Tag Archives: New Year’s Eve party

New Year’s Eve Party Welcomes in 2016

2 Jan
"The Last Word" cocktail

“The Last Word” cocktail

Thursday night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a New Year’s Eve party in Sherman Oaks, ringing out 2015. The party was the perfect event to end the year on, and begin the new one. 2015 was a great year for Shaken Not Stirred, and we have increased our client list considerably. December was one of the busiest months we have had, and for that I am very grateful. One of the highlights was when Shaken Not Stirred was chosen Number 1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015, by Thumbtack.

The New Year’s Eve party was something I booked a couple of months ago, and I had at least 30 requests since then for New Year’s Eve. I think the first year I was in business I didn’t even get a New Year’s Eve party. It seems that many people are opting to have parties at home, rather than go out and get gouged. I charge more for New Year’s Eve than other nights, but even so, I think the host was able to do their whole for party for 30 people, food and beverages included for under $1,000. I remember once, when I was married my wife and I went to a NYE party in Malibu, and spent that much for the two of us.

The party had a Prohibition era theme, and I made several cocktails from that period that the host chose. The cocktail menu included the Last Word, Mint Julep, Fleur di Paradis, Whiskey Sour, and the Old Fashioned. The Fleur di Paradis turned out to be the big favorite of the night. The drink calls for gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, St Geramine liqueur, and a champagne topper.

Guests dressed in their Prohibition era best

Guests dressed in their Prohibition era best

My daughter, Pia helped me out, and this is the third or fourth party she has helped me with. She will have a full time job soon and probably won’t be able to assist me much next year. It’s a shame, because some of the guests mentioned what a cool duo we make. I have several other good servers and bartenders available to help me also.

Goodbye 2015!

Goodbye 2015!

This month, January is looking slow, so far – I have a couple of parties booked. Last year in January I did 6 events, and hope I will have at least that many this month. Last month, I was able to do most of my parties in the San Fernando Valley, but I have a feeling I will be traveling during these slow months, and that means, Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Bakersfield. Shaken Not Stirred looks forward to a record year in 2016. Bring it on!

Hello 2016!

Hello 2016!

Simi Valley Going Away Party

28 Dec
Crowded bar area in Simi

Crowded bar area in Simi

Shaken Not Stirred traveled over the hill to Simi Valley last night to bartend a college student’s going away party. The guest of honor was accepted to graduate school at Brown University in Rhode Island, which is no small feat, so a party was in order. I set up my portable bar on the back patio and served  drinks to about 100 people in attendance.

There were a lot of scotch drinkers , which makes it easy for a bartender, because scotch drinkers tend to drink their scotch neat, or on the rocks, or with soda and water. We went through several handles of both Johnny Walker Black, and Chivas Regal. Scotch is definitely an acquired taste and several of these guests in Simi Valley had acquired it.

We didn’t discuss making Mojitos when I planned the shopping list with the host, but somebody brought some fresh mint leaves from their garden, so Mojitos were in order. I had may ginger syrup, and a bunch of fresh lemons from the host;s tree. This is the advantage of living in Southern California. Where else can you get fresh lemons off the tree and fresh mint in December. I made Mojitos with rum, vodka, and even gin. People liked the gin Mojitos and I was surprised.

Lemon tree in Socal

Lemon tree in Socal

The hosts were of Indian descent, and they served traditional Indian food, like chicken curry,  bharta, with Indian bread, and mint chutney.  The hosts kept asking me if I had eaten, and different people kept bringing me plates of food. It was all excellent. Overall, the party was a grand success. It was particularly cold in Simi Valley and I’m glad I brought my jacket.

Fresh citrus

Fresh citrus

The holiday season is winding down and I am bartending a New Year’s Eve party in Newhall on Wednesday night, and then a New Year’s day open house party in Pacific Palisades on Thursday. It is already 2015. I am looking forward to another great year for Shaken Not Stirred. I have met many great people all over Southern California over the past year and have gained many new clients and friends. I wish all of my clients, associates, and friends a fantastic and prosperous New Year.

Cerritos Sweet 16 Party

16 Nov
Blackjack table at Sweet 16 party

Blackjack table at Sweet 16 party

The Sky Room

The Sky Room

Portable bar on the terrace

Portable bar on the terrace

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred was hired to provide bartending service for a Sweet 16 party in the city of Cerritos. This was my first purely non-alcoholic party. The theme, was the “Great Gatsby,” and the décor of the venue was reminiscent of the 1920’2, and many of the guests wore costumes from the era. If I had been thinking, I would have worn my Lloyd the bartender costume. It was a very nice party for a girl’s 16th birthday party and it made me wish I could have done something like that for my daughter.

I came up with a non-alcoholic drink menu for the party that included virgin Pina Colladas, Mai Tais, Shirly Temples, and a mint sparkling lemonade. The Pina Colladas are always popular and I like seeing the looks on the kids face when they taste one for the first time. The Pina Collada is one drink that tastes good without alcohol – the Mai Tai and other drinks, probably not so much.

This was the second party this week where I brought my portable bar and table. The portable bar has served me well and I charge customers only $25 to bring it. It isn’t much, but it works and it is easily portable and I can set it up and break it down quickly. In the future, I hope to have something better that I can transport in my car. The party was held at the Cerritos Library Sky Room and Terrace, which is a very nice venue on the fourth floor of the Cerritos Public Library.

The Sweet 16 party had a caterer, DJ, photo booth, photographer, and blackjack table with dealer as well. The blackjack table was very popular and I got the dealer’s card. I’m sure people would love that at almost any party. There was a group of people gathered around that table the entire night. Pulchini Entertainment provided the blackjack table and dealer and it looks like they do all kinds of other gambling games as well.

I just booked a birthday party in Simi Valley for next weekend and an engagement party in San Diego for the Black Friday weekend. I bartend parties in San Diego occasionally if it is worth my while. I am getting many inquiries for Christmas parties and office parties next month and I think it it is going to be very busy, but so far there are many open dates. New Year’s Eve is also still open, so book your party now.