El Monte Birthday Fiesta

13 Apr

Last night I was the bartender at a large birthday fiesta in South El Monte. There were over 100 people in attendance and we ran completely out of booze at 11pm, which was when I was scheduled to leave – so I guess that worked out well. There was still Bud Light left, so those people wishing for one last beverage were not disappointed. We went through all the Corona, Sol, Tecate, and Dos Equis. I was pretty busy the whole night.  This was a Mexican birthday party and I have been doing many of these. As I have said before I am right at home doing these parties, and my Mexican name is Roberto.  One of the Mexican waiters at a restaurant I used to bartend at called me El Pinche Perro, but that is another story.

I made several different cocktails including Cadillac Margaritas, Mai Tais, Sex on the Beach, blended Pina Coladas, Capes Cods, Bay Breeze, Sea Breeze, Malibu and pineapple, and Cuba Libre. If you don’t know what all of those are – look them up. The important thing is that I know what they are. Pineapple juice is a key ingredient in many of those drinks.

I had a special request from a Peruvian lady in attendance. She wanted me to make a batch of a Peruvian native drink, the Pisco Sour. I had never made the drink before, but was familiar with it because my ex wife was from Santiago, Chile and that drink is popular in Chile as well.  Pisco

Reaching for the tools of the trade with a boss watch on!

Reaching for the tools of the trade with a boss watch on!

My workstation gets messy when serving 100 people!

My workstation gets messy when serving 100 people!

DJ lighting setup

DJ lighting setup

Freaky!

Freaky!

is a clear grape liquor that is deadly and will sneak up on you if you are not careful. The Pisco Sour is made with fresh lemons, Pisco, and egg whites in a blender. In Chile, they use powdered sugar as well, but this lady had me use something different. I think she was happy with the drink and I didn’t sample it because I no longer drink. Anyway, I think the Pisco Sour is a great drink to serve and impress your guests. Most people in North America have never had it and don’t know what it is.

I just booked a wedding in Santa Barbara in July. I have at least one wedding booked every month until November. My goal is to book one party or event every weekend and so far I am doing that every month. This month I am on track to do seven events, which I think is my record for one month since I have been in business. I am very grateful to be getting so many events. I just bought a portable bar, so I can now offer that service as well.

Please call me if you have any questions about cocktails, venues, or anything else related to bartending and events. I will be happy to help you, and I have many shopping lists I have done for other parties with prices on them, so you can get an idea what to budget. I can estimate pretty close how much you will need for the time length and number of people at your event. My goal is to get you in under budget and keep all of your guests happy. That way everyone is happy! Buenos Dias!

Chatsworth 30th Birthday Party and Glendora Wedding

27 Oct

Last night I worked a wedding in Glendora and sent another bartender, Jessica, to do a 30th birthday in Chatsworth. Another successful night for Shaken Not Stirred. As I was setting up for the party in Glendora, someone called me because their bartender cancelled at the last moment. I can’t believe how many calls I get like that. Unfortunately I couldn’t help that person. I have never cancelled or flaked on a gig, and couldn’t imagine doing it. Reliability means a lot to me, but I guess not everybody feels that way.

The wedding in Glendora at the La Fetra Center was a Mexican styled wedding complete with Mariachis. Probably 100 people were in attendance, and another bartender, Mary, helped me. They had keg beer and I want to stress that I don’t recommend that for parties less than 150 people. At this wedding they had two 16 gallon kegs and I would say both were still half full at the end of the party. Keg beer is messy and hard to deal with. When you first tap the kegs you have to deal with foam for probably half an hour. If you have those pump type taps, the beer pours extremely slow. Kegs were cool to me when I was 16, but I’m over them now. We also served vodka, tequila, and rum drinks. Many shots of tequila went down.  

I helped the host of the 30th birthday party in Chatsworth construct a drink menu. She decided on dirty martinis, Cosmos, and Margaritas. I talked her out of keg beer and she served Corona and Stella Artois. Jessica, the bartender said it was a great event. I like helping my clients with drink menus and shopping lists, and I think I can save them a lot of money.

Mariachis serenade the guests of honor

Mariachis serenade the guests of honor

Mary holds down the fort

Mary holds down the fort

Next weekend I have a costume party scheduled in La Quinta, (I am going as LLoyd the Bartender) and a wedding in Eagle Rock. Don’t forget, book those holiday parties now. If you wait until the last minute you may have a hard time finding a bartender. Shaken Not Stirred serves Southern California, from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.      

Santa Barbara Wedding

7 Jul

Saturday, July 6th was the date of a wedding at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. It was my first event in Santa Barbara and was a smashing success. I worked closely with the bride in the weeks preceding the event – planning the drink menu and shopping list. I guess we did a good job because we ran out of beer one half hour before last call and almost everything else fifteen minutes before the witching hour.

It was a Mexican themed wedding and we served Margaritas, Tequilla Sunrises, and a cocktail that the bride requested: La Paloma (tequila, Squirt, and fresh lime juice). We had nearly every brand of Mexican beer on hand including, Corona, Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, and Pacifico. They had Mariachis, and a taco cart, a DJ, and a photo booth. Vasquez Entertainment (805) 889-2527, provided the DJ.

The bride requested that I bring a Spanish speaking bar back. I hired a girl I had never worked with before, Vanessa, and she was great! We got hit just after the ceremony ended and thirsty people flooded the bar. Vanessa kept me stocked with ice and must have opened 100 beers. I will certainly use her again when I can.

The Museum of Natural History

Blue Whale Skeleton

Blue Whale Skeleton

Vanessa in the spotlight

Vanessa in the spotlight

Mixing Mexican style

Mixing Mexican style

at Santa Barbara was a unique venue for a wedding. The Museum itself looks very interesting, though I didn’t have time to go through it. The wedding ceremony to place in a wonderful and tranquil park behind the museum. The reception was held in a large event room that is attached to the museum. We set up the bar outside on the entrance patio. I am a certified bartender, which the venue requires.

Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers all over Southern California including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, the Inland Empire, and Palm Springs. Call today to plan your event.